Dr. Francesco Fiorentino, is founder of GENOMA
laboratory. With nearly fifteen years of experience as
molecular biologist, he is expert in all aspects of
diagnosis, treatment and technology. Dr. Fiorentino is
internationally recognized in the fields of reproductive
genetics, for its leadership in Preimplantation Genetic
Diagnosis (PGD) and for its pioneering work in infertility
and genetics. He is also well known as one of the pioneers
in the creation of the specialties of reproductive and
prenatal genetics in Italy and was the impetus behind
development of many important concepts and techniques that
have become standard in these important fields.
Dr. Fiorentino graduated from Messina University, Italy, in
1992, with a degree in molecular biology, after 2 years of
internship in the department of genetics. In the same year
he completed the residency in biology. He then graduated as
specialist in Microbiology and Virology from the above
University in 1995, getting his PhD.
In 1995 he was appointed to the Italian Police Department-
Forensic Science Service (FSS), Rome - Italy, where he spent
3 years performing research and investigation on forensic
genetics, coordinating the DNA analysis unit. While at FSS
he determined to specialize in the fields of forensic
genetics; its main activity was focused on nuclear and
mitochondrial DNA analysis from old and degraded biological
samples and low copy number DNA samples, feeling that the
combination of all these disciplines would provide a nearly
unique foundation of formal qualifications for pursuing his
professional and research interests.
In 1998, Dr. Fiorentino established GENOMA, a private
molecular genetics laboratory, which is now one of the
world's largest, fully integrated, specialized provider of
genetics services, internationally renowned for its
leadership in PGD diagnosis and for its pioneering work in
infertility and genetics. GENOMA was founded on several core
insights that created the model for molecular genetics
centre across the country and around the world. GENOMA also
conceived providing genetic services specifically for
infertility treatment, an integration which improves quality
of care and efficiency.
In 1998, under Dr. Fiorentino's leadership, GENOMA started
the first PGD laboratory in Italy. This facility made it
possible for GENOMA to test IVF embryos for genetic factors
and to prevent genetic diseases in the offspring of at-risk
families. The GENOMA 's PGD program is now one of the
worldwide leaders in both in quality and volume, and has
developed several important new disease-related PGD tests.
Dr. Fiorentino was instrumental in forming the PGD. He has
been involved in developing each of the tests currently
offered in the PGD lab for both single gene defect testing
by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and chromosomal testing
by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH).
Dr. Fiorentino also conceived and implemented the innovation
of using Minisequencing technique for mutation detection on
single cells. This procedure is now widely used by most of
the centers performing PGD testing.
Dr. Fiorentino has also introduced, first in his country and
one of the first in the world, an approach for PGD of
genetic disorders combined with HLA testing. This resulted
several well-known studies where the cord blood of
unaffected children, born after PGD, was used for saving the
life of affected siblings with beta thalassemia,
Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome and leukemia. These ?designer
babies? led to headlines in Italy and across the world. This
important step enabled his Centre to become one of the five
clinics worldwide offering this therapeutic application.
Dr. Fiorentino then initiated the PGD for inherited
predisposition to cancer, such as familial adenomatous
polyposis coli (FAP), Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome (VHL),
Retinoblastoma, Li Fraumeni syndrome, or Neurofibromatosis.
Recently, he has extended the use of this technique also for
late onset disorders, such as Huntington disease and
Alzheimer?s disease, demonstrating the great usefulness of
preimplantation diagnosis for the wide range of common
disorders of adult life.
Dr. Fiorentino?s clinical success has been achieved in
collaboration with several other geneticists in the team.
Their success led them to the routine use of PGD to diagnose
chromosome abnormalities and monogenic disorders in
preimplantation embryos. This team has become the world?s
leaders in both fields. Current research activity remains
focused in developing new PGD techniques.
His enthusiasm for his field and to help patients worldwide
is shown by his establishment an international network of
IVF and Preimplantation Genetics Centres, to assist clinics
throughout Europe and Middle East offering PGD services,
performing many hundreds clinical cycles annually. His
network?s current accumulated experience in preimplantation
genetic diagnosis provides a substantial contribution to the
overall world experience.
In addition to his extensive experience in practice, Dr.
Fiorentino is the author or co-author of several book
chapters and peer reviewed publications as well as
presentations at national and international meetings in the
fields of genetics, prenatal diagnosis and reproductive
genetics. His authoritative work has and still makes major
contributions to the improvement and higher specificity of
PGD in a competitive and constantly expanding field.
Indefatigable in the search for improvements in the care of
his patients, and travelling incessantly, Dr Fiorentino is
known worldwide for his devotion to his subject and his
Center. He is a welcome speaker at numerous international
conferences reporting on his successful advances in his
field. He is also a member of several international
organizations, including the American Society for
Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), European Society of Human
Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), Preimplantation Genetic
Diagnosis International Society (PGDIS). He is also an
active member in ESHRE PGD Consortium.
In the last years Dr Fiorentino has served as a consultant
to several academic and research institutions. In 2002, he
established a modern molecular genetics laboratory in
Memorial Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey, where he started the
first PGD program of the country. This program has attracted
international patients who have come to it for treatment. Dr
Fiorentino has also established similar projects in other
countries, such as UK, Saudi Arabia, Greece and Albania. Dr
Fiorentino consultant activity encompasses also other fields:
he is court-appointed consultant in forensic cases involving
DNA analysis from forensic specimens and paternity disputing.
He is also consultant to humanitarian no ? profit
associations regarding kinship tests by DNA analysis and its
use for migration purpose.
Today Dr. Fiorentino is a very active member of the GENOMA
Board of Directors, serving as its Scientific Director and
CEO. He pursues his lifelong thirst for new ideas and
developments in reproductive genetics by continuing to study
the latest scientific and professional developments and
helping catalyze continuing GENOMA innovations. As a
molecular biologist and research scientist Dr. Fiorentino
embodies what GENOMA has come to represent. Today GENOMA is
the leader for combining infertility treatment and genetics
for the delivery of important, pioneering, high quality
medical treatment and patient care. GENOMA continues to be
an organization not only where outstanding medical care is
offered, but also one firmly dedicated to expanding its
well-deserved reputation as a center where scientific
knowledge and innovation are created and highly valued, and
where the latest reproductive and genetic innovations are
transformed from theory into everyday practice.