Enrico M. Novelli, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology
Section Chief, Benign Hematology
Director, UPMC Adult Sickle Cell Disease Program
Dr. Novelli obtained his MD degree from the University of Milan, Italy in 1996. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University from 1996 to 1999 where he developed expertise in cellular biology and gene therapy. His research project under the mentorship of Dr. Civin elucidated the repopulating potential of cultured CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells and explored the phenotype of their progeny in the immunodeficient mouse model NOD/SCID. In 1999 he moved to the University of Pittsburgh where he applied his expertise in gene therapy of hematopoeitc stem cells to develop a gene therapy approach to Gaucher disease. He enrolled in the UPMC Internal Medicine residency program with a plan to obtain subspecialty training in Hematology Oncology. At the end of his residency, he volunteered as Internal Medicine Specialist at Lilongwe Central Hospital in Malawi, Africa in 2005. This experience cemented his resolve to develop clinical expertise and research projects to alleviate the disease burden of populations that have limited access to healthcare. Upon returning to the United States, he enrolled in the UPMC Hematology/Oncology fellowship program, where his research project focused on characterizing malarial anemia in Kenya. He became faculty at the University of Pittsburgh upon completion of his fellowship in June 2008.
Dr. Novelli’s research has focused on the mechanisms underlying vascular dysfunction in SCD via three main projects: 1) Dr. Novelli has explored the role of the protein thrombospondin-1 in SCD. He has found that elevated plasma levels of TSP1 in several large cohorts of patients with SCD are associated with vaso-occlusive complications and identify a subset of patients who display hemostatic activation and have a more severe phenotype. In translational studies presented as podium talk at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting he also found TSP1 to cause pulmonary hypertension in transgenic mice by binding to its receptor CD47. 2) Another line of research has focused on the characterization of arterial stiffness as a mechanism of vascular dysfunction in SCD. Dr. Novelli has discovered a new link between hemolysis and arterial stiffness by showing that hemolysis is independently associated with arterial stiffness measured by pulse pressure in a large cohort of SCD patients. This discovery is of high clinical relevance as it suggests that elevated hemolysis rates encountered in a subset of SCD patients may lead to an increased risk of vascular complications; 3) Most recently, Dr. Novelli has turned his attention onto the cerebral vasculature in SCD in an effort to elucidate SCD-related cognitive impairment. He has discovered a neuroimaging marker of small vessel disease associated with cognitive function in SCD.
Education and Training
Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 2001
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, 1999
Internship in Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Shadyside, 2004
Residency in Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Shadyside, 2002
Fellowship in Hematology/Oncology, UPMC, 2008
For a complete bibliography, click here.