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Massimo Trucco, MD

Job Title Director, Division of Immunogenetics
Job Title Hillman Professor of Pediatric Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Job Title Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
One Children's Hospital Drive
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
412-692-6570 Phone
412-692-5809 Fax

Education and Training

Medical School:

1974 University of Torino School of Medicine
Torino, Italy


1977 Regina Margherita Children’s Hospital, University of Torino School of Medicine, Torino, Italy


1977 Institute of Medical Genetics, University of Torino School of Medicine, Torino, Italy


  • Italian Society of Medical Genetics
  • Italian Society of Immunology and Immunopathology
  • American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Diabetes Association, Inc.
  • New York Academy of Science
  • American Society of Clinical Investigation
  • Society of Pediatric Research
  • Societia Italiana of Diabetologia
  • American Association of Immunologists


  • Phillips BE, Trucco M. Immunotherapy-Based Strategies for the Treatment of Autoimmune Diabetes: Searching for the Cure. Curr Pharm Des. 2011 Aug 25.
  • Marigliano M, Bertera S, Grupillo M, Trucco M, Bottino R. Pig-to-Nonhuman Primates Pancreatic Islet Xenotransplantation: An Overview. Curr Diab Rep. 2011 Oct;11(5):402-12.
  • Phillips B, Trucco M, Giannoukakis N. Current state of type 1 diabetes immunotherapy: incremental advances, huge leaps, or more of the same? Clin Dev Immunol. 2011;2011:432016. Epub 2011 Jul 18.

Research Interests

The interaction between the antigen presenting cell and the T helper cell is mediated by the recognition of the MHC molecule and the antigenic peptide by the T cell receptor (TcR) molecule. The reciprocal roles of the HLA, peptide and TcR molecules most involved in insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (type 1 diabetes) will be studied, together with their relevance in defining genetic susceptibility, in predicting the clinical onset of the disease, and finally, in choosing possible therapeutic approaches.

Biography Summary

Massimo Trucco, MD, is director of the Division of Immunogenetics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Hillman Professor of Pediatric Immunology and professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine with secondary appointments in Genetics and Epidemiology.

Dr. Trucco was born in Savona, Italy. During his medical residency, he worked on research in tissue compatibility, an area directly related to bone marrow transplantation. His curiosity has driven him to move to three countries to study at renowned universities and research institutes, and work side-by-side with two Nobel Prize winners.

An established scientist, Dr. Trucco came to Pittsburgh in 1986 to focus his genetic and immunologic research on several significant diseases of childhood, including diabetes. Since then, his discoveries have lead to:

  • a better process for molecular typing for matching bone marrow donors and recipients;
  • the ability to identify those at risk for diabetes;
  • an understanding of the link between a virus and Type 1 diabetes;
  • a potential cure for the pancreatic damage that causes insulin dependence.

Dr. Trucco and his team are closing in on a cure for Type 1 diabetes, or juvenile, diabetes. He has made several significant findings including the isolation of a super-antigen that is believed to trigger juvenile diabetes in children. It is widely suspected that this discovery, and others that Dr. Trucco has made, will lead to a cure.

“We have some of the best researchers and clinicians in their fields, and it is conceivable that with this concentration of talent Pittsburgh could be the place where the cure for diabetes is discovered,” says Dr. Trucco.

Last Update
September 8, 2011
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Last Update
September 8, 2011