Donata Vercelli, MD

Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Associate Director, Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center
Director, Arizona Center for the Biology of Complex Diseases
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Genetics GIDP

Dr. Vercelli received her MD degree from the University of Florence in 1978 and trained in immunology at Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where she was an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics from 1991 to 1994. After four years as Director of the Molecular Immunoregulation Unit at San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, in 1999 she moved to the University of Arizona where she currently is a Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, the Associate Director of the Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center, and the Director of the Arizona Center for the Biology of Complex Diseases (ABCD). She is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians (AAP) and from 2005 to 2012 was the Associate Editor for Genetics of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Her research relies on both human and animal models and is supported by the NIH and industry.

Research Interests: 

Genetic, epigenetic and environmental mechanisms that control susceptibility to complex lung diseases.

Molecular Medicine Grad Program: 



DeVries, A., and D. Vercelli, "Of pleiotropy and trajectories: Does the TGF-β pathway link childhood asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?", J Allergy Clin Immunol, vol. 141, issue 6, pp. 1992-1996, 2018 Jun. PMCID: PMC5996766  PMID: 29709672
Vercelli, D., "Are we what our mothers made us? Lessons from epigenetics.", J Allergy Clin Immunol, vol. 141, issue 2, pp. 525-526, 2018 Feb. PMID: 29274413


DeVries, A., G. Wlasiuk, S. J. Miller, A. Bosco, D. A. Stern, C. I Lohman, J. Rothers, A. C. Jones, J. Nicodemus-Johnson, M. M. Vasquez, et al., "Epigenome-wide analysis links SMAD3 methylation at birth to asthma in children of asthmatic mothers.", J Allergy Clin Immunol, vol. 140, issue 2, pp. 534-542, 2017 Aug. PMCID: PMC5479765  PMID: 28011059
Long, X., M. Daya, J. Zhao, N. Rafaels, H. Liang, J. Potee, M. Campbell, B. Zhang, M. Ilma Araujo, R. R. Oliveira, et al., "The role of ST2 and ST2 genetic variants in schistosomiasis.", J Allergy Clin Immunol, vol. 140, issue 5, pp. 1416-1422.e6, 2017 Nov. PMCID: PMC5550370  PMID: 28189770
Carr, T. F., P. I. Beamer, J. Rothers, D. A. Stern, L. B. Gerald, C. B. Rosales, Y. Ornelas Van Horne, O. N. Pivniouk, D. Vercelli, M. Halonen, et al., "Prevalence of Asthma in School Children on the Arizona-Sonora Border.", J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract, vol. 5, issue 1, pp. 114-120, 2017. PMID: 27544711


Xu, H., T. Radabaugh, Z. Lu, M. Galligan, D. Billheimer, D. Vercelli, A. L. Wright, T. J. Monks, M. Halonen, and S. S. Lau, "Exploration of Early-Life Candidate Biomarkers for Childhood Asthma Using Antibody Arrays.", Pediatr Allergy Immunol, vol. 27, pp. 696-701, 2016 Jul 19. PMID: 27434124
Gozdz, J., M. Holbreich, N. Metwali, P. S. Thorne, A. I. Sperling, F. D. Martinez, C. Ober, E. von Mutius, and D. Vercelli, "Amish and Hutterite Environmental Farm Products Have Opposite Effects on Experimental Models of Asthma.", Ann Am Thorac Soc, vol. 13 Suppl 1, pp. S99, 2016 Mar. PMID: 27027969
Gozdz, J., C. Ober, and D. Vercelli, "Innate immunity and asthma risk", NEJM, vol. 375, pp. 1897-1899, 2016.
Stein, M. M., C. L. Hrusch, J. Gozdz, C. Igartua, V. Pivniouk, S. E. Murray, J. G. Ledford, M. Marques do Santos, R. L. Anderson, N. Metwali, et al., "Innate Immunity and Asthma Risk in Amish and Hutterite Farm Children.", N Engl J Med, vol. 375, issue 5, pp. 411-21, 2016 Aug 4. PMID: 27518660


Long, X., Q. Chen, J. Zhao, N. Rafaels, P. Mathias, H. Liang, J. Potee, M. Campbell, B. Zhang, L. Gao, et al., "An IL-13 promoter polymorphism associated with liver fibrosis in patients with Schistosoma japonicum.", PLoS One, vol. 10, issue 8, pp. e0135360, 2015. PMCID: PMC4530950  PMID: 26258681
Schaub, B., and D. Vercelli, "Environmental protection from allergic diseases: From humans to mice and back.", Curr Opin Immunol, vol. 36, pp. 88-93, 2015 Oct. PMID: 26210896


Martinez, F. D., and D. Vercelli, "Asthma.", Lancet, vol. 382, issue 9901, pp. 1360-72, 2013 Oct 19. PMID: 24041942


von Mutius, E., and D. Vercelli, "Farm living: effects on childhood asthma and allergy.", Nat Rev Immunol, vol. 10, issue 12, pp. 861-8, 2010 Dec. PMID: 21060319
Maier, R. M., M. W. Palmer, G. L. Andersen, M. J. Halonen, K. C. Josephson, R. S. Maier, F. D. Martinez, J. W. Neilson, D. A. Stern, D. Vercelli, et al., "Environmental determinants of and impact on childhood asthma by the bacterial community in household dust.", Appl Environ Microbiol, vol. 76, issue 8, pp. 2663-7, 2010 Apr. PMCID: PMC2849212  PMID: 20154107