Naples, Italy

The University of Naples Federico II is a university located in Naples, Italy. It was founded in 1224 and is organized into 13 faculties. It is the world's oldest state university and one of the oldest academic institutions in continuous operation. The university is named after its founder Frederick II. Wikipedia.

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Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.61M | Year: 2017

Though Big Data has become common in many domains nowadays, the challenges to develop efficient and automated mining of the ever increasing data sets by new generations of data scientists are eminent. These challenges span wide swathes of society, business and research. Astronomers with their high-tech observatories are historically at the forefront of this field, but obviously, the impact in e.g. commercial applications, security, environmental monitoring and experimental research is immense. We aim to contribute to this general discussion by training a number of young scientists in the fields of computer science and astronomy, focussing on techniques of automated learning from large quantities of data to answer fundamental questions on the evolution of properties of galaxies. While these techniques will lead to major advances in our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies, we will also promote, in collaboration with industry, much more general applications in society, e.g. in medical imaging or remote sensing. We have put together a team of astronomers and computer scientists, from academic and private sector partners, to develop techniques to detect and classify ultra-faint galaxies and galaxy remnants in a deep survey of the Fornax cluster, and use the results to study how galaxies evolve in the dense environment of galaxy clusters. With a team of young researchers we will develop novel computer science algorithms addressing fundamental topics in galaxy formation, such as the huge dark matter fractions inferred by theory, and the lack of detected angular momentum in galaxies. The collaboration is unique - it will develop a platform for deep symbiosis of two radically different strands of approaches: purely data-driven machine learning and specialist approaches based on techniques developed in astronomy. Young scientists trained with such skills are highly demanded both in research and business.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-19-2015 | Award Amount: 8.03M | Year: 2016

There is an increasing demand for advanced materials with temperature capability in highly corrosive environments for aerospace. Rocket nozzles of solid/hybrid rocket motors must survive harsh thermochemical and mechanical environments produced by high performance solid propellants (2700-3500C). Thermal protection systems (TPS) for space vehicles flying at Mach 7 must withstand projected service temperatures up to 2500C associated to convective heat fluxes up to 15 MWm-2 and intense mechanical vibrations at launch and re-entry into Earths atmosphere. The combination of extremely hot temperatures, chemically aggressive environments and rapid heating/cooling is beyond the capabilities of current materials. Main purpose of C3HARME is to design, develop, manufacture, test and validate a new class of out-performing, reliable, cost-effective and scalable Ultra High Temperature Ceramic Matrix Composites (UHTCMCs) based on C or SiC fibres/preforms enriched with ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) capable of in-situ repairing damage induced during operation in severe aerospace environments. C3HARME will apply to two main applications: near-ZERO erosion rocket nozzles that must maintain dimensional stability during firing in combustion chambers, and near-ZERO ablation thermal protection systems enabling hypersonic space vehicles to maintain flight performance. C3HARME represents a well-balanced mix of innovative and consolidated technologies, mitigating the level of risk intrinsic in top-notch research and innovation development. C3HARME starts from TRL of 3-4 and focuses on TRL 6 thanks to a strong industrial partnership, including SMEs and large companies. To reach TRL 6, rocket nozzles and TPS tiles with realistic dimensions and shape will be fabricated, assembled into a suitable system, and validated in a relevant ambient (environment centered test). Project results could be easily extended to the energy, medical and/or nuclear environments.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-33-2016 | Award Amount: 2.86M | Year: 2017

Despite process heat is recognized as the application with highest potential among solar heating and cooling applications, Solar Heat for Industrial Processes (SHIP) still presents a modest share of about 0.3% of total installed solar thermal capacity. As of todays technology development stage economic competitiveness restricted to low temperature applications; technology implementation requiring interference with existing heat production systems, heat distribution networks or even heat consuming processes - Solar thermal potential is mainly identified for new industrial capacity in outside Americas and Europe. In this context, INSHIP aims at the definition of a ECRIA engaging major European research institutes with recognized activities on SHIP, into an integrated structure that could successfully achieve the coordination objectives of: more effective and intense cooperation between EU research institutions; alignment of different SHIP related national research and funding programs, avoiding overlaps and duplications and identifying gaps; acceleration of knowledge transfer to the European industry, to be the reference organization to promote and coordinate the international cooperation in SHIP research from and to Europe, while developing coordinated R&D TRLs 2-5 activities with the ambition of progressing SHIP beyond the state-of-the-art through: an easier integration of low and medium temperature technologies suiting the operation, durability and reliability requirements of industrial end users; expanding the range of SHIP applications to the EI sector through the development of suitable process embedded solar concentrating technologies, overcoming the present barrier of applications only in the low and medium temperature ranges; increasing the synergies within industrial parks, through centralized heat distribution networks and exploiting the potential synergies of these networks with district heating and with the electricity grid.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: DRS-03-2015 | Award Amount: 21.10M | Year: 2016

