Instructor in the Rabb School of Continuing Studies, Division of Graduate Professional Studies.


Ph.D., University of Milan

Field of Specialty

Molecular biology, cell biology, protein expression and analysis, biology of neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s disease

Contact Information

Rabb School

Lucia Pastorino

Lucia Pastorino is an enthusiastic scientist and lecturer eager to share her extensive research experience with students, as their teacher and mentor. She received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1999 from the University of Milan, Italy. She finished her post-doctoral training at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and she has been an Instructor in Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She is now Lecturer in Neuroscience at Boston University, College of Arts and Sciences.
Her background is in the field of Alzheimer’s disease, with specific training in the molecular and cellular biology of this disease and on the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in AD. Her expertise includes the application of proteomics, bio-clinical research, cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry, analysis of both human and animal samples, cell cultures and animal models.
She has published more than 30 research articles and reviews in this field, including a publication in Nature as the leading author. She also serves as ad hoc reviewer for a number of scientific journals and associations in the field of research of neurodegenerative diseases.
Since 2006 she teaches at Harvard Extension School upper level courses that she personally designed on the biology of neurodegenerative diseases and on the translational research in this field.


Pastorino L., Kondo A., Zhou X.Z., Lu K.P.. "Pin1 protects against Alzheimer’s disease: one goal, multiple mechanisms.." Alzheimer's Disease. Ed. Inga Zarr. InTech Publishing Company, 2012. 1-29. (forthcoming)

L. Pastorino*, S.L. Ma, M. Balastik, P. Huang, D. Pandya, L. Nicholson and K.P. Lu.. "Alzheimer’s disease-related loss of Pin1 function influences the intracellular localization and the processing of AbPP." Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 30. 2 (2012): 277-97.

Ma SL, Tang NL, Tam CW, Cheong Lui VW, Lam LC, Chiu HF, Driver JA, Pastorino L, Lu KP. "A PIN1 polymorphism that prevents its suppression by AP4 associates with delayed onset of Alzheimer's disease.." Neurobiol. Aging 33. 4 (2012): 804-13.

S.L. Ma, L. Pastorino*, X.Z. Zhou and K.P. Lu.. "Pin1 promotes APP protein turnover by inhibiting GSK3β kinase activity: a novel mechanism for Pin1 to protect against Alzheimer's disease.." JBC 287. 10 (2012): 6969-73.

Yoon SO, Park DJ, Ryu JC, Ozer HG, Tep C, Shin YJ, Lim TH, Pastorino L, Kunwar AJ, Walton JC, Nagahara AH, Lu KP, Nelson RJ, Tuszynski MH, Huang K. "JNK3 Perpetuates Metabolic Stress Induced by Aβ Peptides." Neuron 75. 5 (2012): 824-37.

T. Lee, L. Pastorino and K.P. Lu. Equal contribution. "Pinning down aging, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease." Exp. Rev. Mol. Med. 13 (2011): e21.

Lee TH, Tun-Kyi A, Shi R, Lim J, Soohoo C, Finn G, Balastik M, Pastorino L, Wulf G, Zhou XZ, Lu KP.. "Essential role of Pin1 in the regulation of TRF1 stability and telomere maintenance." Nat. Cell. Biol. 11. 1 (2009): 97-105.

Lim J, Balastik M, Lee TH, Nakamura K, Liou YC, Sun A, Finn G, Pastorino L, Lee VM, Lu KP.. "Pin1 has opposite effects on wild-type and P301L tau stability and tauopathy." Journal of Clinical Investigation 118. 5 (2008): 1877-1889.

Balastik M, Lim J, Pastorino L, Lu KP.. "Pin1 in Alzheimer's disease: multiple substrates, one regulatory mechanism?." Biochim Biophys Acta 1772. 4 (2007): 422-429.

L. Pastorino, A.Sun, P.J. Lu, X. Z. Zhou, M. Balastik, G. Finn, G. Wulf, J. Lim, S.H. Li, X. Li, W. Xia, L. K. Nicholson and K. P. Lu. "Pin1-catalyzed prolyl isomerization regulates amyloid precursor protein processing and Abeta production.." Nature 440. 7083 (2006): 528-34.

Pastorino L*, Lu KP.. "Pathogenic mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease." Eur J Pharmacol. 545. 1 (2006): 29-38.

L. Pastorino* and K.P. Lu.. "Phosphorylation of the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP): is this a mechanism in favor or against Alzheimer’s Disease?." Neurosci. Res. Commun. 35. 3 (2004): 213-231.

L. Pastorino, A.F. Ikin, S. Lambrianou, N. Vacaresse, J.P. Revelli, K. Platt, P. Paganetti, P. M. Mathews, S. Harroch, and J.D. Buxbaum. "BACE (b-secretase) modulates the processing of APLP2 in vivo." Mol. Cell. Neurosci 25 (2004): 624-649.

Borroni B, Colciaghi F, Pastorino L, Archetti S, Corsini P, Cattabeni F, Di Luca M, Padovani A.. "ApoE genotype influences the biological effect of donepezil on APP metabolism in Alzheimer disease: evidence from a peripheral model." Eur. Neuropsychopharmacol. 12 (2002): 195-200.

Colciaghi F, Borroni B, Pastorino L, Marcello E, Zimmermann M, Cattabeni F, Padovani A, Di Luca M.. "[alpha]-Secretase ADAM10 as Well as [alpha]APPs Is Reduced in Platelets and CSF of Alzheimer Disease Patients." Molecular Medicine 8 (2002): 67-74.

Pastorino L, Ikin AF, Nairn AC, Pursnani A, Buxbaum J.D.. "The carboxyl-terminus of BACE contains a sorting signal that regulates BACE trafficking but not the formation of total A(beta)." Mol. Cell. Neurosci 19 (2002): 175-85.

