Dr Mario Caruana has published reviews, book chapters and scientific papers. His main interest involves the study of how dietary components (mainly polyphenols) can protect the body from amyloid diseases such as neurodegenerative disease (e.g. Azheimer and Parkinson diseases) or diabetes. A selection is given below
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[1] Caruana M., Camilleri A., Farrugia M.Y., Ghio S., Jakubíčková M., Cauchi R.J., Vassallo N. (2021) Extract from the Marine Seaweed Padina pavonica Protects Mitochondrial Biomembranes from Damage by Amyloidogenic Peptides. Molecules 26, 1444.

[2] Farrugia MY, Caruana M., Ghio S., Camilleri A., Farrugia C., Cauchi RJ, Sara Cappelli, Fabrizio Chiti F., Vassallo N. (2020) Toxic oligomers of the amyloidogenic HypF‑N protein form pores in mitochondrial membranes. Scientific Reports 10: 17733.

[3] Camilleri A, Ghio S, Caruana M, Weckbecker D, Schmidt F, Kamp F, Leonov A, Ryazanov S, Griesinger C, Giese A, Cauchi RJ, Vassallo N. (2020) Tau-induced mitochondrial membrane perturbation is dependent upon cardiolipin. Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr. Feb 1;1862(2):183064.

[4] Ghio S, Camilleri A, Caruana M, Ruf VC, Schmidt F, Leonov A, Ryazanov S, Griesinger C, Cauchi RJ, Kamp F, Giese A, Vassallo N. (2019) Cardiolipin Promotes Pore-Forming Activity of Alpha-Synuclein Oligomers in Mitochondrial Membranes. ACS Chem Neurosci. Aug 6.

[5] Caruana, M. & Vassallo N. (2018) Nutrition: an important component of health among older adults p.201-221; book chapter in ‘Active and healthy ageing in Malta – gerontological and geriatric inquiries’ ed Formosa M. (BDL Publishing, Malta).

[6] Martinez Hernandez A, Urbanke H, Gillman AL, Lee J, Ryazanov S, Agbemenyah HY, Benito E, Jain G, Kaurani L, Grigorian G, Leonov A, Rezaei-Ghaleh N, Wilken P, Arce FT, Wagner J, Fuhrman M, Caruana M, Camilleri A, Vassallo N, Zweckstetter M, Benz R, Giese A, Schneider A, Korte M, Lal R, Griesinger C, Eichele G, Fischer A (2018) The diphenylpyrazole compound anle138b blocks Aβ channels and rescues disease phenotypes in a mouse model for amyloid pathology. EMBO Mol Med. 2018 Jan;10(1):32-47.

[7] Briffa M, Ghio S, Neuner J, Gauci AJ, Cacciottolo R, Marchal C, Caruana M, Cullin C, Vassallo N, Cauchi RJ. (2016) Extracts from two ubiquitous Mediterranean plants ameliorate cellular and animal models of neurodegenerative proteinopathies. Neuroscience Letters 2016 Dec 2. pii: S0304-3940(16)30921-1.

[8] Caruana, M., Cauchi, R. and Vassallo, N. (2016) Putative role of red wine polyphenols against brain pathology in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease Frontiers in Nutrition Aug; 3(31): 1-16.

[9] Caruana, M. and Vassallo N.  (2015) ‘Tea polyphenols in Parkinson’s disease’, in Natural compounds as therapeutic agents for amyloidogenic diseases – Cellular Biology and Subcellular Biochemistry Series; Springer-Verlag, Switzerland or Adv Exp Med Biol 863:117-137.

[10] Caruana, M. and Vassallo, N. (2014) Select polyphenols that protect mitochondria against amyloid aggregates in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease Xjenza online – Journal of the Malta Chamber of Scientists Volume 2 (Issue 2):17-25.

[11] Camilleri, A., Zarb, C., Caruana, M., Ostermeier, U., Ghio, S., Högen, T., Schmidt, F., Giese, A. and Vassallo, N. (2013) Mitochondrial membrane permeabilisation by amyloid aggregates and protection by polyphenols Biochim Biophys Acta. Nov;1828 (11):2532-2543.

