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Il Neapolitan Brain Group fa un importante passo avanti e diventa un'Associazione!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Online seminar - from flies to mice: discovery and validation of potential new drugs for SMA

Thursday, 28th January 2021 

From flies to mice: discovery and validation of potential new drugs for SMA

Piotr Konieczny, PhD  

Il seminario si terrà in forma di webinar : 

Contact: Dr Elia Di Schiavi 
e-mail: elia.dischiavi@ibbr.cnr.it


My  name is  Piotr  Konieczny and I am a  post-doctoral  fellow in laboratory  of Translational  Genomics at the University of Valencia, Spain. Originally from a small town in Poland, I am  driven and passionate scientist with 12 years of laboratory experience in different  fields. I  received my bachelor’s degree in plant genetics at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań,  Poland. Afterwards, I earned my Master Science at University of Jaén in Spain, in the field of  human immunogenetics. Then I moved to the University of Valencia where I work in the field  of  rare  genetic  diseases. obtained  my  doctoral  degree  in  2018  in  Biotechnology  and  Biomedicine at the University of Valencia under supervision of Prof. Rubén Artero, with whom  I continue my work. During my phD I worked in a multidisciplinary team searching for drugs  for Myotonic Dystrophy type 1 and I also searched for epigenetic differences related to this  disease. However, my main work was  focused  on  developing a Drosophila-based  reporter  system for genetic and chemical screening in the field of spinal muscular atrophy.  

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Webinar: Evolution of Brain cortex in mammals

Anche quest'anno l'associazione Neapolitan Brain Group vi propone il consueto appuntamento di Dicembre con una giornata di talk sul tema delle neuroscienze. Visto il momento, sarà nella forma di webinars, augurandoci che il prossimo meeting NBG, previsto per maggio, possa essere in presenza.

Il comitato scientifico dell' NBG ha organizzato un pomeriggio di seminari per il 9 dicembre dalle 15:00, sul tema "Evolution of Brain cortex in mammals".

I seminari saranno tenuti da 3 ricercatori, Nereo Kalebic (Human Technopole Milano, Italia), Daniel Del Toro (Università' di Barcellona, Spagna) e Christina Kyrousi (Max Planck Institute, Munich, Germany), che ci parleranno delle evoluzione della corteccia celebrale e della sua girificazione dal punto di vista evolutivo, cellulare ed infine patologico-molecolare.

I 3 webinars saranno trasmessi sulla piattaforma Microsoft Teams (Code 6fzfegq) e sul canale youtube dell'Università di Napoli (Unina) dove rimarranno visibili anche dopo che l'evento sarà terminato:


Invitiamo tutti a registrarsi inviando una mail a spaladin@unina.it per essere iscritti al Teams dell'evento e poter intervenire personalmente o via chat sulla piattaforma. Per Youtube invece non e' richiesta registrazione.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Un lavoro di Tesi per conoscere il mondo

Hello everyone, 

My name is Francesco Di Matteo, I am 27 years old and I am from Naples, Italy. I studied Biology at the University of Naples “Federico II” where I took my bachelor and Master degrees with an internship, during my master, at the Institute of Genetic and Biophysic (IGB-CNR), Naples, in the group of Dr. Gabriella Minchiotti. There, I worked on a project focused on the role of an ultra-conserved elements (UCE) containing a long-non coding RNA, named uc.170, in the balance between self-renewal and commitment of mouse embryonic stem cells. After my graduation I was not sure about my future, I did not know if I wanted to start a PhD or to apply for positions in companies because of the very precarious economic situation there was, and there is in Italy. So, before making any choice, I decided to try an experience abroad to test my own attitude and my will in pursuing into the scientific research field. I did an Erasmus internship, under the supervision of Prof. Rossella Di Giaimo (Department of Biology, University of Naples), at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, joining the group of Dr. Silvia Cappello. I investigated the role of Cystatin B, a protein involved in a rare neurogenic disease, progressive myoclonic epilepsy type 1 (EPM1). Specifically I participated at the study on the function of cystatin b at the early stages of cerebral development by using patients-derived cerebral organoids as a model system. 

