FUNDERS: Patient Associations for Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (Cure AHC – USA www.cureahc.org, AHC Association of Iceland - Iceland www.ahc.is, AHCUK – Great Britain www.ahcuk.co.uk, AHC Vereniging Nederland, Holland www.ahckids.nl); IEMEST, Italy. Further co-funders would be desirable to ensure the sustainability of the Service (hosting, maintenance and development of new features) in the medium and long term.
AIMS: Implement an International Platform for the data collection and sharing for the collaborative studies of the Clinical and Basic Research Centers belonging to the International Consortium IAHCRC www.iahcrc.net, involved in research and treatment of the rare neurological diseases caused by mutations in the ATP1A3 gene (Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood – AHC; Rapid Onset Dystonia and Parkinsonism – RDP; CAPOS Syndrome).
The data collected in the Platform will be managed in full compliance with the rules defined in the Charter of the Consortium, based on international ethical standards and national and international regulations on privacy and security. Thanks to the implemented workflow, based on principles and methods of platform cooperativism and patient engagement, the data can thus be collected in the Platform and shared in an ethical and informed way by all actors involved in the biomedical research process (doctors, patients and researchers, scientific and academic institutions).
In particular, the data can be re-used safely and effectively for an indefinite number of studies and projects carried out by the Centers of the IAHCRC Consortium, in collaboration with patient associations and other external, public and private bodies, both internationally and nationally. They can also be made accessible for larger-scale projects, always based on data sharing policies jointly-agreed by the Assembly of the IAHCRC member Centers and the patient representatives of the AHCIA International Alliance.
EXPECTED RESULTS: In the short term, the Platform will serve the data collection for the OBSERV-AHC Study (Prospective Observational Natural History and Therapy Study on AHC), which will be launched in the first trimester 2018 and will last for three years, with the Scientific Coordination of the Neurology Clinic at the Duke University (Durham, NC USA). Moreover, a video library is currently being implemented, jointly accessible by patients, their reference clinicians, and a group of international experts as reviewers, to classify the paroxysmal episodes characteristic of the ATP1A3 diseases and the other movement disorders associated. This video library will be used in particular in the first phase of the OBSERV-AHC Study. Along with the data already produced by previous IAHCRC studies, which will soon be imported into the Platform, with the data produced by the OBSERV-AHC Study and those produced by other IAHCRC studies that will be launched in parallel, a database will be created in the medium and long-term, usable for larger-scale studies on the ATP1A3 diseases: natural history, clinical trials for new candidate compounds, quality of life …..
This database may also be used to develop Guidelines for the Assistance to the Patients, and for other purposes of dissemination and professional and academic training.
PARTNERS: Basic Research and Clinical Centers member of the IAHCRC International Consortium; Patient Associations of the International Alliance AHCIA.
ACTIVITIES AT IEMEST: The IEMEST coordinates the whole project and develops the software application, using the development tool “RedCap© Electronic Data Capture Tool”. The Institute will also provide the hosting and maintenance of the Platform for the next ten years, and will be in charge of the data management, upon appointment of Assembly of the IAHCRC member Centers.
Research project "Experimentation of nanostructured treatments with anti-dust properties"
commissioned by the company DETECO LTD Porcia (PN), , Region Friuli Venezia Giulia LR 3/2015 art. 32, paragraph 1- Contributions in favor of firms belonging to the home appliance sector and its supply chain for industrial research, experimental development and innovation.
Research project "Experimentation of innovative nanomaterials for the sanitization of metal surfaces"
commissioned by the company ECODUE LTD Porcia (PN), Region Friuli Venezia Giulia LR 3/2015 art. 32, paragraph 1- Contributions in favor of firms belonging to the home appliance sector and its supply chain for industrial research, experimental development and innovation.
Research project "Testing of innovative nanostructured coating to increase the duration of molds for thermoplastics"
commissioned by the company DELLEVEDOVE ADELCHI S.N.C. Brugnera (PN), with the collaboration of the Department of Physics, University of Modena, Decr. N. 3521 dd. October 19, 2015, the Region Friuli Venezia Giulia LR 3/2015- Contributions in favor of firms belonging to the home appliance sector and its supply chain for industrial research, experimental development and innovation.