[12] Caruana, M., Neuner, J., Högen, T., Schmidt, F., Scerri, C., Giese, A. and Vassallo, N. (2012) Polyphenolic compounds are novel protective agents against lipid membrane damage by α-synuclein aggregates in vitro. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. Nov;1818 (11):2502-2510.

[13] Högen, T., Levin, J., Schmidt, F., Caruana, M., Vassallo, N., Kretzschmar, H., Kamp, F. and Giese, A. (2012) Two different binding modes of α-Synuclein to lipid vesicles depending on its aggregation state. Biophys J., 102, 1646-1655.

[14] Caruana, M., Högen, T., Levin, J., Hillmer, A., Giese, A. and Vassallo N. (2011). Inhibition and disaggregation of α-synuclein oligomers by natural polyphenolic compounds. FEBS Lett. 585, 1113-1120.

[15] Gauci, A. J., Caruana, M., Giese, A., Scerri, C. and Vassallo, N. (2011) Identification of polyphenolic compounds and black tea extract as potent inhibitors of lipid membrane destabilization by Aβ42 aggregates. J Alzheimers Dis., 27, 767-779.

[16] Ostermeier, U., Caruana, M., Giese, A. and Vassallo, N. (2011) Identification of natural compounds protecting mitochondrial membranes against toxicity by α-synuclein, in Targeting Mitochondria – Strategies, Innovations and Clinical Applications, p.79, (Edeas, M.A., ed). Edition Mel Paris, Paris.

[17] Caruana, M. and Vassallo, N. (2011) The potential role of dietary polyphenols in Parkinson’s disease. Malta Medical Journal, Volume 23, Issue 03.

[18]  Caruana, M (2007) Nutritional recommendations for people with diabetes. Journal of the Malta College of Pharmacy Practice Issue 12: 39-41.


Cutajar, J. (2008) An evaluation of Type 2 diabetes care in the primary care setting. Malta Medical Journal Volume 20 Issue 03, September 20.


Vassallo, N., Ghio, S., Caruana, M., Ruf, V., Schmidt, F., Kamp, F., Cauchi, R., Giese, A. Amyloid Pores – a new class of mitochondria porins? 10th World Congress on Targeting Mitochondria 2019, October 28-29, 2019 – Berlin, Germany

Caruana M. (2017) Preventing Age-Related Diseases with Redox-Active Compounds: a taste of controversy? Held in Ecole Européenne de Chimie, Polymères et Matériaux (ECPM), 25 rue Becquerel 67200 Strasbourg (September 27-29th) [COST CA16112] Poster presented

Vassallo, N., Caruana, M., Cauchi, R.J., Briffa, M., Ghio, S., Neuner, J., Gauci, J.A., Cacciottolo, R., Marchal, C., Cullin, C. (2017) Mediterranean Plant Extracts ameliorate Cellular and Animal Models of Neurodegenerative Diseases: Poster session in conference ‘AD/PD 2017’ held in Vienna, Austria (March 29th).

Caruana, M. (2012) Polyphenolic Compounds Protect Against Targeting of Mitochondria by Amyloid Aggregates: Presented at the 8th Malta Medical School Conference, Malta (29 November -1st December).

Ostermeier, U., Caruana, M., Scerri, C., Giese, A., Vassallo, N. (2012) Identification of natural compounds protecting mitochondrial membranes against toxicity by alpha-synuclein: Poster session in conference ‘100 years of Lewy Bodies: where are we now? Munich, Germany (September 15th).

Caruana M. (2011) Dietary polyphenols as novel protective agents against membrane damage in alpha-synucleinopathies: Presented at the 2nd Neuroscience Seminar, Malta (5-6th July).

Caruana M., Giese A. and Vassallo N. (2009) Use of biodiverse natural products in drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases: Poster session presented at the 7th Malta Medical School Conference, Malta (5-7 November).

Caruana M., Giese A. and Vassallo N. (2009) Identification of Polyphenolic compounds as potent inhibitors of alpha-synuclein aggregation: Poster session presented at the International Bunsen discussion meeting on ‘structure of amyloid fibrils and mechanism of amyloid formation’, Halle an der Saale, Germany (8-11 February).

Caruana M. and Vassallo N. (2007) Effect of polyphenols on oligomerisation of alpha-synuclein: Short oral presentation presented at the Malta Polyphenols Conference (14-16 November).

Developing a new drug for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients: NewsPoint Article_2018