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Francesca Gilli, MS, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology


2000 MS (Medical Biotechnology), Università degli Studi di Torino (Italy)
2005 PhD (Human Biology), Università degli Studi di Torino (Italy)
2008-2011 Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine Fellowship, Università degli Studi di Torino (Italy)

Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine

Contact Information:

DHMC, HB 7999
1 Medical Center Drive
554W Borwell
Lebanon NH 03756

Office: (603)650-2633
Phone: (603) 650-5433 (Lab)

Professional Interests:

Dr. Gilli’s principal research interest is understanding the cellular and molecular pathways that contribute to neuroinflammation and central nervous system (CNS)-related tissue damage in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The goal of Dr. Gilli’s current research is to elucidate how inflammation contributes to neurodegeneration and disability progression. The overall intention of this work is to identify new therapeutic targets or strategies that will improve our ability to manage progressive MS as well as other neurodegenerative diseases.

Grant Information:

Genzyme-Sanofi: 2019-2020 -(PI) Antiviral effects of Teriflunomide.
Italian MS Society 2018/R/6: 2019-2020 -(PI) Sex effects on intrathecal humoral inflammation and disease progression in multiple sclerosis.
Hitchcock Foundation Scholar Award: 2017-2019 – (PI) lntrathecal B-cell response pattern for improved diagnosis and management of progressive Multiple Sclerosis.
Hitchcock Foundation Pilot Award: 2016-2017 – (PI) Plasmalemma vesicle associated protein (PV1) as a novel target in neuroinflammation.
Biogen Idec Research Grant: 2014-2016 – (PI) Interaction of PEG-IFNβ with Antibodies to Native IFNβ
Hitchcock Foundation Pilot Award: 2014-2015 – (PI) Toward reliable biomarkers in MS: Microarray analysis of spinal cord gene expression in animal models of Multiple Sclerosis.

Courses Taught:

Lecturer - Scientific basis of diseases 1 (PEMM 101)
Lecturer - Ethical and Responsible Conduct of Research (PEMM 124)
Lecturer - Neurobiology of Diseases (PEMM 211)
Lecturer - Neuroscience II -Neuroimmunology module (PEMM 212)
Lecturer - Advanced Biomedical Sciences (PEMM 271)


Born in Italy, Dr. Gilli earned a M.S. in Medical Biotechnology and a Ph.D. in Human Biology from the Università degli Studi di Torino (Italy). She then completed her postdoctoral research in neuroimmunology at Università degli Studi di Torino (Italy), and University of Basel (Switzerland). Her postdoctoral research focused on the immunogenicity and biological action of IFNβ therapy in patients with MS, and, later, on the molecular mechanisms behind the adaptive immune response in pregnancy in MS. She also completed a Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine Fellowship at the Università degli Studi di Torino (Italy) in 2011. In 2014, Dr. Gilli joined the faculty in the Neurology Department of the Geisel School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor, where she works as a basic scientist affiliated with the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Dartmouth.

Selected Publications:


  • DiSano KD, Royce DB, Gilli F, Pachner AR. Central Nervous System Inflammatory Aggregates in the Theiler's Virus Model of Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Front Immunol. 2019 Aug 2;10:1821. (view details on MedLine)

  • DiSano KD, Linzey MR, Royce DB, Pachner AR, Gilli F. Differential neuro-immune patterns in two clinically relevant murine models of multiple sclerosis. J Neuroinflammation. 2019 May 22;16(1):109. (view details on MedLine)

  • Pachner AR, DiSano K, Royce DB, Gilli F. Clinical utility of a molecular signature in inflammatory demyelinating disease. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2018 Nov 9;6(1):e520 (view details on MedLine)

  • Gilli F, De La Torre AL, Royce DB, Pachner AR. Interaction of PEGylated interferon-beta with antibodies to recombinant interferon-beta. Int Immunopharmacol. 2018 Sep;62:1-6. (view details on MedLine)

  • Gilli F, Royce DB, DiSano KD, Pachner AR. Pegylated interferon beta in the treatment of the Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus mouse model of multiple sclerosis. J Neuroimmunol. 2017 Dec 15;313:34-40 (view details on MedLine)

  • Gilli F, Li L, Royce DB, DiSano KD, Pachner AR. Treatment of Theiler's virus-induced demyelinating disease with teriflunomide. J Neurovirol. 2017 Dec;23(6):825-838 (view details on MedLine)

  • Jiang Y, Patel CD, Manivanh R, North B, Backes IM, Posner DA, Gilli F, Pachner AR, Nguyen LN, Leib DA. Maternal Antiviral Immunoglobulin Accumulates in Neural Tissue of Neonates To Prevent HSV Neurological Disease. MBio. 2017 Jul 5;8(4). (view details on MedLine)

  • Bellesi M, de Vivo L, Chini M, Gilli F, Tononi G, Cirelli C. Sleep Loss Promotes Astrocytic Phagocytosis and Microglial Activation in Mouse Cerebral Cortex. J Neurosci. 2017 May 24;37(21):5263-5273 (view details on MedLine)

  • Gilli F, Royce DB, Pachner AR. Measuring Progressive Neurological Disability in a Mouse Model of Multiple Sclerosis. J Vis Exp. 2016 Nov 14;(117) (view details on MedLine)

  • Gilli F, Chen X, Pachner AR, Gimi B. High-Resolution Diffusion Tensor Spinal Cord MRI Measures as Biomarkers of Disability Progression in a Rodent Model of Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. PLoS One. 2016 Jul 28;11(7):e0160071 (view details on MedLine)