Varese, Italy

University of Insubria

www.uninsubria.eu/
Varese, Italy

The University of Insubria is an Italian university located in Como and Varese, with secondary locations in Busto Arsizio and Saronno. It was founded in 1998, it has been named after the area where it is situated, the historical-geographical region of Insubria.According to the ranking made by Il Sole 24 Ore in 2011, the University of Insubria places itself 16th out of the 58 state-supported Italian universities; third in Lombardy after Politecnico di Milano and University of Pavia.The Faculty of Law in Como has passed from the 9th to the 6th place in the CENSIS 2010/2011 Faculty of Law table. Wikipedia.

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Patent
CoeLux S.r.l. and University of Insubria | Date: 2017-02-15

A lighting system comprises a chromatic reflective unit (606), and a light source (602), wherein the chromatic reflective unit (606) is shaped as a rotational paraboloid or a portion of a rotational paraboloid, and the light source (602) is positioned close to or at the paraboloid focal position.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.75M | Year: 2015

Many tumor cells are characterized by the overexpression of certain antigens. Molecules that specifically recognize these structures are suitable as homing devices in tumor therapy. Conjugates of anticancer drugs with such a delivery vector targeting tumors would be a magic bullet according to the Nobel laureate Paul Ehrlich. Three antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) have already been approved for anticancer therapy. However, ADC have e.g. limitations with respect to tumor penetration, high manufacturing costs, and require challenging conjugation chemistry. Peptide-drug conjugates can have a high drug loading, easily penetrate tissue, and can be easily prepared in a homogenous form with straightforward and well-defined conjugation chemistry. The ETN MAGICBULLET will focus on chemistry-driven approaches toward conjugates between peptides (delivery vectors) that recognize tumors and anticancer drugs (payloads or warheads) in order to selectively fight cancer, a topic with a high demand of research activities. The ETN will develop and validate an array of new peptide-drug conjugates combining either known tumor-specific peptides or newly discovered tumor-homing peptides with potent cytotoxic drugs. The tumor-selective peptides are designed for cellular uptake mediated either by endocytosis or by cell-penetrating peptides. The consortium of the ETN MAGICBULLET covers tumor biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, synthetic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, spectroscopy, conformational analysis, and computational chemistry. The training program focuses on multidisciplinary research to explore and validate molecular targets for innovative treatment or investigations on the molecular mechanisms in organ-specific metastatic growth processes. It aims at scientific multilingualism and relies e.g. on concerted learning, a combination of introductory training, hands-on learning on the bench, teaching by peers, and training in additional skills.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.1-2 | Award Amount: 8.20M | Year: 2013

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver cancer and accounts for about 6% of all new cancer cases worldwide. Given the lack of available effective treatments, the overall prognosis for HCC patients is poor, with a dismal 5-year survival of 5-6%. The main goal of this proposal is to develop a therapeutic cancer vaccine aiming at improving clinical outcome in early-stage HCC patients after loco-regional ablative therapy. HepaVac is an European consortium of academic, SME and pharmaceutical company partners with complementary and substantial expertise in cancer immunotherapy and vaccine development. The main objective of HepaVac is to develop a novel cancer vaccine approach for HCC based on epitopes naturally processed and presented by HLA class I and II (HLA-ligandome), to elicit both CD4\ T helper and CD8\ CTL tumor-specific effector and memory responses. The HCC HLA-ligandome will be identified in primary tumor tissues using a combined and integrated approach, developed and thoroughly validated by Partners #2 and #5. The selected peptide epitopes will constitute the candidate cancer vaccine for HCC, aiming at covering the broadest haplotype diversity with a multi-epitope and multi-TAA strategy. T cell epitopes derived from universal TAA and unique patient-specific mutated antigens will allow the design of a prime-boost vaccine strategy based either on a prime-boost schedule made of an off-the-shelf T cell epitope cocktail or on a schedule where the boost is complemented by a personalized T cell epitope cocktail. Both epitope cocktails will be adjuvanted in a novel and potent immunomodulator developed by Partner #6. Such a vaccination strategy will be tested in a randomized controlled multi-center phase I/II human clinical trial, assessing as primary endpoints safety and induction of specific cellular immune responses and, as secondary endpoints, OS and PFS of patients receiving the vaccine after tumor ablation vs tumor ablation alone.


