Advisory Board

Professor Emilio Hirsch

Emilio Hirsch, Ph.D. is Full Professor of Molecular Biology in the Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences at the Medical School of University of Torino, Member of the Board and Founder of Kither Biotech, and Member of the Board of Directors at Kaleyra.

He is also responsible teacher for the biomedical field and member of the administrative council at Scuole di Dottorato – Università Degli Studi di Torino, EMBO member, ISHR member, and Scientific Director of the Molinette Research Foundation. He provided seminal contributions in the characterization of phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3K) as drug targets in cancer and inflammation.

Emilio earned his Doctoral degree in Molecular Biology from the Università Degli Studi di Torino in 1988. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree of Science in 1984 from Scuola Primaria “Colonna e Finzi”.

Emilio was Postdoctoral Fellow in Professor Reinhard Fässler’s lab at Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry in 1995. He was Assistant Professor until 2000 and Associate Professor until 2005 at the Medical Faculty, University of Torino.

Emilio Founded Kither Biotech in 2011. They are a biopharmaceutical company developing signal transduction modulators for the treatment of rare respiratory diseases. In recent years, they focused their first-line activities on cystic fibrosis, a rare genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and, over time, limits its sufferers’ ability to breathe. The company developed a small peptide as a cAMP modulator, KIT2014, that the European Medicines Agency has designated as an orphan drug.

Read Class II PI3Ks at the Intersection between Signal Transduction and Membrane Trafficking.

The company’s product portfolio also includes KITCL27, a small molecule PI3K inhibitor being developed as a prodrug for the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Emilio is responsible for the generation and development of PI3K inhibitors.

As a Member of the Advisory Board at Kaleyra, Emilio is helping with their omnichannel business communications. Kaleyra is the API-based platform to engage your clients with personalized messages, chatbots, programmable voice services, and more.

He is the author of more than 490 publications, his works received around 26,600 citations, and his h-index (Harzing’s Publish or Perish) is 86. He became a member of EMBO as well as ISHR in 2015. He provided seminal contributions in the characterization of phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3K) as drug targets in inflammation with Central Role for G Protein-Coupled Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase γ in Inflammation, cancer with PI3K/AKT signaling pathway and cancer, heart failure with PI3Kγ Modulates the Cardiac Response to Chronic Pressure Overload, and obesity with Combined inhibition of PI3Kβ and PI3Kγ reduces fat mass by enhancing α-MSH–dependent sympathetic drive.

He produced the first knockout mice for a PI3K catalytic subunit and demonstrated the role of PI3Kgamma in chemotaxis of leukocytes in Negative feedback regulation of Rac in leukocytes from mice expressing a constitutively active phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase γ. He developed, together with Merck-Serono, the first isoform selective PI3Kgamma inhibitor in Blockade of PI3Kγ suppresses joint inflammation and damage in mouse models of rheumatoid arthritis and launched an academic spin-off Kither Biotech exploiting his patented PI3K inhibitors for topical treatment.

Emilio was the first to demonstrate that PI3K are not only enzymes but also scaffold proteins with PI3Kγ modulates the cardiac response to chronic pressure overload by distinct kinase-dependent and-independent effects and Integrating cardiac PIP3 and cAMP signaling through a PKA anchoring function of p110γ, showing that knock-in of a catalytically inactive mutant better models drug targeting than knock-out-mediated elimination of the protein.

He demonstrated that PI3Kbeta is a scaffold controlling receptor endocytosis and that PI3Kgamma interacts with PKA to integrate PI3K and cAMP signaling. More recently, he shifted his attention to class II PI3Ks and defined the role of PI3KC2alpha in endocytosis and primary cilium function with PI3K class II α controls spatially restricted endosomal PtdIns3P and Rab11 activation to promote primary cilium function.

Emilio was a member of the Translational Research Committee of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (2006–2012), Scientific Advisory Board member for Celzome AG (2007–2010), Consultant for Serono and Merck-Serono (2005–2009), School of Medicine of Torino, Vice President (2005–2011), and Member of the ISHR (International Society for Heart Research) European Council (2011–2015).

Currently, he is review panel member for the AERES Evaluation Committee for the INSERM-University Pierre et Marie-Curie Unit project on Cardiovascular Diseases and Metabolism, Member of the Directive Nucleus of the Working Group of Myocardial Function of the European Society of Cardiology, and PIPGen member, the leading European network that tackles PI3K/PTEN-related monogenic disease to understand cancer.

Emilio is a member of the Editorial Board of Thrombosis and Hemostasis, Cell Communication & Signaling, and the American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease.

Visit his Work page, LinkedIn profile, Google Scholar page, and ResearchGate profile. Follow him on Facebook,, Loop, ORCiD, and ESC365. Read his Curriculum Vitae at Academia and his Live Forever Club page.