The IIT@Sapienza laboratory, a collaborative effort between the Sapienza University and the IIT, revolves around two projects of biomedical interest where technological innovation is key to reach the goals.

The first regards neurodegenerative disorders, hereditary and sporadic conditions characterized by progressive nervous system dysfunction. The focus of the second will be brain tumours, the most life-threatening diseases of adulthood and childhood.

In more detail, the Sapienza@IIT Laboratory will aim at:

  • Studying the molecular, cellular and tissutal processes underlying nervous system homeostasis and differentiation and understanding their misregulation in pathological conditions. This will be pursued by building on recent discoveries in the field of molecular neurobiology and on new opportunities arising from improvements in nano- and bio-technologies. In particular neuromuscular diseases, such as Amyotrophic Latheral Sclerosis (ALS) will be used as model systems to analyze the processes underlying neuronal degeneration as well as muscle function.
  • Understanding the interplay between Cancer Stem Cells (CSC) and neoangiogenesis and the dynamics of the CSC population. The project will employ and further develop in vivo molecular imaging technologies to improve tumour detection during intraoperative brain tumor delineation (to achieve nearly complete tumor resection) and in diagnostic and follow-up procedures, with specific emphasis to the imaging of CSCs based on multifunctional nanoparticle-dependent targeting of specific markers.

These challenging projects will benefit from the establishment of two common technological platforms (Genomics & Bioinformatics and Microscopy & Tracking). They will avail themselves of state-of-the-art commercial equipment and, at the same time, foster and support the development of new techniques and instrumentation.

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