I still remember how I felt just before I left Napoli to start my experience in Munich, a mixture of fear and euphoria! I was afraid because I knew that I had to interact with people in English, but my knowledge of the language was really basic, so I took private English lessons in order to improve it. It was still not enough, but a good start! At the same time I was excited and happy because I had never had a working experience abroad. In the first days I was very silent, I was afraid of making a mistake in speaking, but then I started interacting with roommates and colleagues and my level of English increased a lot! I remember when I had to make my first journal club in English! How much stress! And how difficult it was to understand the details of every questions, but everybody was friendly and supportive and I managed to overcome my first trial! But the most important thing for me was that this experience helped me to realize that I really like doing research studies and especially the investigation of neurodevelopmental diseases by using human cerebral organoids as a model system. Could you imagine to recapitulate some of the human brain developmental features with a 3D cell culture in a dish? For me it was fantastic! 

Then, I started to apply for PhD positions both in Italy and abroad and I was accepted at the International Max Planck Research School for Translational Psychiatry (IMPRS-TP) where I started my PhD in the group of Silvia Cappello. I had the possibility to complete the project I started during the internship under the supervision of Silvia Cappello and Rossella Di Giaimo, and with my great pleasure we published the paper on cystatin B in 2020 on the EMBO molecular medicine journal. It was my first manuscript as first author, it was a unique emotion! I reached my first goal after many many efforts! We also got the journal cover with one of the image of organoids-derived neurons I personally took during my Erasmus. In that moment I forgot all the times the experiments did not work, the evenings spent doing analyses, the entire days correcting all the figures, the fight against the deadlines. 

Currently, I have just started the 2nd year of my PhD and I am still as enthusiastic as the first day and I hope it can always be like that, because I think that enthusiasm is the only thing that can break down the frustration of negative periods and allows you to never give up and to reach great results! 

In the end, I learned that whenever I’m facing a new step in my life and especially in my job as scientist, I have to follow these basic rules: 
- Take my time to decide 
- Do not choose something I do not really like, just because I’m scared about my future 
- Great results can be achieved with perseverance, constancy and passion!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Online meeting: Molecular Biology at the times of SARS-CoV-2 epidemics: the key contributions of Molecular Biology to the understanding and therapy of Covid-19

ABCD 2019 :: Welcome


14:00-14:20 Introduction Valeria Poli – University of Turin
Testing, Tracing, Treating: the unique contributions of Molecular Biology not only to the development of SARS-CoV-2 therapies, but also to diagnosis

14:20-14:50 Sachdev Sidhu - University of Toronto
COVID-19 Biologic Therapeutic Development in Real Time

14:50-15:20 Pier Paolo Pandolfi - University of Turin
Targeted therapies for Covid-19 and other RNA viruses

15:20-15:50 Giuseppe Novelli - Tor Vergata University of Rome
COVID-19: Genetics, is it the answer?

15:50-16:20 Coffee break

16:20-16:50 Federica Facciotti - European Institute of Oncology, Milan
Serological tests for SARS-Cov2 Antibodies detection: the IEO experience

16:50-17:05 Barbara Illi - National Research Council, Rome SIBBM-Zanichelli
Covid-19 web resource presenting molecular, genomic, epidemiological and social sciences approaches towards the understanding and solution of the epidemics.

17:10-17:40 Graziano Pesole - National Research Council, Bari and University of Bari
Comparative and evolutionary genomics of SARS-Cov-2

17:40-18:10 Luigi Aurisicchio - Takis S.r.l., Rome
Generation of recombinant viral vectors for vaccine and gene therapy applications

18:10-18:30 Conclusions

the zoom link at https://www.sibbm.org



Sachdev Sidhu 
The Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto
160 College Street, Room 816 Toronto, Ontario Canada M5S 3E1 

Pier Paolo Pandolfi 
Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences Molecular Biotechnology Center, University of Turin 
Via Nizza 52, 10126 - Turin, Italy 

Giuseppe Novelli 
Laboratory of Medical Genetics Tor Vergata University of Rome 
V.le Oxford 81, 00133 - Rome, Italy 

Federica Facciotti 
Mucosal Immunology European Institute of Oncology 
Via Adamello 16, 20139 - Milan, Italy 

Barbara Illi 
Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology National Research Council 
Department of Biology and Biotecnology "Charles Darwin", Sapienza University of Rome 

Graziano Pesole 
Institute of Biomembranes, Bioenergetics and Molecular Biotechnologies National Research Council
Bari, Italy 
Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari "A. Moro", 
via Amendola 165/A, 70125 - Bari, Italy 

Luigi Aurisicchio 
Chief Executive and Scientific Officer, Takis S.r.l. 
Via Castel Romano, 100, 00128 - Rome, Italy 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Seminario online: il lato oscuro della psiche al tempo del COVID19


di Andrea de Bartolomeis, 

Sezione di Psichiatria, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Scienze Riproduttive e Odontostomatologiche, Università Federico II di Napoli.

