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IRET Foundation laboratories are staffed by IRET researchers and UniBo researchers belonging to the CIRI SdV and its constituent Departments, in accordance with the Joint Research Laboratory.

Founders

Luciana Giardino
Founding partner

Luciana Giardino

Luciana Giardino is a medical surgeon, specialist in Endocrinology, and she is currently a Professor at the University of Bologna. She was born in Naples where she graduated. From 1988 to 1999, she was first a technical officer and then a level I executive at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Milan, moving from Pathophysiology and Pain Therapy to the Otolaryngology Clinic.

Since 1999 she has moved to the University of Bologna. From 1986 onwards she has spent numerous periods working abroad, in Sweden at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm collaborating with both Prof. Sandra Ceccatelli at the Dep. of Environmental Medicine and Prof. Tomas Hokfelt at the Dep. of Neuroscience.

In 1987, together with Prof. Laura Calzà, she founded the Center for Nervous System Pathophysiology in Modena at Hesperia Hospital, a nonprofit research association. Together with Laura Calzà, she established theoretical-practical courses on different experimental techniques in neurobiology for seven years in which researchers from all over Italy participated. She received the Steven Newburgh Foundation award upon the recommendation of Rita Levi-Montalcini.

She works on neurobiology with particular reference to the neurochemical mechanisms underlying aging, stress, anxiety, depression. She is the author of more than 150 scientific papers published in international journals and books and she has presented his results at more than 150 congresses in Italy and abroad.

She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience. She loves vegetable gardening and follows Italian wines with great interest.

Laura Calzà
Founding partner

Laura Calzà

Laura Calzà is a medical surgeon, specialist in Endocrinology. She is a professor of Embryology, Histology and Anatomy at the University of Bologna. She completed her scientific training in neurobiology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.

She is involved in the study of the molecular basis of degenerative diseases of the nervous system and possible reparative strategies also based on the use of stem cells. She received the Steven Newburgh Foundation Award at the recommendation of Rita Levi-Montalcini, the Beaumont-Bonelli Foundation, the Nobel Foundation Fellowships and Profilo Donna.

She is the author of more than 250 scientific papers published in international journals and books and she has presented her results in more than 250 seminars, conferences and congresses in Italy and abroad.

She is a member of Society for Neuroscience, European Federation of Neuroscience Societies, International Association for the Study of Pain. She loves reading, listening to classical music and she likes being outdoors, especially in the mountains.

Senior Staff Members

Paolo Celli
Vice President, R&D mandate

Paolo Celli

Paolo Celli after graduating in mechanical engineering completed his education attending master’s courses both on management and on fund raising for nonprofit organizations.
After some years of work in his family business as marketing manager, export sales director and then managing director, he decided in 2005 to start a career as a consultant and teacher in the field of nonprofit management and fundraising, founding his own consulting firm “Centrale Etica – Value Management Studio”, located in Milan. Since then he has worked with more than 200 organizations of different sizes and sectors of activity.

For 10 years he had the role of contract professor and deputy director of a university master’s course at Bologna University, where he developed an innovative methodology to design and monitor the process of development of organizations.

He has been a member of several boards of directors and currently is vice-president of IRET Foundation and managing director of Transmed Research s.r.l.
He is also the manager of the Bologna-Ozzano Technopole “Rita Levi Montalcini”, that belongs to the network of Technopoles and the regional Innovation Ecosystem.
The professional partnership with IRET dates back to 2008 and is focused on the development and optimization of a sustainable, nonprofit development model, aiming at excellence in scientific research.

Luigi Aloe
Director of the NGF Experimentation Center

Luigi Aloe

Luigi Aloe, was born in Amantea (CS) on 03/28/1943.

He is the director of the NGF Experimentation Center at IRET Foundation.

He completed his scientific training in neurobiology abroad at some of the most distinguished universities: the Oxford Medical School, the University of Connecticut, Washington University and Harvard Medical School.

Specializing in scientific research related to NGF, he is involved in the study of the role of Nerve Growth Factor in the central and peripheral nervous system.

He was awarded the Laurea Honoris Causa in medicine conferred by Varna Medical School (Bulgaria) and the in Biology, awarded by the University of Bologna.

In 1991 he received the “Piria “Prize from the University of Calabria and in 1992 the “Newburgh “Prize for Biological Science.

He is the author of more than 400 scientific papers published in journals and disseminated through international publications. His scientific literature has been presented on more than 500 occasions including seminars, conferences and congresses, both in Italy and abroad.

antonelli

Tiziana Antonelli

Tiziana Antonelli was born in Pisa on 07/07/1951. She is currently Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ferrara and Director of the Operational Unit of Clinical Pharmacology at the Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria of Ferrara.
In 1976 she graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Pisa with highest honors. Medical Intern at the Medical Clinic, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ferrara from 1977 to 1979. Fellow at the Institute of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Ferrara from 1981 to 1987.Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Ferrara, since 1988.