Rubino T.,University of Insubria | Parolaro D.,University of Insubria
Biological Psychiatry | Year: 2016

The regular use of cannabis during adolescence is of particular concern because use by this age group seems to be associated with an increased likelihood of deleterious consequences, as reported by several epidemiologic studies. However, despite their unquestionable value, epidemiologic data are inconclusive. Modeling the adolescent phase in animals appears to be a useful approach to investigate the impact of cannabis use on the adolescent brain. In these models, adolescent cannabinoid exposure has been reported to cause long-term impairment in specific components of learning and memory and to have differential effects on anxiety, social behavior, and depressive-like signs. These findings suggest that it may represent, per se or in association with other hits, a risk factor for developing psychoticlike symptoms in adulthood. The neurobiological bases of this association include the induction of alterations in the maturational events of the endocannabinoid system occurring in the adolescent brain. Alterations in the endocannabinoid system may profoundly dysregulate developmental processes in some neurotransmitter systems, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid and glutamate, mainly in the cortex. The resulting picture strongly resembles the one present in schizophrenic patients, highlighting the translational value of this experimental approach. © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry.


Zamberletti E.,University of Insubria
Current pharmaceutical design | Year: 2012

Cannabis derivatives produce their CNS effect through activation of the endocannabinoid system, a recently discovered signalling system comprising specific receptors, their intrinsic lipid ligands and the associated enzymatic machinery (transporters, biosynthetic and degradative enzymes). This review provides the latest preclinical and clinical breakthroughs on the endocannabinoid system's role in psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Data reported so far clearly indicate the presence of a dysregulation in the endocannabinoid system (both in term of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid ligands) in animal models of psychosis as well as in schizophrenic patients. Based on these observations, the pharmacological modulation of the endocannabinoid system has been taken into account as a new therapeutic possibility for psychotic disorders. However, preclinical studies have not provided straightforward results, with both agonists and antagonists exhibiting positive, negative or even no effect. At human level, only cannabidiol, a non psychotropic phytocannabinoid, and the antagonist/inverse agonist rimonabant were tested, however additional controlled trials are required to confirm the therapeutic exploitation of these compounds. Another important aspect in studying the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and schizophrenia is the impact of Cannabis consumption on psychotic disorders, especially when this occurs at vulnerable ages such as adolescence. In fact literature from animal models support adolescence as a highly vulnerable age for the consequences of cannabis exposure on different domains (such as cognition and social behaviour) that are altered in psychotic disorders.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.1.2 | Award Amount: 3.50M | Year: 2013

The goal of S-CASE is to accelerate the software development lifecycle for cloud services by introducing a new agile prototyping paradigm that automates the process of mapping user requirements to concrete software specifications and generates operational code (RESTful services). S-CASE aspires to support software developers in identifying software requirements and business processes in various formats, including textual (requirements/use case documents), formal (UML diagrams), and visual (images of UML diagrams or storyboards) content. In order to realise this vision, S-CASE employs appropriate multimodal information processing techniques, such as natural language and image processing. S-CASE also aims to provide the appropriate mechanisms for synthesising composite executable workflows of resources (software solutions, services, and devices), both proprietary and open source. To this end, semantic matchmaking and service orchestration techniques will be applied for the dynamic discovery of resources and their composition into operational workflows that match the software developer envisaged requirements in the best possible way. All R&D outcomes will be integrated into the S-CASE realm, a cloud-based platform composed of tools for developers and service providers, open-source software repositories and a discoverable service ecosystem that provides the appropriate resources in the form of RESTful services. Three pilot applications will be developed and deployed in real operational environments by two industrial partners and one SME, in order to validate and evaluate the S-CASE paradigm. The aim of the pilots is to showcase how S-CASE can successfully meet different needs and technology requirements in the three domains of energy, social networks and cloud computing infrastructure. In all pilots, an evaluation procedure will be applied for assessing potential gains with respect to the acceleration of the software development process.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 580.50K | Year: 2016

Substructural logics are formal reasoning systems that refine classical logic by weakening the structural rules in Gentzen sequent calculus. While classical logic generally formalises the notion of truth, substructural logics allow to handle notions such as resources, vagueness, meaning, and language syntax, motivated by studies in computer science, epistemology, economy, and linguistics. Moreover, from a theoretical point of view, substructural logics provide a refined perspective of classical logic, since the former often exhibit features which are either absent or trivialised in the classical case. Traditionally, substructural logics have been investigated following three main approaches: proof theoretic, algebraic and abstract study. Although some connections among these approaches were observed long ago, in large part these practices developed in independence. As a result, the research directions, tools and motivations for each approach developed in relative isolation. The main objective of this project is to establish a network of collaborations between the experts of these diverse methods to investigate substructural logics in a cohesive fashion, taking into account these three distinct yet complementary points of view. The main momentum for this endeavour is provided by recent surprising results that confirm how deeply algebraic and proof theoretic methods are linked to one another. The proposal gathers leading experts in all these three areas, from all around the word, with the aim of reuniting these traditions and their communities and obtain deep results in all three areas. We are confident that this innovative, combined perspective on substructural logics will have a deep impact on the field and that this project will provide a stable basis of cooperation for a large, international community of algebraists, logicians and theoretical computer scientists, giving fresh impetus to these disciplines to flourish and integrate.


