Greta Caprara, PhD

Education and previous professional experiences

After my bachelor’s degree in Biology (110/110 cum laude), at the Università degli Studi di Milano, I overcame the State Exam and enrolled to the National Biologist Register (Registration number: AA_049758).

To further develop my education and science skills, I moved to the European Institute of Oncology (IEO), to work under the supervision of Prof. Kristian Helin. Here, I first earned an international PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology (Open University PhD Program), then, I spent some more years, as a Postdoc, dissecting the role of genes and molecular pathways involved in cell cycle control and tumor suppression.

Related publications

  1. Caprara G, Zamponi R, Melixetian M and Helin K. Isolation and characterization of DUSP11, a novel p53 target gene. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, 2009. 
  2. Ballabeni A, Zamponi R, Caprara G, Melixetian M, Bossi S, Masiero L and Helin K. Human CDT1 Associates with CDC7 and Recruits CDC45 to Chromatin during S Phase. J Biol Chem, 2009. 
  3. Moroni MC*, Hickman ES*, Lazzerini Denchi E, Caprara G, Colli E, Cecconi F, Müller H and Helin K. Apaf-1 is a transcriptional target for E2F and p53. Nature Cell Biology, 2001. * equal contribution. 

In order to increase my knowledge on immune-related pathways in cancer, I moved to Prof. Gioacchino Natoli's group, where, first as Postdoc and then as Senior Scientist, I opened a new field of research in the lab, developing an autonomous project aimed at understanding the role of specific enzymes in the control of macrophages antimicrobial response.

Related publications

  1. Caprara G, Prosperini E, Piccolo V, Sigismondo G, Melacarne A, Cuomo A, Boothby M, Rescigno M, Bonaldi T and Natoli G. PARP14 Controls the Nuclear Accumulation of a Subset of Type I IFN–Inducible Proteins. The Journal of Immunology, 2018. 
  2. Giorgetti L, Siggers T, Tiana G, Caprara G, Notarbartolo S, Corona T, Pasparakis M, Milani P, Bulyk ML and Natoli G. 2010. Noncooperative Interactions between Transcription Factors and Clustered DNA Binding Sites Enable Graded Transcriptional Responses to Environmental Inputs. Molecular Cell, 2010.

Giorgetti L, Siggers T, Yaeger S, Tiana G, Caprara G, Milani P, Bulyk ML and Natoli G. A Graded Response of a Transcription Factor to Increasing Doses of External Stimuli: A Thermodynamic Framework Describing the Behavior of NF-kB. Biophysical Journal. Vol.96, Issue 3: 304a-305a, 2009.

3rd prize poster award 
Awarded at: “PARP 2010 18th International Conference on ADP-ribose metabolism”, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. August 18-21 2010.

Along with my bench research work, I’ve always had a strong interest in sport and nutrition fields.

Thus, I pursued my studies in that direction, earning a second level Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, from the Università Politecnica delle Marche, and a Sports Nutrition Degree (SANIS, Scuola di Nutrizione e Integrazione nello Sport).

Current employment

Since mid-2018, I’ve been working, as a researcher and nutritionist, in the Smartfood Program, the Translational Research Program in Nutrition Science and Communication of IEO, which is mainly focused on investigating the effects on health of particular foods and dietetic habits and in promoting a healthy lifestyle, through the dissemination of scientific and multimedia contents.

Besides my participation to the design, implementation and content writing of the Smartfood website, and the creation of the Smartfood Newsletter, I am involved in any activity of the program, but I mainly contribute to the development and further improvement of topics (articles, website contents, seminars, etc.) and the management and coordination of tasks related to my major expertise, meaning:

  • SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH (from basic to epidemiological research)
  • Manager and coordinator of the Smartfood research projects (design and implementation of national nutritional surveys, data analysis and interpretation, students’ training and supervision).
  • Manuscript writing for peer reviewed books and journals.
  • Design, organization and planning of workshops, conferences, and courses.
  • Implementation and content writing of the Smartfood website.
  • Creation, implementation and content writing of the Smartfood Newsletter.
  • Articles creation and writing.
  • Podcast design and recording.
  • Multimedia content recording (Instagram live broadcasts and videos).
  • Design, organization and planning of workshops, conferences, and courses to promote healthy eating habits.
  • Articles creation and writing.