Research project "Testing of innovative conservation treatments based on nanotechnology for the protection of natural stones".
Project funded in collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Dep. "Research Laboratory for Diagnosis of Cultural Heritage" at the University of Bari.
Families Live European Week of Sport (FeEL EWoS)
FUNDER: European Commission, Erasmus+ programme, Action SPORT: Not-for-profit European sport events
AIMS: The main object of the project is the organization of a not-for-profit European sport contest for children (aged 6-14), conducted simultaneously in 6 EU countries (Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Iceland, Croatia, and Spain) during the European Week of Sport (EWoS), 19th-25th September 2016. During the project, 12,000 children will attend seminars related to themes promoted by the EWoS (social inclusion, equal opportunities, health-enhancing physical activity, increase participation in sport, and equal access to sport), and they will perform many different sport activities. During the weekend a “Family sport & recreation festival” will be organized to involve the family members (around 24,000). Moreover, the involvement of a total of 180 volunteers, Ambassadors of Sport, will make it possible to hold the planned activities and will make the concept that exercise is fundamental for a good quality of life more widespread.
EXPECTED RESULTS: The results obtainable from the project will bring a considerable contribution to promote voluntary activities in sport, together with social inclusion, equal opportunities and awareness of the importance of health-enhancing physical activity through increased participation.
PARTNERS: Universities: eCampus University (IT); University of Split (HR).
NGOs: International Sports Studies Association (TR); Krefjandi (IS).
Sport clubs/associations: Club Sport Asociation Servitenis (ES); University Basket Club Albacete´S Campus (ES); Albacete Basketball Schools (ES); Club Athletics Albacete (ES); Swimming club FORCA for persons with disabilities (HR); Athletic club Srce for persons with disabilities (HR); Table tennis club for persons with disabilities "RIJEKA" (HR); Gazi University Foundation Private Schools Association of Youth and Sports Club (TR); Associação de Futebol Amador de Lousada (PT); CRACS - Coletividade Recreativa de Ação Cultural de Sousela sport club (PT); IR Reykjavik Sport Club (IS); ASD Sporting club (IT).
Schools: CEIP San Fulgencio (ES); IES Amparo Sanz (ES); Diocesano School of Albacete (ES); Javier Villalba Garcia School (ES); Public School Of Primary And Infant Of Albacete (ES); Elementary school Srdoči (HR); Elementary school Gornja Vežica (HR); Elementary school Sveti Matej (HR); Feride Bekçioglu Secondary School (TR); Gazi University Foundation Private Secondary School (TR); Agrupamento de Escolas de Dr. Mário Fonseca (PT); Elementary school of Seltjarnarnes (IS); Elementary school of Garðabær (IS).
Public organizations: Municipality of Albacete (ES); Governorship of Ankara (TR); Municipality of Lousada (PT).
Sport federations: Rijeka Sports Association For Persons With Disabilities (HR); Turkish Athletics Federation (TR).
ACTIVITIES AT IEMEST: Head of project. the IEMEST will coordinate the activities in the 6 different countries. Moreover, it will train the Ambassadors of Sport during the international workshop in Palermo.
FUNDER: POR FESR Sicilia 2007-13, Linea di intervento 18.104.22.168.
AIMS: The aim of this project is to plan and set up hydroelectric power plant prototypes based on the recovery of dissipated energy, thus aiding the diffusion of establishments capable of transforming energy from renewable sources into electricity to meet regional energy needs through the optimization of the exploitation of existing alternative energy sources.