Medical Director of Level I at the Service of Clinical Pharmacology, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Arcispedale S.Anna of Ferrara, from 1994 to 2000. From 1977 to 1992 she worked as a contracted physician in the province of Ferrara. She has spent numerous stays abroad and especially in Sweden where she has been collaborating with Prof. Kjel Fuxe at the Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm since 1989. In 1995 she attended the Department of Neuroscience at the “Centre de Recherche Douglas” in Montreal in Canada, directed by Prof. Remi Qurion.

She is involved in neuropharmacology with special reference to the study of interactions between neurotropic drugs and neurotransmitter systems involved in neurodegenerative processes. The aim of such research is to be able to identify useful targets for the development of new drugs with direct activity on molecular and cellular processes leading to neuronal death. She is the author of more than 80 publications with international circulation classified in the Journal Citation Reports.

She has presented her results at more than 100 congresses in Italy and abroad. She is a member of the Italian Society of Pharmacology, the Italian Society of Clinical Pharmacology, and the Italian Society of Chemotherapy. She loves decorating and likes being outdoors, especially in the mountains.

Ferraro

Luca Ferraro

Luca Ferraro was born in Ferrara where, in 1987, he graduated in Pharmacy with honors. He is currently Full Professor of Pharmacology, Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences, University of Ferrara and Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore (MD, USA). Since 2010, he has been affiliated with the Laboratory for Technologies of Advanced Therapies (LTTA), University of Ferrara.

He works in the pharmacology and neuroscience fields. The research interest is mainly focused on the mechanisms underlying synaptic interactions controlling neurosecretory processes in brain areas related to neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. He collaborates with several international research centers including, the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Department of Drug Addiction, Krakow.

He is the author of about 200 scientific papers published in international scientific journals and has presented his results at more than 150 seminars, conferences and congresses in Italy and abroad.
He is a member of the Italian Society of Pharmacology, the International Society for Neurochemistry, the Society for Neuroscience and the Mediterranean Neuroscience Society.
He loves reading, sports and especially the sea.

tanganelli

Sergio Tanganelli

Prof. Sergio Tanganelli was born in Siena on 12/15/1950 and he received his B.S. degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology from the University of Pisa on 4/7/1976. From 1976 to 1985, he was an assistant professor and later a graduate technician at the Institute of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Univ. of Ferrara.From 1985 to 1994, Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Univ. of Ferrara.From 1988 to 1989, winner of a C.N.R. fellowship (NATO advanced fellowship program), he spent a research period at the Dept. Of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.

Subsequently (1992, 1998, 2002 and 2004), he spent several months as a visiting professor at the above-mentioned Department (Karolinska Institutet). From 1994 to 1997, he was Extraordinary Professor of Pharmacology, at the “Bernard B. Brodie” Dept. of the Faculty of Medicine, Univ. of Cagliari. Since 1998, he has been Full Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ferrara.From 2002 to 2005, he was a delegate of the Faculty of Pharmacy to the Research Council and the Board of Directors of the University of Ferrara.From 2008 to present, he has been a delegate of the Faculty of Pharmacy to the Research Council and the Academic Senate of the University of Ferrara.

He is the author of 111 publications in international journals in the field of Neuroscience, Neuropharmacology and Substances of Abuse. His scientific research in recent years has been in the field of Neuroscience, and in particular, on the study of synaptic interactions between classical neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. The measurement of changes in the efflux of acetylcholine, dopamine, GABA, and glutamate, induced by physiological stimuli and by treatment with neurotropic drugs and neuropeptides, has been used as an index for the assessment of neuronal activity.

The use of in vivo (microdialysis probes) and in vitro (brain tissue slices, synaptosomes, and cell cultures) techniques has made it possible to study the mechanisms underlying the synaptic interactions that control neurosecretory processes in those brain areas, which are correlated with neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases. Recently, research interest has turned to: a) the study of neurochemical, morphological and molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of cannabinoids (and alcohol) on cognitive processes; b) the neurological and behavioral alterations induced in offspring by pre- and perinatal exposure to cannabinoid derivatives.

Management Team

lorenzini
UniBo, Visiting Researcher

Luca Lorenzini

Luca Lorenzini was born in Bologna on 12/30/1978. He graduated in Veterinary Medicine and Specialized in laboratory animal science and medicine. He worked as a researcher at the University of Bologna and as a veterinarian for pharmaceutical companies and public research institutes. Since December 2021 he is Associate Professor at the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences of the University of Bologna.

The main focus of his scientific activity is represented by the study of lesions and degenerative diseases of the nervous system, in particular strategies to counter early pathogenic phenomena such as neuroinflammation and the interference of environmental pollutants with neurodevelopment. Further activities aim at “replacement” in animal experimentation, through the development of advanced 3D culture systems, also starting from embryonic and neural stem cells.

He loves reading and sports. He has the goal of completing the six most important marathons in the world (Abbott Majors) by 2025 before stopping running and dedicating himself exclusively to bike adventures!

baldassarro
UniBo, Visiting Researcher

Vito Antonio Baldassarro

Vito Antonio Baldassarro was born in Foggia on 07 April 1987. In 2011 he achieved his master’s degree in biotechnology at the University of Bologna, performing his Master thesis project at the Department of Biotechnology of the University of Lausanne (CH), mainly focused on cellular reprogramming.
In the same year he started following his research path, with a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology and different post-doc contracts at the University of Bologna and at the Institute of Genetic and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC; University of Strasbourg; FR).

His main research topic skills involve in vitro models, molecular biology, imaging, and image analysis. He is currently working as Junior Researcher at the Department of Veterinary Medical Science at the University of Bologna.

He is also a professional illustrator and comic book drawer, and an amatorial musician.

cescatti

Maura Cescatti

Maura Cescatti was born in Trento (TN) on 10/10/1980. In 2005 she graduated in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the University of Bologna. In 2011 she obtained the PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Bologna.

From 2005 to 2015 she held scholarships and research grants at the Neuropathology laboratory, coordinated by prof. Piero Parchi, dealing mainly with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (or prion diseases).

She has been part of the research group of the IRET Foundation since 2015. In the laboratory, she deals in particular with protein dosages with immunoenzymatic methods and with certified studies. She likes travelling, reading and to spend time with her family.

Roberta Torricella

Roberta Torricella

Roberta Torricella was born in Vercelli (VC), on July 5, 1986.
In 2009 she obtained a three-year degree in Biology and in March 2012 a master’s degree in Biology of Health at the University of Bologna.

In the laboratory, she deals with the management, monitoring and reporting of research projects, covering the role of Project Manager.
She loves reading and traveling and has a penchant for good food.

Staff Members

oldani

Andrea Oldani

Andrea Oldani was born in Magenta (MI) on 10/25/94.
In 2019 he received his master’s degree in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology from the University of Pavia with a thesis on the use of molecular techniques in the diagnostic process of pediatric cytopenias with uncertain significance.

In the laboratory, he is mainly involved in molecular biology and cell culture to study the effects of tumor metastasis on the central nervous system.

Passionate about sports, he practices triathlon and volleyball. Lover of plants, gardening and nature in general.

capone
UniBo, Visiting PhD student

Angelita Capone

Angelita Capone was born in Putignano (BA) on 09/14/1996.
In March 2023 she obtained a Master’s Degree in Animal Biotechnology with honors at the University of Bologna with a thesis focused on the ex vivostudy of neural stem cells of the sub-ventricular zone during Neonatal Encephalopathy.

In the laboratory she is mainly involved in cell culture, immunocytochemistry and molecular biology.
Felines and TV series are her main interests. She enjoys spending her free time with friends and good food.

alastra
UniBo, Visiting PhD student

Giuseppe Alastra

Giuseppe Alastra was born in Siracusa (Italy) on 03/29/1993. He obtained a master’s degree in Animal Biotechnology in 2018 at the University of Bologna. After graduation, he implemented his studies with a second-level master’s in Translational Research in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Bologna. Currently, he’s a Ph.D. student in Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bologna.

From 2019 to 2021 he won a call for a research grant with a project that involved the search for biomarkers in biological fluids in patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

Currently, his studies focus on the development of advanced 3D cell culture systems as a screening platform for drugs and/or therapies for diseases of the nervous system.

He spends his free time working out at the gym and hanging out with friends. He has several hobbies including drawing and video games, but above all, he is a food lover.

Zanella
UniBo, Visiting PhD student

Lorenzo Zanella

Lorenzo Zanella was born in Domodossola on 03/01/1996. He obtained a master’s degree in Animal Biotechnology at the University of Bologna, in march 2022.

He graduated with a thesis on the link between systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation, studied in a mouse model of disease using animal testing, clinical and biohumoral monitoring.

In June 2022 he won the “Rita Levi-Montalcini” award for innovative theses in the field of biotechnology.

In the laboratory he mainly deals with in vivo experimentation, molecular biology, histological / immunohistochemical analysis and imaging.

A great sports enthusiast, he has always played football as well as tennis and skiing. He loves going to the sea in summer and to the mountains in winter.

gusciglio

Marco Gusciglio


Marco Gusciglio was born in Bologna on 10/05/1974.

He has worked for several years at the laboratory where he is responsible for housing experimental animals and routine maintenance of the equipment that supports the enclosure for its operation. He is also supportive in the behavioral tests that take place in the laboratory.

He is married to Alessandra and has a daughter named Sara.
His hobbies are: gardening, eating some good food and long walks, possibly in our beautiful mountains.

moretti
UniBo, Visiting PhD student

Marzia Moretti

Marzia Moretti was born in Turin in 1992.

She is currently a PhD student in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Bologna. In 2020, she obtained her master’s degree at the University of Bologna with honors in Animal Biotechnology. In the laboratory, she deals with animal models including contusion spinal cord injury and microscopy techniques like confocal microscopy.

She loves trekking, reading and has a passion for photography.

sannia

Michele Sannia

Michele Sannia was born on 04/18/1990 in Lima (PE) and graduated in Animal Biotechnology at the University of Bologna in 2017.

He finished his studies with a dissertation project about the course of Alzheimer’s disease in its preclinical phase, specifically in its histopathological and behavioral aspects, in order to try to counteract the progression of pathology.

In the laboratory he is responsible for animal modeling in the study of neurodegenerative diseases, but he also deals with neurological, behavioral, locomotor testing and microsurgery.

Michele is a great sea lover, he really likes Sardinia and sports in general. He has played football for several years, even on a professional level.

Burato

Valentina Burato

Valentina Burato was born in Bologna on August 20th, 1982. Her studies included Biological Sciences Degree (2006) and Biological Sciences Specialist Degree with a Health specialization (2009) at the University of Bologna.

She worked for 10 years in an analytical chemistry laboratory as a researcher developing methods based on analysis in liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry detection for the determination of veterinary drugs in different biological matrices.

At IRET she performs multiparametric assays using the Luminex platform and traditional ELISA on biological fluids. She is quality assurance for the accreditation of industrial research laboratories and innovation centers. In her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening and traveling with her family.

UniBo, Visiting Researcher

Alessandro Giuliani

Alessandro Giuliani was born in Rivoli (TO) on 01/09/1971. He is currently Graduated Technician, technical-scientific area (EP category) at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Bologna.

In 1998 he graduated in Biological Sciences at the University of Modena.
In 2003 he obtained PhD Title in Biotechnological Application in Neuromorphophysiology at the University of Bologna.
From 2003 to February 2006, he was a “research fellow” at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine at University of Bologna.
In 1999, together with Dr.Luciana Giardino, he received an award in Paris for “poster presentation” at the Workshop “Neurocognitive impairment in Schizophrenic and Alzheimer’s disorders: Therapeutics Approaches”.

From May 2003 until January 2004, he obtained a “post-doc position” at Karolinska Instituttet, Dept of Enviromental medicine at the laboratory of Prof.S anda Ceccatelli, of the in Stockholm, Sweden.

In the laboratory, he deals with imaging techniques (image acquisition and analysis) in traditional and confocal laser scanning microscopy, animal modelling for the study of neurodegenerative diseases, microsurgery, behavioral tests and biology techniques in cells culture.

Veronica Canola

Veronica Canola

Veronica Canola was born in Bassano del Grappa (VI) on November 10, 1996.

She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Linguistic and Cultural Mediation at the University of Padua and then her Master’s degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Ferrara. She speaks six languages: Italian (native speaker), English, German, Spanish, French and Ukrainian.

She oversees social communication and internationalization of IRET Foundation, organizing events and scheduled activities, and disseminating them on websites and on social networks.

She is fond of traveling and is constantly discovering the multitude of cultures and traditions existing in the world. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, practicing sport and relaxing by savouring good food and sipping good wine.

Manuela Galeotti

Manuela Galeotti was born in Faenza (RA) on 12/17/1999.

In March 2024, she graduated in Animal Biotechnology at the University of Bologna with an experimental thesis at the Department of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Ghent (BE) concerning the isolation and characterisation of porcine mesenchymal stem cells.

In the laboratory, she mainly works on cell cultures, in particular on the development of cell platforms for drug delivery on neural models.

Manuela is a lover of mountains and nature; she also enjoys reading and taking long walks with friends.

UniBo, Visiting PhD student

Emily Satanassi

Emily Satanassi was born in Bentivoglio (BO) on 07/02/1999.

In December 2023 she graduated in Biotechnology for Translational Medicine at the University of Ferrara, with an experimental thesis on the evaluation of gene expression and immunomodulation of adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells, during osteogenic differentiation.

In the laboratory, she is mainly involved in the development of cellular platforms for drug delivery on human and murine primary cell cultures.

In her spare time, she enjoys playing sports and reading detective stories and thrillers.

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