Dr. Emiliano Biasini obtained the Laurea in Biological Sciences (110/110 cum laude) at the University of RomaTre in 2000. In 2004, he completed a specialization school in Pharmacological Research at the Mario Negri Institute in Milan, and in 2005 received a second specialization in Applied Genetics, with honors, from University of La Sapienza. In 2005, supported by a Telethon grant, Dr. Biasini was recruited as a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St Louis (MO, USA). He returned to Italy in 2008, sponsored by a fellowship from the Mario Negri Foundation. In 2010, he was appointed Instructor in the Department of Biochemistry at Boston University (MA, USA), to carry out research projects aimed to elucidate the role of the cellular prion protein in several neurodegenerative conditions. In 2013, thanks to a Young Investigator Award from the Italian Ministry of Health, he returned to the Mario Negri Institute as a Principal Investigator. His group is currently exploring a new strategy for drug discovery in Alzheimer’s disease and prion disorders.
Dr. Marcello D’Amelio graduated from the University of Bari (2000) and received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience (2007) from the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. He obtained a master’s degree in Clinical Trials at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (2008). He currently teaches Human Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine, University Biomedical Campus (Rome), and directs the Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience at the IRCCS Fondazione Saint Lucia (Rome). The main research topics include the study of the molecular mechanisms that characterize the neuronal death and functional alterations of synapses, with particular regard to Alzheimer’s disease. His research is funded by the Italian Ministries of Research and Health and the American Alzheimer’s Association.
The research of Dr. Ostuni is focused on the study of the mechanisms of regulation of immune responses to microbial infections and pro-inflammatory signals. During the PhD, at the University of Milano-Bicocca, he contributed to the discovery of signal transduction pathways crucial for the activation of macrophages and dendritic cells (Nature 2009 Cell 2011 JCI 2012). Since 2011 he works at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) in Milan, where he specialized in studying the role of specific regions of non-coding DNA (enhancers) and associated epigenetic modifications in controlling the expression of pro-inflammatory genes. Dr. Ostuni has recently identified the latent enhancer, a new class of regulatory elements that controls the activation of macrophages in response to environmental stimuli, giving a “short-term memory” to the stimulated cells (Cell 2013). This phenomenon brings to light a new level of regulation of immune responses, and may be involved in the processes of cell degeneration at the base of diseases associated with environmental changes, such as cancer and diseases of the nervous system.
Dr. Francesco Pisani, who was born in Taranto on 11/11/1980, graduated in Biological Sciences, Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Bari, with 110/110 cum laude. He was awarded as the best graduate of the academic year 2003-2004. He obtained his degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the same university. Since 2009 he works in the field of Neurosciences at the Dept. of Biotechnology and Biosciences of the University of Bari Biopharmaceutical. He is currently a Researcher in the scientific sector BIO/09 and author of 15 publications on international journals. His main field of interest is on an auto-immune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS), the neuromyelitis optica (NMO). In particular, it deals with the characterization of the interaction between self-IgG antibodies, specific NMO (NMO-IgG) and its molecular target, the aquaporin-4, the main channel for the water of the CNS.
Dr. Paola Tucci graduated in “Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology”, with honors, from the University of Calabria and she did her italian dottorato in “Pharmacology Biochemistry and Cell Death” at the same University. She then spent a long period of research abroad as a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Toxicology Unit in Leicester (UK), and worked as a civil engineer in the laboratory of Prof. G. Melino University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. Since May 2011 she is a Biochemistry researcher for the Department of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Nutrition at the University of Calabria, a position she currently holds. Her work focuses on the regulation of microRNAs by p63 and p73 protein homologous to p53, and focuses on the nervous system and tumor metastasis. The results of her research led to the publication of over 30 peer-reviewed articles published in scientific journals of high international profile and participation in several national and international conferences as an invited speaker.