EXPECTED RESULTS: Currently a limited number of mini-hydroelectric plants are installed in abstractors for irrigation or drinking , where the excess energy is converted into electricity by the use of hydraulic turbines coupled to electric generators. An alternative to the process of energy dissipation is represented by the transformation of surplus energy into electricity through turbines. HYDROENERGY will be addressed with the realization of an integrated system, which allows the modulation of the pressure in the network through the use of hydraulic turbines, with yields significant in the transformation, by mechanical energy to electrical energy. The results obtainable from the project will bring a considerable contribution to a new model of production of electrical energy. It provides a scheme technologically innovative smart grid to be applied at the local level, able to accommodate and redistribute energy flows coming from hydroelectric production units powered by renewable energy sources. The project partners HYDROENERGY are engaged in designing and construction of hydroelectric prototype based on the recovery of the energy dissipated by the sources of existing production. on the recovery of the energy dissipated by the sources of existing production.
PARTNERS: Onda Energia s.r.l., Italy; Siritec s.r.l., Italy; Proxima s.r.l., Italy; Università di Palermo, Italy.
ACTIVITIES AT IEMEST: As part of the project, the IEMEST has been entrusted with the identification of environmental and infrastructural parameters relevant to the conceptual planning phase, as well as with setting up a Geographic Information System associated with the project.
FUNDER: PON «Ricerca e Competitività» 2007-2013, Linea di intervento 22.214.171.124., E.U.
AIMS: The aim of this project is to build a new biotechnological platform, located in the regions of Campania and Sicily, and devoted to neurocybernetics, aimed at designing novel systems that will allow the development of implantable devices and neuroprosthesis for the study of various neurodegenerative diseases.
EXPECTED RESULTS: A structural expansion project is creating an infrastructure of excellence in the South of Italy with the aim also to create new markets that are still unexplored. The infrastructure will develop implantable devices and neuroprosthesis that can capture and transmit neural signals to the study of various neurodegenerative diseases. These activities will be closely related to the study of brain implants with strong scale of miniaturization. Wireless signals will be used for the invasive monitoring of patients with brain pathologies. The structural expansion project is related to a training project which aims at creating qualified personnel specialized in cross-cutting areas of the Polo.
PARTNERS: Fondazione NEUROMED, Italy; Fondazione NEURONE, Italy.
ACTIVITIES AT IEMEST: The IEMEST is establishing a Laboratory of neuroanatomy devoted to test electrocorticographic implantable devices in vivo and to study the effects of these implants, in particular using in vitro and in vivo and post-mortem techniques, as well as in neuronal cultures (including 3D cultures), and the biocompatibility and bioabsorbability of the materials used. The Laboratory of Neuroanatomy will be fitted with advanced research equipments.
PERIMA (Produzione Eolica con Ridotto Impatto Ambientale)
FUNDER: Linea di intervento 126.96.36.199 del POR FESR Sicilia 2007-2013, E.U.
AIMS: Design and implementation of Eolic plants, which can be raised and lowered easily and with considerable frequency as supporting elements of mini wind turbines, in order to reduce the environmental impact in the area with a tourist destination.
EXPECTED RESULTS: Locating a system of sliding between the lifting elements that ensures the due stiffness of the system during lifting and maximum elevation. Identification and testing of a lifting system that ensures repeatability and reliability in lifting operations.
PARTNERS: Università di Palermo, Italy; Elettrocostruzioni s.r.l., Italy; ONDA s.r.l., Italy; IMAM Ambiente s.r.l., Italy; SIRITEC s.r.l., Italy;
ACTIVITIES AT IEMEST: Analysis of the measured parameters during operation of the prototype, monitoring of industrial testing and research of the optimal changes to be applied to the prototype during the phases of implementation and testing. Basic research on wind in Sicily. Studies and elaborations aimed at fundamental research on the dynamics of the winds in Sicily, with particular reference to their distribution over time, even in the night periods and their variability on the time scale necessary to operate short height variations of the pole. Fundamental research on the problems relating to the lifting of heavy loads, the bending stress of the structural elements joined, to the drilling of foundation with high thixotropy, to the structural stresses and noise produced by two-bladed propeller and a three-bladed and more in general the proper functioning of the prototype.