Borroni B, Colciaghi F, Pastorino L, Pettenati C, Cottini E, Rozzini L, Monastero R, Lenzi GL, Cattabeni F, Di Luca M, Padovani A.. "Amyloid precursor protein in platelets of patients with Alzheimer disease: effect of acetylcholinesterase inhibitor treatment." Archives of Neurology 58 (2001): 442-6.

Padovani A, Borroni B, Colciaghi F, Pastorino L, Archetti S, Cottini E, Caimi L, Cattabeni F, Di Luca M.. "Platelet amyloid precursor protein forms in AD: a peripheral diagnostic tool and a pharmacological target." Mech. Ageing Dev. 122 (2001): 1997-2004.

Padovani A, Pastorino L, Borroni B, Colciaghi F, Rozzini L, Monastero R, Perez J, Pettenati C, Mussi M, Parrinello G, Cottini E, Lenzi GL, Trabucchi M, Cattabeni F, Di Luca M.. "Amyloid precursor protein in platelets: A peripheral marker for the diagnosis of sporadic AD." Neurology 57 (2001): 2243-8.

Vattemi G, Engel WK, McFerrin J, Buxbaum JD, Pastorino L, Askanas V.. "Presence of BACE1 and BACE2 in muscle fibers of patients with sporadic inclusion-body myositis." Lancet 358 (2001): 1962-4.

Di Luca M , Colciaghi F, Pastorino L, Borroni B, Padovani A, Cattabeni F.. "Platelets as a peripheral district where to study pathogenetic mechanisms of Alzheimer disease: the case of amyloid precursor protein." Eur. J. Pharmacol. 405 (2000): 277-83.

Pastorino L, Colciaghi F, Marcon G, Borroni B, Cottini E, Cattabeni F, Padovani A, Di Luca M.. "Presenilin 2 mutation does not influence expression and concentration of APP forms in human platelets.." Molecular Medicine 6 (2000): 816-24.

Pastorino L. *, Colciaghi F., Gardoni F., De Graan P.N.E., Cattabeni F. and Di Luca M.. "MCPG induces PKCe translocation in rat cortical synaptosomes through PLD activation." Eur. J. Neurosci. 12 (2000): 1310-8.

Caputi A., Gardoni F., Cimino M., Pastorino L., Cattabeni F. and Di Luca M.. "CaMKII-dependent phosphorylation of NR2A and NR2B is decreased in animals characterized by hippocampal damage and impaired LTP." European Journal of Neuroscience 11 (1999): 141-148.

Caputi A., Di Luca M., Pastorino L., Colciaghi F., Carfagna N., Wong E., Post C. and Cattabeni F.. "Nicergoline and its metabolite induce translocation of PKC isoforms in selective brain areas.." Neurosci. Res. Comm. 23 (1998): 159-167.

Di Luca M., Pastorino L., Bianchetti A., Perez J., Vignolo A., Lenzi G., Trabucchi M., Cattabeni F. and Padovani P.. "Differential level of platelet Amyloid Precursor Protein isoforms. An early marker for Alzheimer disease." Archives of Neurology 55 (1998): 1195-1200.

Gardoni F., Caputi A., Cimino M., Pastorino L., Cattabeni F. and Di Luca M.. "CaMKII is associated to NR2A/B subunits of NMDA receptor in Post Synaptic Densities.." Journal of Neurochemistry. 71 (1998): 1733-1741.

Ramakers G.J.M., Pasinelli P., Di Luca M., Pastorino L., Cattabeni F., Gispen W.H. and De Graan P.N.E.. "Changes in pre- and post-synaptic protein kinase C substrates phosphorylation after induction of long-term potentiation and glutamate treatment." Metabotropic glutamate receptors and brain functions. Ed. Moroni, F., Nicoletti F., Pellegrini-Giampietro D.E.. Portland Pres. Proceedings, 1998. 191-200.

Caputi A. , Barindelli S., Pastorino L., Cimino M., Buxbaum J., Cattabeni F. and Di Luca M.. "Increased secretion of the amino-terminal fragment of amyloid precursor protein in rat brain of animals characterized by a constitutive upregulation of protein kinase C.." Journal of Neurochemistry 68 (1997): 2523-9.

Edgar M., Pasinelli P., De Wit M., Anton B., Dokas L., Di Luca M., Pastorino L., Cattabeni F., Gispen W.H. and De Graan P.N.E.. "Casein Kinase II-dependent phosphorylation of B-50/GAP-43 in rat cortical growth cones.." Journal of Neurochemistry 69 (1997): 2206-2215.

Caputi A., Rurale S., Pastorino L., Cimino M., Cattabeni F. and Di Luca M.. "Differential translocation of Protein Kinase C isozymes in rats characterized by a chronic lack of LTP induction and cognitive impairment." FEBS Letters. 393 (1996): 121-123.

Di Luca M., Pastorino L., Cattabeni F., Zanardi R., Scarone S., Racagni G., Smeraldi E. and Perez J. "Abnormal pattern of platelet APP isoforms in Alzheimer's disease and Down's Syndrome." Archives of Neurology 53 (1996): 1162-1166.

Di Luca M., Pastorino L., Raverdino V., Caputi A., De Graan P.N.E., Gispen W.H. and Cattabeni F.. "Determination in different brain regions of the endogenous phosphorylation state of B-50/GAP-43 and neurogranin by electrospray mass spectrometry.." FEBS Letters 389 (1996): 303-313.

Courses Taught

RBIO 101 Molecular Biology Lab: from DNA to Protein
RBIO 102 Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology