The lab is active along the entire chain of drug discovery for acute and chronic nervous system diseases, from the study of the causes of the disease to the therapy, including the application of the latest technologies of regenerative medicine (cell therapies and new materials). The specific skills include modeling and clinical study of diseases of interest.
The morphology lab studies the distribution of proteins, peptides, trophic factors and receptors in distinct regions of the central and peripheral nervous system, using multiple fluorescence localization techniques.
Relevant instruments: Leica CM1950.
The molecular biology lab analyzes the expression of specific genes or pathway-specific gene sets. The analysis is performed at tissue level, including microdissected areas and cells, or in cell cultures. The lab is also aimed to the production of tools for the manipulation of the gene expression.
Relevant instruments: real time PCR Stratagene Mx3005P, BioRad RT-PCR CFX-96, Ultracentrifuge Beckman Optima MAX E, laser capture microdissection to miniCellcut of microscope Nikon Eclipse TE2000-S.
The cellular biology lab works on cell lines and primary cultures of neuronal and glial cells, with a section dedicated to the neural stem cells. The techniques include the use of in vitro systems mimicking the main pathological events of the central nervous system diseases. Moreover, cultures are aimed to study both cell-specific mechanisms and cell-cell or cell-extracellular matrix interactions. This is made possible by the use of pure cultures, containing a single cell type, or co-cultures, biomaterials and specific substrates.
Relevant instruments: laminar flow hoods, cell culture incubators, Olympus live imaging microscope.
The proteomic lab is aimed to simultaneously measure protein and peptides panels in the same sample of fluid and organic extracts, using multiparameter technologies. The lab can participate to clinical studies.
Relevant instruments: Luminex 200 e Luminex MAGPIX.
The microscopy and image analysis lab is equipped with the latest static, dynamic imaging and computerized image analysis technologies (4D space-time resolution). Moreover, it includes a cell-based High Content Screening system which allows the automatic analysis of the whole culture samples (hundreds of thousands of cells per experiment).
Relevant instruments: laser scan confocal mycroscope Nikon A1, equipped for time-lapse experiments on multiple points, FRAP, FRET and calcium imaging; epifluorescence microscopes and high-resolution CCD camera; 2D, 3D and 4D image analysis softwares (Image ProPlus, Olympus Cell^P, Nikon NIS, Bitplane Imaris, CellInsight NXT, Thermo Scientific).
The animal behavioral study lab studies the spontaneous cognitive and sensory-motor behavior.
Relevant instruments: videorecording, video-tracking and automatic behavioral analysis software.
The laboratory is equipped with an internal network, including a stand-alone server and certified back-up data to external media and in extra-cop.