Maria Lina Tornesello graduated cum laude in 1988 at the Faculty of Science of University "Federico II" - Napoli, Italy and achieved the specialty in Microbiology and Virology in 1994 at the “Federico II” Medical School - Napoli. From 1989 to 1990 was recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from A.I.R.C. working on the project "Identification and characterization of the Kaposi's sarcoma oncogene". During the period 1990 to 1991 was recipient of a fellowship by the National Cancer Institute "Fondazione Pascale" with the project "Determination of the role of Papovaviruses in genital tumors" at the Viral Oncology Unit of INT Pascale. After an International fellowship from AIRC, at the Tumor Biology Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA (1991-1992), she became an assistant member of the Experimental Oncology F at the Natl Cancer Institute in 1993, where she currently is head of Viral and Cellular Tumour Markers Lab within the Molecular Biology and Viral Oncogenesis Unit. She is meber of the following scientific societies: Italian Society of Virology (SIV), Italian Society of Cancerology (SIC) and of the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR), International Papillomaviruses Society (IPS).
Dr Tornesello is Lecturer of "Microbiological and Virological Diagnostic Techniques" of the Bachelor’s degree programs in biomedical technology, University Federico II – Naples - Istituto Pascale (2004-ongoing). Furthermore she is supervisor of several graduation thesis.
She is Menaging Editor of Infectious Agents and Cancer (2006) and Reviewer ad hoc of several scientific journals: J Clin Microbiol, J Med Virol, Int J Cancer, Inf Agents and Cancer, etc.