Participation and implementation to the “in-the-store project” Smartfood started with Coop Lombardia.

Some of my articles and contents

Teaching activity

During my career I’ve supervised many PhD and undergraduated students, the latest two have proficently discussed the following research thesis.

  • A.a. 2022-2023: “Sviluppo e analisi dei risultati del questionario online: “Alimentazione e tumore al seno, cosa vuoi sapere?” Un’indagine esplorativa per comprendere le necessità d’informazione dei pazienti e rispondere di conseguenza” (Evaluation: 110/110 distinction summa cum laude).
  • A.a. 2021-2022: “Dieta e stato cognitivo: sviluppo del protocollo e analisi dei risultati dello studio pilota MIND your diet per valutare il legame esistente tra abitudini alimentari e abilità cognitive, in un gruppo di individui di età compresa tra i 65 e i 75 anni” (Evaluation: 110/110).

Licenses and certifications

Design Thinking: Approaches for Chronic Disease Management
Issued on December 2020

Most relevant publications related to nutrition

  • Greta Caprara. The Mediterranean Diet. Chapter in the book: Nutritional Health: Strategies for Disease Prevention, 4th ed.; Temple, N.J., Wilson, T., Jacobs, D.R., Jr., Bray, G.A., Eds.; Humana Press (Springer): New York, NY, USA, 2023; pp. 201-213.
  • Greta Caprara e Maurizio Antonio Battino. Dieta e Longevità: Influenza di Specifiche Tipologie Dietetiche sulla Qualità della Vita. 2018.
    Appendice all’interno dei testi sviluppati per il Master Internazionale di Secondo Livello in Nutrizione e Dietetica, promosso dall’Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona.

Workshop, conference, and course speaker

Scientific Conference: Effects of Circadian Clock and Timing of Eating on Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. 4 - 5 April 2019. Gentofte, Denmark. Organized by the Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy.
Poster Can prolonged nightly fasting affect breast cancer hormone therapy side effects? A questionnaire-based approach to explore this issue. Greta Caprara and Lucilla Titta.

Webinar: “Raccomandazioni Nutrizionali per la Prevenzione Oncologica”, April 2022, Istituto Statale di Istruzione Secondaria Superiore (I.S.S.S.) "G.D’ANNUNZIO - M.FABIANI" Gorizia.

Seminar "Alimentazione e salute" aimed at the workplace health promotion. ALMAG SpA, Roncadelle (Brescia), October 2022.

Altroconsumo, FestivalFuturo Strabene. “Alimentazione e salute: quante ne sai?” Workshop by Smartfood, 29 September 2019, Milano.

  • As a part of Smartfood collaboration with A2A (2024), aimed at the workplace health promotion, I have held, in January 2024, the following Webinar for the employees: “Cibo e salute: cosa ci dice la scienza?".
  • As a part of Smartfood collaboration with A2A (2021), aimed at the workplace health promotion, I have held, in 2021, the following Webinars for the employees:
    “La Dieta Mediterranea per la Protezione della Salute Cardiovascolare”.
    “Alimentazione e Sport”.
  • As a part of Smartfood collaboration with A2A (2019), aimed at the workplace health promotion, I have held, together with my colleagues, a training workshop for canteen employees, on “Nutrition and Health” (November 2019).

