Skip to main content




Lesions and diseases of the central nervous system

The IRET Foundation is committed to the in-depth study of central nervous system diseases to better understand their causes and contribute to the research into effective treatments.

Its main focus is neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis) and traumatic and vascular lesions of the brain and spinal cord. With millions of sufferers across the globe, these diseases profoundly affect the lives of patients and their families, posing an increasing challenge for public health.

We use multidisciplinary approaches aimed at understanding the pathogenetic, reactive and reparatory mechanisms which lead to the progression of these diseases, with the aim of developing therapeutic approaches which modify the natural course of the disease.
Projects on Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic spinal cord lesions are currently underway.


The IRET Foundation studies rare diseases, developing disease models designed to test new treatments, including enzyme replacement, gene and cell therapies.

Projects on eight rare diseases are currently underway, involving both Italian and overseas companies (Switzerland, Sweden, United States) and Italian universities in Emilia-Romagna and other regions.


The IRET Foundation carries out research into regenerative medicine and its application to skin and nervous system repair, both in the form of treatments to promote self-healing (such as drugs, physical energies and materials) and tissue engineering approaches.

Its research is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in lesion reactions and in tissue regeneration, and on the creation of new technologies and methods designed to promote tissue repair and growth.

An important area of research involves stem cells (embryonic and induced adult pluripotent), investigating their biology and therapeutic potential.


The IRET Foundation promotes research into therapeutic proteins to establish treatment settings, administration windows and new drug delivery methods, in particular the potential use of nerve growth factor (NGF) to repair epithelial tissue and treat acute nervous system and neonatal vascular lesions.

We also study new drug delivery systems involving both conventional and non-conventional routes (such as intranasal administration), and strategies such as biomaterials, nanoformulations and medicated scaffolds.

The laboratory also specializes in preclinical efficacy and safety testing for pharmaceutical companies.


Alternatives to animal testing

The IRET Foundation is involved in the development and validation of alternatives to animal testing, in particular complex three-dimensional cell culture systems, such as organoids and spheroids, and co-culture systems, including biomaterial-assisted and microfluidic systems.

The validation process is designed to establish the potential of these methods to replace animals, both in the development pipeline of new drugs and non-pharmacological treatments, and in the study of pathogenetic neurological disease mechanisms as part of a precision medicine approach.

loghi tecnopolo bologna