Update: la registrazione del seminario è visionabile seguendo il link: https://youtu.be/6NsI0FZoFJo

Presentazione e indirizzo di saluto: Luigi Califano,
Presidente Scuola Medicina e Chirurgia. Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II

Introduzione al seminario: Ennio del Giudice,
Presidente Neapolitan Brain Group

Moderatore e discussant: Carmela Bravaccio,
Responsabile dell’UOSD di Neuropsichiatria infantile
Policlinico universitario Federico II

Abstract (ITA)

1. Multiple evidenze di tipo epidemiologico e clinico indicano la possibilità di un impatto significativo diretto e indiretto della pandemia di Covid 19 e delle sue conseguenze di carattere sociale sul benessere psichico della popolazione generale, sulla salute mentale dei soggetti più vulnerabili e sulla espressività di manifestazioni comportamentali di adattamento degli individui esposti contagiati e non.
2. L’isolamento sociale, la deafferentazione relazionale, l’interazione inclusiva forzata, la sospensione in molti casi dalle occupazioni lavorative e la riduzione spesso drastica delle usuali attività quotidiane hanno rappresentato possibili condizioni destrutturanti specialmente per gli individui più fragili e con minori risorse di adattamento
3. Tra gli effetti della pandemia di Covid19 sulla salute mentale vanno considerati le possibili ricadute sui pazienti con severe patologie psichiatriche (ad esempio schizofrenia, disturbo bipolare, depressione maggiore). L’esacerbazione della sintomatologia psichica, la minore capacità di adattarsi a eventi stressanti di vita e significativi cambiamenti nelle modalità di accesso ai servizi di salute mentale possono aver avuto significativo ruolo nel funzionamento dei pazienti.
4. Infine, iniziano ad emergere putativi meccanismi neurobiologici dell’impatto del SARS Cov2 sul sistema nervoso centrale, con cauta e ancora iniziale possibilità di traslazione clinica nella fisiopatologia di malattie neuropsichiatriche.

Abstract (ENG)
1.Multiple lines of evidence suggest a significant impact of Covid19 pandemia and its social sequelae, on psychological wellbeing of general population, on mental health of the most vulnerable people, and on the severity of dysfunctional adaptive behavior.
2. Social isolation, and derangement of regular relationships, job loss or work interruption, as well as the significant reduction of everyday activities, have jeopardize the capacity of copying with impaired resilience strategies.
3. An epitomic issue of Covid19 impact on mental health is the effect of abrupt changes in everyday life of people with severe psychiatric disorders. Potential exacerbation of serious symptoms, reduced capacity to adapt to stressful events together with changes in the access to mental health programs may have affected patients' functioning.
4. Finally, emerging findings on the impact of SARS Cov2 on CNS may represent a first ground breaking toward translational implications for the clinics in neuropsychiatry disorders

Riferimenti bibliografici

  • Banerjee D, Rai M. Social isolation in Covid-19: The impact of loneliness [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 29]. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2020;20764020922269. doi:10.1177/0020764020922269
  • Vindegaard N, Eriksen Benros M. COVID-19 pandemic and mental health consequences: Systematic review of the current evidence [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 30]. Brain Behav Immun. 2020; S0889-1591(20)30954-5. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2020.05.048
  • Iasevoli F, Fornaro M, D'Urso G, Galletta D, Casella C, Paternoster M, Buccelli C, de Bartolomeis A; COVID-19 in Psychiatry Study Group. Psychological distress in patients with serious mental illness during the COVID-19 outbreak and one-month mass quarantine in Italy. Psychol Med. 2020 May 19:1-3. doi: 10.1017/S0033291720001841.


Contact: Elia Di Schiavi

e-mail: elia.dischiavi@ibbr.cnr.it