3D-CUBRO-SPACE (Three-Dimensional CUlture of BROnchial mucosa in microgravity: a new model to study respiratory cell differentiation and stress during SPACE-flight)
FUNDER: European Space Agency (ESA) and National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA).
AIMS: This project, submitted to the “International Space Life Sciences Research Announcement 2014” (ILSRA-2014) call by ESA, will involve a preliminary on-ground phase carried out by the American partners, during which the samples will be prepared and adapted to the equipment on board the International Space Station (ISS), followed by the experiments in space, after which the samples will be analyzed by the four European research groups to study various cellular and molecular characteristics. The research activities will begin in 2016, and are expected to conclude in 2020.
EXPECTED RESULTS: The project aims to provide a significant and valuable contribution to our knowledge on the effects of the absence of gravity on the respiratory system, and the results will benefit future manned space missions, including those planned for Mars; moreover, the innovative cell culture model can be applied in future studies on the effects of gravity in other anatomical regions.
PARTNERS: the University of Southampton (UK), the Leiden University Medical Centre (The Netherlands), the University of Palermo (Italy), the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston (TX, USA), the Wyle Laboratories (FL, USA), and the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA).
ACTIVITIES AT IEMEST: Studying samples once they are sent back to Earth: morphological analyses and experiments on the levels, expression and cellular and subcellular localization of stress proteins.
DIREF (Citrus tristeza virus and Huanglongbing: Development of techniques for Integrated pest management, Resourceful, Easy to use and Fast)
FUNDER: Ministry of Agriculture Food and Forestry, Italy.
AIMS: The aim of the project is to develop innovative diagnostic techniques against the two most dangerous pathogens of citrus , Citrus tristeza virus - CTV and Huanglongbing - HLB. It is very important that the method can be used directly in the nursery or in the field. CTV appears to be present in the Italian regions such as Sicily, Calabria and Apulia since 2002 , while HLB does not appear to be present either in Italy or in Europe. Some experiments will be carried out at the Universitad Politecnica de Valencia because this structure has a laboratory for quarantine plant pathogens . The project will last two years , the operating units involved will work together to develop diagnostic techniques and test them directly in the nursery. Some repellent products will be tested for insect vectors of CTV and HLB .Screenhouse with different types of nets, will be test to identify the best microclimate for citrus trees.
EXPECTED RESULTS: Development of a rapid and sensitive diagnostic technique. We will try to get the result of the analysis within 4 hours with a sensitivity of at least 1000 times higher than a standard DAS-ELISA test. We will try to develop a protocol for more suitable integrated pest control. we will study the biological factor involved in citrus when this plants will be grown under greenhouse.
PARTNERS: Università degli Studi di Catania, Italy; Molecular Dynamics srl, Italy; Vivai Chiarello Fabio, Italy.
ACTIVITIES AT IEMEST: Head of project; The IEMEST will develop the method of diagnosis that will be based on flow-through-hybridization with high thermal differential. We will try to synthesize a poly-probe containing six sections of cDNA that will contain 3 sections of p20 gene of CTV of 3 different biotypes with particular attention to isolated T385 , T36 and SY568 and 3 parts of a gene allotted in HLB that will contain significant differences between the three biotypes related to Candidatus Liberibacter africanus , Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus and Candidatus Liberibacter americanus.
CEGEF (Construction of Electricity Generation Energy Facilities)
FUNDER: Serbian Ministry of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection, Serbia
AIMS: Following the public tender notice published by the Serbian Ministry of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection, IEMEST, was awarded for the final design, research, and construction of five hydroelectric plants (4 Mega Watt) in Serbia, in the towns of Tutin and Ivanjica.
EXPECTED RESULTS: Study of innovative solutions for hydro energy production applying electromechanical equipments, with high efficiency. The hydropower plants have the followings characteristics:
PARTNERS: ONDA Energia s.r.l., Italy; Studio Galli Ingegneria s.p.a., Italy.
ACTIVITIES AT IEMEST: Research and Innovation
NHAM (Novel Heterocyclic Antibacterial Molecules)
FUNDERS: IEMEST; Università di Milano Bicocca.
AIMS: The aim of the project is to commercialize novel compounds synthesized by IEMEST researchers with demonstrated "in vitro" antibacterial activity against recently isolated antibiotic susceptible and resistant Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
EXPECTED RESULTS: Commercialization of: i) a series of linezolid analogues with a specific binding affinity towards the 23S ribosomal region; ii) a series of fluoroquinolones analogues able to inhibit DNA-gyrases and Topoisomerase IV. Moreover, it is expected that, as a positive consequence of molecular design, the new compounds had at least a comparable, if not superior, activity than antibiotics currently in clinical use. The results will offer an alternative solution for the problem of multi-drug-resistance of Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens.
PARTNERS: Università di Palermo, Italy; Università di Milano Bicocca, Italy.
ACTIVITIES AT IEMEST: IEMEST contributed in partnership with the University of Milano Bicocca to the intellectual property rights protection of new molecules active against multi-drug resistant bacteria, also financing the registration of two patents currently under evaluation of the Italian and American patent committees. IEMEST is currently working of the commercialization of the patent.
ELIDI (Epigenetics of Liver Diseases)
FUNDERS: Ministero della Salute; Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro; IEMEST
AIMS: The aim of the project is to develop innovative diagnostic epigenetic markers and murine models of liver diseases. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Prevention and risk reduction are important and the identification of specific biomarkers for early diagnosis of HCC represents an active field of research. Increasing evidence indicates that fat accumulation in the liver, defined as hepatosteatosis, is an independent and strong risk factor for developing an HCC. MacroH2A1, a histone protein generally associated with the repressed regions of chromosomes, is involved in hepatic lipid metabolism and is present in two alternative spliced isoforms, macroH2A1.1 and macroH2A1.2. These isoforms have been shown to predict lung and colon cancer recurrence but to our knowledge, their role in fatty-liver associated HCC has not been investigated previously. In this project, we will use immortalized cells, primary hepatocytes, human biopsies and mice models, with genetic, genomic, biochemical and morphological approaches to address this issue.
EXPECTED RESULTS: Development of murine models to study the progression from hepatic steatosis, a simple and harmless accumulation of fat, to inflammatory steatohepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Development of a diagnostic and prognostic histological marker for the above mentioned diseases in patients.
PARTNERS: University College London (UCL), London, UK; IRCCS “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza", San Giovanni Rotondo (FG), Italy.
ACTIVITIES AT IEMEST: IEMEST, through its multiple and deep connections with the local infrastructures, University and Hospitals, will provide human samples for the study, as well as, will set up appropriate immunomorphological techniques to determine the hepatic damage.
SIAHE (Silybin as Hepatoprotectant)
FUNDER: Istituto Biochimico Italiano “Lorenzini"
AIMS: The project aims to evaluate the molecular mechanisms underlying the hepatoprotective effects of silybin. In particular we will assess the effectiveness of such a substance in an in vitro model of hepatic steatosis . For this purpose we will use a continuous cell line culture of hepatocytes ( HepG2 ). The cells will be treated with different concentrations of oleic and palmitic acids ( 0.5-2.5 mM ) in the presence and absence of silybin. The cells will be harvested at different time intervals to assess the effect of silybin on the inflammatory response and oxidative stress . In a second set of experiments we will use the medium obtained from the previous experiment to cultivate hepatic stellate cells , whose activation by hepatocytes is responsible for the evolution of liver steatosis in fibrosis and subsequently cirrhosis. The experiments will be carried out in part at the Laboratory of Advanced Biology , Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Catania, where there exist all the tools to carry out the experimental protocols.
EXPECTED RESULTS: Identification of the molecular mechanisms of fat storage inside of the hepatocytes and the molecular mechanisms through which the silybin reduces the storage of fat. In addition, our experiments will allow to identify the main mechanisms of cross-talk between hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells and as silybin is involved in the process.
PARTNERS: Istituto Biochimico Italiano “Lorenzini”, Italy; Università degli Studi di Catania, Italy.
