Coming soon also the call for 2018, to continue to support scientific research, is coming soon
Lugano, 22 March 2018 – IBSA Foundation will award, for the fifth consecutive year, the scholarships (IBSA FOUNDATION FELLOWSHIPS) to 5 researchers who have distinguished themselves with high profile projects in the areas of Dermatology, Endocrinology, Fertility/Infertility, Orthopaedics/Rheumatology and Pain Medicine. The award ceremony, which will take place on Thursday 22 March, will be attended by Arturo Licenziati, President and CEO of IBSA, Silvia Misiti, IBSA Foundation for scientific research Director, and the Foundation’s scientific board. The guest of honour will be Piergiorgio Odifreddi, mathematician and essayist who has always been committed to the promotion of a correct and fruitful scientific divulgation. The five awarded researchers, coming from as many centres of excellence in European scientific medical research, will each receive a cheque worth 25,000 Swiss Francs, to support their studies and give them the possibility to self-finance themselves during a new work experience by changing research centre. “The aim of our fellowships, which we like to call ‘mobility fellowships’, is precisely to allow talented young people to continue their research and, when they have the opportunity, to move to a new environment, choosing new research centres around the world” – said Silvia Misiti, Director IBSA Foundation for scientific research. “This is because we are convinced that contamination, confrontation and exchange are fundamental elements to cross the frontiers of knowledge, generating new ideas that can be translated tomorrow into drugs and therapies for those who suffer. “The scholarships have been awarded to projects in the following therapeutic areas:1) Dermatology: “Transcriptional regulation of senescence induced by oncogenes during tumor progression “Daniela Gnani of the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for gene therapy at IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. melanoma is a very aggressive tumor that affects the skin and develops from the malignant transformation of cells called melanocytes. Over the years, new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of melanoma have been developed, but none is definitely effective and in many cases the tumor reappears after the development of a resistance mechanism. It is therefore necessary to find new therapeutic targets by studying the mechanisms that lead to the development of the tumor itself. These include senescence induced by the oncogene (OIS), a protective anti-tumorigenic process, which develops within the cell following the activation of oncogenes by blocking the growth of the tumor. An example of this mechanism working well is the formation of benign nevi. However, this mechanism does not always work properly and senescent cells can change and become tumor cells. Therefore, our research will study the process of malignant transformation from benign nevi to melanoma through the integration of basic research with cutting-edge genomic technologies. Understanding how the pre-tumor cell escapes control will provide new treatment options for melanoma and possibly other forms of cancer.
2) Endocrinology: “Quality of life and DIO2/MCT10 polymorphisms as specific tools to identify thyroidectomized patients who may benefit from combination therapy (T4 + T3)”.
Fabio Maino of the Department of Neurological, Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Siena. The elective treatment for hypothyroid patients is the oral administration of Levo-Thyroxine (L-T4). The rationale for the use of T4 is supported by the fact that the normal activity of the enzyme desiodase enzymes can ensure proper homeostasis of thyroid hormones. However, the paradigm for which the exogenous administration of L-T4 can adequately compensate for hypothyroidism by providing sufficient levels of T3 at serum and tissue level is still a topic of discussion. In some thyroidectomized patients receiving L-T4, typical symptoms of hypothyroidism persist despite normal TSH levels. In fact, if the health status of patients treated with monotherapy is completely satisfactory and resolves the symptoms of hypothyroidism, some patients do not feel that they have returned to an optimal health condition and notice a decreasing quality of life (QoL). This study focuses on this group of patients, to see if a combined treatment of T3 and T4.3) Fertility/Infertility: “Promotion of ovarian follicle growth (mediated by MST1/MST2 inhibition): synergistic effect of IVF stimulators in the activation of dormant ovarian follicles”.
Mauro Cozzolino who will work at the Division of Reproductive Biology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University School of Medicine, California, U.S.A. The remaining “sleeping” follicles from the ovarian reserve can be recovered to produce fertilizing oocytes. Inhibition of MST1/MST2 kinase activity through specific inhibitors, and thus the Hippo signaling pathway, may reduce the activation of pre-apoptotic mechanisms. Some studies have in fact indicated the stimulating role of Akt in the development of primordial and secondary follicles. After being treated with ovaries of mice with MST1/MST2 inhibitors and inhibited through the Hippo pathway, the ovary fragments will be incubated with Akt stimulant drugs, usually used in the IVA protocol (in vitro activation). The ovaries thus “coupled” (intact and treated) by the same donor will be placed under the kidney capsule of the same adult hosts from whom the ovaries have been removed. This study therefore promotes the growth of residual follicles in autografts, with the expectation of a secondary increase of follicles in the treated group compared to the control group. We also report the recovery of oocytes and embryo transfer IVF.4) Pain medicine: “Chitosan-based gelling agent for multiphase intraoral release of ibuprofen to relieve post-operative pain associated with wisdom tooth extraction”.
Ruth Egbe of the School of Pharmacy, University of Birmingham, UK. This research focuses on developing effective pain relief after wisdom tooth surgery. Recovery following wisdom tooth removal can take up to 14 days and, during this time, patients may experience pain, irritation and swelling. This research aims to provide a long period of pain relief to relieve the post-operative period through sustained administration of low-dose fans directly from the surgical wound. It is hypothesized that this effect could be achieved by in situ gel formulation. In this research project, formulations based on chitosan (natural polysaccharide to promote gel formation) and ibuprofen will be produced and optimized to ensure effective multi-stage release of ibuprofen, providing pain relief from dental procedures.
5) Orthopaedic/Rheumatology: “The secretoma (cocktail of factors released into the culture medium) of mesenchymal stem cells for chronic tendinopathy in a patient-specific perspective”.
Carlotta Perucca Orfei will work at the Department of Orthopedics (Division of Sports Medicine) and Diabetes Research Institute & Cell Transplant Center, University of Miami, USA. This project aims to study the potential of therapies for the treatment of chronic tendinopathies based on the use of mesenchymal stem cell secretome, through the development of a network between the Laboratory of Biotechnology applied to Orthopaedics and the RE Center. GA.IN Centre within the IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi and the Department of Orthopaedics of the University of Miami (Miller School of Medicine – UHealth), in view of the common interests of the two institutions in the treatment of tendon pathologies. The overall evidence that will be obtained from this study will allow to obtain a better knowledge and greater awareness of chronic tendinopathy, laying the foundations for the development of a new strategy to treat tendinopathy in a more effective, less invasive and more specific way according to the specific needs of each patient. Every year the researchers participating in the initiative are always numerous, testifying to the great need for funding in the world of scientific research. Soon, IBSA Foundation will launch the new call for proposals for 2018/2019, as always open to all young researchers of all nationalities.