De Ponti R.,University of Insubria
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2011

This study aims to compare the performance of electrophysiology fellows in transseptal catheterization (TSP-C) after conventional (Conv-T) or simulator training (Sim-T). Current training for TSP-C, an increasingly used procedure, relies on performance on patients with supervision by an experienced operator. Virtual reality, a new training option, could improve post-training performance. Fellows inexperienced in TSP-C were enrolled and randomly assigned to Conv-T or Sim-T. The post-training performance of each fellow was evaluated and scored in 3 consecutive patient-based procedures by an experienced operator blinded to the fellow's training assignment. Fourteen fellows were randomized to Conv-T (n = 7) or to Sim-T (n = 7) and, after training, performed 42 TSP-Cs independently. Training time was significantly longer for Conv-T than for Sim-T (median 30 days vs. 4 days; p = 0.0175). The Conv-T fellows had significantly lower post-training performance scores (median 68 vs. 95; p = 0.0001) and a higher number of recurrent errors (median 3 vs. 0; p = 0.0006) when compared with Sim-T fellows. The TSP-C training with virtual reality results in shorter training times and superior post-training performance. Copyright © 2011 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Bartalena L.,University of Insubria
Nature Reviews Endocrinology | Year: 2013

Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder characterized by goitre, hyperthyroidism and, in 25% of patients, Graves ophthalmopathy. The hyperthyroidism is caused by thyroid hypertrophy and stimulation of function, resulting from interaction of anti-TSH-receptor antibodies (TRAb) with the TSH receptor on thyroid follicular cells. Measurements of serum levels of TRAb and thyroid ultrasonography represent the most important diagnostic tests for Graves disease. Management of the condition currently relies on antithyroid drugs, which mainly inhibit thyroid hormone synthesis, or ablative treatments (131 I-radiotherapy or thyroidectomy) that remove or decrease thyroid tissue. None of these treatments targets the disease process, and patients with treated Graves disease consequently experience either a high rate of recurrence, if receiving antithyroid drugs, or lifelong hypothyroidism, after ablative therapy. Geographical differences in the use of these therapies exist, partially owing to the availability of skilled thyroid surgeons and suitable nuclear medicine units. Novel agents that might act on the disease process are currently under evaluation in preclinical or clinical studies, but evidence of their efficacy and safety is lacking. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2014 | Award Amount: 567.00K | Year: 2015

Cancer is a leading cause of mortality within the aging European population. Therapeutic targeting is hampered by the complexity of the disease, which includes not only molecular changes within the tumor cell itself, but also within its microenvironment. Tumor angiogenesis, tumor-stroma interactions, interactions with immune cells, with the extracellular matrix and cancer stem cell niches allow for malignant cell survival and promote metastasis, the leading cause for cancer-associated mortality. Proteoglycans (PGs) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) structurally diverse carbohydrates of the extracellular matrix and cell surfaces - have emerged as novel biomarkers and molecular players both within tumor cells and their microenvironment, as they integrate signals from growth factors, chemokines and integrins, and cell-cell as well as matrix adhesion. Importantly, their expression is dysregulated in numerous tumor entities, and has been shown to modulate each of the hallmarks of cancer as defined by Hanahan and Weinberg (Cell 2011). We hypothesize that dysregulated function of PGs and GAGs simultaneously affects all molecular steps towards cancer metastasis as a general principle applicable to multiple tumor entities. Pharmacological modulation of their function thus emerges as an attractive multitargeted antitumoral approach which simultaneously acts at multiple levels of disease progression. Besides providing extensive knowledge transfer and training for researchers, the combined expertise of the GLYCANC consortium aims at performing a detailed structural analysis of PG and GAG glycans in disease using state-of-the art methodology, analysing their regulation via epigenetic mechanisms and microRNAs, and elucidating molecular mechanisms underlying aberrant PG and GAG function. GLYCANC will lead to a deeper understanding of glycan structures and glycan-dependent mechanisms promoting cancer progression, providing the basis for rational multitargeted anticancer approaches.

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