As a part of Smartfood collaboration with COOP Lombardia, I have held the following seminars for both consumers and employees:

  • Training workshops (3) for employees, on healthy diet (2019, Milano).
  • “Stare in Salute, Nutrizione e Attività Fisica. Dieta Mediterranea: un patrimonio di salute”, 26 September 2019, Pavia.
  • “Dalla Scienza ai Fornelli: mettere in pratica le raccomandazioni internazionali”, 24 November 2018, Milano and 18 April 2019, Treviglio.

CUCINA in ONCOLOGIA, October 2018, “European Institute of Oncology, Department of Experimental Oncology”, Via Adamello 16, Milano.

Chefs and kitchen staff training and awareness course aimed at depicting the key role of a healthy diet in cancer prevention and explaining how to support cancer patients with healthy cooking.

Smartfood proposal presentation for a healthy break, during scientific meetings, at the conference: L’ANZIANO FRAGILE: DAI MECCANISMI MOLECOLARI ALLA PRESA IN CARICO CLINICA. 01 March 2019. IRCCS MultiMedica, Sesto San Giovanni (Milano).

Webinar “Alimentazione Sana e Consapevole”, April 2021, SISM Novara.

Multimedia contents

Other professional activities related to nutrition

Besides my scientific and dissemination activity within the Smartfood Program, I collaborate with university, public and private parties, newspapers and magazines in disseminating nutrition research findings and knowledge.

Since June 2019, I’ve been giving academic training lectures in English (Elective courses - 8 hours), to students in Medicine and Surgery at Humanitas University, called “Introduction to Nutritional Biochemistry”.

Those lessons are part of the Course in Biochemistry, held by Professor Antonio Inforzato.

  • Conference “Mantenere il cervello attivo nell'invecchiamento. Il ruolo dei fattori cognitivi, motori e alimentari nel contrastare il declino legato all’età”. 04 May 2023, PALAZZO ALBANI, Aula B3, Via Timoteo Viti 10, Urbino. Event organized by the Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici (DISTUM) of the Università di Urbino Carlo Bo. Title of the seminar: “Alimentazione e invecchiamento attivo”.
  • Conference “Carcinoma mammario: quali novità per il 2022? Saper leggere uno studio clinico per migliorare la pratica clinica”, Progetto Canoa 12th edition, 19 March 2022, Ospedaletto di Pescantina, Verona. Sponsorship AIOM (Associazione Italiana di Oncologia Medica), ROPI (Rete Oncologica Pazienti Italia) and SICO (Società Italiana di Chirurgia Oncologica). Session III: Le terapie integrative durante e dopo il trattamento per carcinoma mammario: oggi parliamo di alimentazione e attività fisica. Title of the seminar: “Tumore al seno e alimentazione: evidenze scientifiche, falsi miti e consapevolezza dei pazienti”.
  • Webinar “Pandemia, Alimentazione e Stile di Vita: consigli per una dieta sana nel 2020/2021”, December 2020, Segretariato Italiano Studenti in Medicina (SISM), Milano.
  • ConferenceÈ tempo di Vita”, 05 July 2019, L’Aquila, by Novartis in collaboration with Salute Donna, A.N.D.O.S. and Società Italiana di Psico-Oncologia (SIPO).
    Title of the seminar: “Tumore al seno, alimentazione e stili di vita: evidenze scientifiche e falsi miti”.

I collaborate with journalists in writing and reviewing websites, newspapers and magazines' articles (Univadis from Medscape, AironeNatural Style and For Men, Cairo Editore, Corriere della Sera).


Besides, I write website/blog articles.

Guest editor for the Special Issue of Nutrients MDPIDo We Have a Specific Diet for Cancer Prevention?” (2023-ongoing).


Peer-reviewing activity (evaluation of academic paper's suitability for publication) for scientific journal, such as:

Elaboration of personalized nutritional programs addressed to: general population, elderly; pre- and menopausal women; overweight/obese people; patients with oncological, cardiovascular and metabolic pathologies; athletes; vegetarians and vegans; allergics and intolerants.

Other projects