Effective EU support to a large external crisis requires new approaches. In response to this challenge and to identified user and market needs from previous projects, Reaching Out proposes an innovative multi-disciplinary approach that will optimize the efforts, address a wide spectrum of users and maximize market innovation success. This approach results in five main objectives: to 1. Develop a Collaborative Framework, with distributed platforms of functional services, 2. Implement a flexible and open collaborative innovation process involving users and SMEs, suppliers, operators and research organisations, 3. Develop, upgrade and integrate 78 new connectable and interoperable tools, 4. Conduct 5 large scale demonstrations on the field: o health disaster in Africa (Epidemics in Guinea, with strong social and cultural issues), o natural disaster in a politically complex region and a desert environment (Earthquake in the Jordan Valley, led jointly by Jordan, Israel and Palestine), o three global change disasters in Asia targeted at large evacuation and humanitarian support in Bangladesh (long lasting floods, huge storms and associated epidemics,), EU citizen support and repatriation in Shanghai (floods & storm surge), radiological and industrial disasters impacting EU assets in Taiwan (flash floods, landslides, storm surge and chemical and radiological disasters), supported and co-funded by local authorities, 5. Provide recommendations and evaluations for future legal and policy innovations. The project will be conducted under the supervision of senior end-users. It will be performed with flexible and proven procedures by a balanced consortium of users, industry, innovative SMEs, RTO and academia in the EU and the demonstration regions. The main expected impact is to improve external disaster and crisis management efficiency and cost-benefit and increase the EU visibility whilst enhancing EU industry competitiveness and enlarging the market.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.93M | Year: 2017

Train2Target is a multidisciplinary European Training Network built to address the challenge of the discovery of alternative antimicrobials. Innovative strategies to deliver a next generation of drugs are urgently needed. The alarming threats and spread of multi-drug resistant bacteria is currently leaving clinicians with very limited options to combat infections especially those from Gram-negative pathogens. The Train 2Target research programme focuses on the assembly of the well-known bacterial cell envelope from a new perspective. Indeed it aims to inhibit novel targets in envelope biogenesis by altering the function and misbalancing the coordination of envelope assembly machines, which build and assemble the Gram-negative bacterial envelope. A wide variety of chemical classes and compounds sources will be screened using innovative biochemical, biophysical and genetic assays to identify valuable hit scaffolds to be optimized into druggable leads. The high quality and credibility of our consortium is ensured by a strong interdisciplinary academia-industry partnership to encompass different complementary expertise ranging from microbiology, bacterial genetics, biochemistry, cell imaging, structural biology, biophysics and chemical synthesis. Our 9 academic groups are all renowned leaders in the cell envelope biogenesis field, whereas the complementary 5 SMEs and 3 Industry partners are specialised in drug discovery and development of novel anti-infective drugs. This unique combination of scientific excellence and industrial know-how in drug discovery covers the entire process from the design to the implementation of innovative antibacterial strategies and lead identification. Train2Target also represents a unique research platform to train 15 Early Stage Researchers and equip them with the necessary scientific and transferable skills that will make them highly competitive for both top European research institutions and the pharma/biotech job market.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-03-2015 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2016

We hypothesize that inappropriate thyroid hormone action in target cells is a common mechanism underlying susceptibility to age-related degenerative diseases and co-morbidities. Although regulation of systemic thyroid status is well understood and underpins treatment of common thyroid disease, it is only in the last decade that the importance of local regulation of thyroid hormone action in tissue development, homeostasis and repair has been identified. During evolution, this complex temporal and cell-specific regulation has been optimized for development and reproductive fitness but NOT for ageing. Humans with their exceptional longevity are thus exposed to a prolonged period of suboptimal local thyroid hormone action. Consistent with this, thyroid status is a continuous variable within the population that is related to fracture risk, muscle mass and cognitive decline. Moreover, in healthy longevity thyroid status is characterized by thyroid stimulating hormone in the upper half of the reference range. In these studies, we will determine how local regulation of thyroid hormone action controls tissue homeostasis and repair, whilst its dysregulation is a common mechanism underlying chronic disease development during ageing. We focus on osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, neurodegeneration and sarcopenia as paradigm age-related, degenerative disorders. Using cutting-edge technology, we will (i) identify thyroid hormone dependent biomarkers for disease susceptibility in bone, cartilage, central nervous system and skeletal muscle, (ii) manipulate cell-specific thyroid hormone action in these tissues and (iii) develop cell-type specific modulators of thyroid hormone action. THYRAGE integrates cross-disciplinary expertise from clinical and basic scientists, endocrinologists, neuroscientists, gerontologists, and industry-based peptide scientists. These studies will identify and validate novel strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic age-related degenerative disease.