ACTIVITIES AT IEMEST: Leader and coordinator of the project. The IEMEST will develop treatment protocols to evaluate the in vitro pharmacological and toxicological profile of silybin. The IEMEST will be also involved in the protocols dedicated to imaging, the design of probes for the evaluation of' inflammation and oxidative stress and statistical analysis of all the results obtained.
RECORDS (Rethinking Cord-based Solutions)
FUNDERS: IEMEST, Italy; Auxocell Laboratories Inc., USA; Stemcell Newtech Scientific, Cyprus.
AIMS: Umbilical cord is an extraembryonic organ essential for fetal life. Its potential uses after birth are studied worldwide for applications in regenerative medicine. Use and banking of hematopoietic precursors derived from umbilical cord blood are an established reality supported by public and family (private) banks. The use of other cells which reside into the organ matrix, which have features of mesenchymal stem cells, may open new paths in cell therapy for numerous non-hematologic diseases Cord cells (which are free from ethical concerns) may be easily obtained after partum, ex-vivo cultured, may be easily differentiated in mature cells belonging to several tissues and organs (as liver, pancreas, lung, bone, cartilage), feature further characteristics, as the low immunogenicity, which may favour their transplantation. In addition, few family banks just offer the possibility to store without manipulations these cells, parallel to cord blood ones, for future autologous uses. The aim of the project is to increase the possibilities of these cells, by studying both isolation and storage protocols which may be compatible with further clinical use of these cells. Moreover we will study new differentiation protocols to use these cells for diseases such as liver fibrosis, diabetes, osteoarticular diseases. In particular, we are working with cells derived from umbilical cords at different gestational ages (also preterm) to set up culturing and differentiation protocols in accordance to GMP procedures. Another aim is the characterization of differentiated cells by using advanced in vivo models. The great potentials of perinatal stem cells need advanced studies to be fully explored, and to rethink the new uses of umbilical cord, which continues sustaining life, even after birth.
EXPECTED RESULTS: Development of innovative in vitro and in vivo model sto study differentiation and cell therapy applications of cord cells. Study of the immunological features of these cells to limit the use of immunosuppressive therapies post-transplantation.
PARTNERS: ISMETT-UPMC and RIMED, Italy; UTMB, Galveston (TX), USA.
ACTIVITIES AT IEMEST: IEMEST acted first providing a working link between public and private partners, both national and international ones, which in the different phases contribute to achieve project’s goals. In addition, it will offer access to advanced laboratories to perform complex analytical techniques which are needed to a correct a phenotypical evaluation of differentiated cells to meet the safety needs of cell therapy approaches.
CRiT2DiP (Novel Markers of Cardiovascular Risk in Type II Diabetes Patients)
FUNDERS: NovoNordisk s.p.a., Italy; IEMEST, Italy.
AIMS: The aim of the project is to identify novel markers of cardiovascular risk, particularly in patients with diabetes type-2. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in our country, and therefore early recognition of high-risk individuals may be able to implement appropriate time for the necessary measures to reduce the risk of future events. In fact, cardiovascular events are nothing more than the expression of a process (the atherosclerotic disease) that lasts for years, even decades , and most of the time in an absolutely silent It is therefore of great importance to identify individuals at high cardiovascular risk, in order to anticipate and improve therapeutic intervention for proper prevention. These health issues are particularly important in patients with diabetes type-2. This project evaluates novel and emerging markers of cardiovascular risk for patients with diabetes type-2, for a better management of their disease and to implement better prevention of future complications.
EXPECTED RESULTS: Identification of novel markers of cardiovascular risk, which may contribute to the prevention and clinical management of patients at high cardiovascular risk, such as those with type-2 diabetes.
PARTNERS: University of South Carolina, USA; University College of London, U.K.
ACTIVITIES AT IEMEST: The IEMEST, through its multiple and deep connections with the local infrastructures, Universities and Hospitals, will provide human samples for the study, as well as, will set up appropriate biochemical procedures.