Andolfo I.,University of Naples Federico II
Blood | Year: 2013

Autosomal dominant dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis (DHSt) usually presents as a compensated hemolytic anemia with macrocytosis and abnormally shaped red blood cells (RBCs). DHSt is part of a pleiotropic syndrome that may also exhibit pseudohyperkalemia and perinatal edema. We identified PIEZO1 as the disease gene for pleiotropic DHSt in a large kindred by exome sequencing analysis within the previously mapped 16q23-q24 interval. In 26 affected individuals among 7 multigenerational DHSt families with the pleiotropic syndrome, 11 heterozygous PIEZO1 missense mutations cosegregated with disease. PIEZO1 is expressed in the plasma membranes of RBCs and its messenger RNA, and protein levels increase during in vitro erythroid differentiation of CD34(+) cells. PIEZO1 is also expressed in liver and bone marrow during human and mouse development. We suggest for the first time a correlation between a PIEZO1 mutation and perinatal edema. DHSt patient red cells with the R2456H mutation exhibit increased ion-channel activity. Functional studies of PIEZO1 mutant R2488Q expressed in Xenopus oocytes demonstrated changes in ion-channel activity consistent with the altered cation content of DHSt patient red cells. Our findings provide direct evidence that R2456H and R2488Q mutations in PIEZO1 alter mechanosensitive channel regulation, leading to increased cation transport in erythroid cells.

Capozziello S.,University of Naples Federico II | de Laurentis M.,University of Naples Federico II
Physics Reports | Year: 2011

Extended Theories of Gravity can be considered as a new paradigm to cure shortcomings of General Relativity at infrared and ultraviolet scales. They are an approach that, by preserving the undoubtedly positive results of Einstein's theory, is aimed to address conceptual and experimental problems recently emerged in astrophysics, cosmology and High Energy Physics. In particular, the goal is to encompass, in a self-consistent scheme, problems like inflation, dark energy, dark matter, large scale structure and, first of all, to give at least an effective description of Quantum Gravity. We review the basic principles that any gravitational theory has to follow. The geometrical interpretation is discussed in a broad perspective in order to highlight the basic assumptions of General Relativity and its possible extensions in the general framework of gauge theories. Principles of such modifications are presented, focusing on specific classes of theories like f(R)-gravity and scalar-tensor gravity in the metric and Palatini approaches. The special role of torsion is also discussed. The conceptual features of these theories are fully explored and attention is paid to the issues of dynamical and conformal equivalence between them considering also the initial value problem. A number of viability criteria are presented considering the post-Newtonian and the post-Minkowskian limits. In particular, we discuss the problems of neutrino oscillations and gravitational waves in extended gravity. Finally, future perspectives of extended gravity are considered with possibility to go beyond a trial and error approach. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 2.19M | Year: 2017

TEMPERA will provide international, intersectoral and interdisciplinary state-of-the-art doctoral training to prepare the next generation of specialists in mass spectrometry-based ancient protein residues analysis for biomolecular diagnostics and conservation of cultural heritage material. Due to their chemical and mechanical properties, proteins have always represented the category of biomolecules most extensively exploited by humans to satisfy basic needs, including: nutrition, clothing, sheltering and transportation. However presently there are very few specialists that have been trained to analyse ancient proteins, in stark contrast to the study of ancient DNA. The growing demand of information provided by mass spectrometry-based ancient protein sequencing will require highly specialised profiles with a multidisciplinary background in analytical chemistry, engineering, molecular biology, archaeology and art restoration. Within the TEMPERA network, a team of talented young scientists from both experimental sciences and cultural heritage conservation disciplines will be created and prepared to become a group of highly qualified specialists. The TEMPERA network aims at: (i) forming, through research-based training, the professional profiles behind tomorrows state-of-the-art analysis of ancient proteins from cultural heritage materials, (ii) consolidating existing constructive interaction across disciplines to focus different expertise and backgrounds into the common aim of safeguarding and enhancing European cultural heritage, (iii) stimulating, through the right set of specific research-related and transferable skills, the development of application-oriented mind set for direct or indirect exploitation of TEMPERA R&D activities. As a key TEMPERA feature, the unique contribution provided by each participating institution will be integrated in a strong partnership to achieve valuable complementary research-specific and widely transferrable professional competence.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: WATER-2b-2015 | Award Amount: 7.46M | Year: 2016

MAGIC is a proposal coordinated by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) in collaboration with partners which have a proven and track record in their respective fields of competence. Our objective is to open the path towards a new way of managing the Nexus in which researchers and decision makers work together in the search for development strategies that can contribute to the smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth required by the EU 2020 Strategy, while maintaining a leading and informed participation in international discussions about global issues, like climate change or food security. In order to do so, MAGIC deploys a set of novel, cutting-edge and system-oriented approaches that originates from system ecology, bio-economics and Science and Technology Studies. Their combination allows MAGIC to highlights if a certain mix of EU policies results in undesirable or unforeseen outcomes. Climate, water, land energy, and food modeling are integrated into a socio- and bio-economics framework using an iterative and participatory method. Significant care is taken to embed these ideas and approaches within the advisory and decision making functions of the European Commission. Impacts are twofold. First, MAGIC contributes a methodological framework where the needs for advice of different DG in the design of development strategies for the EU are covered using a method that can embrace the complexity of the nexus, for a better understanding of the interactions it holds. Second, the project provides on the flight advice to the EC about the timeliness and soundness for the EU 2020 Strategy and the EU position in international agreements of EU policies -like the Water Framework Directive, the Common Agricultural Policy, or the Low-Carbon Economy Strategy- and targets of implementing technologies -such as fracking, desalination, biofuels and GMOs.

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