Sections of the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine

NEUROSCIENCE & CELL BIOLOGY: Coordinator: Prof Saverio Cinti

The section of Neuroscience and Cell Biology includes the following Scientific Areas (SSD):

The teaching staff of both SSDs is involved in teaching activities in the Medical School, in the three years-Bachelor degrees and in the PhD courses. Both research groups mainly deal with basic research, with particular interest in the study of the nervous system, with projects on both animal and in vitro models.

The main research interests of the Section include:

-  the study of the adipose organ: clinical problems relating to obesity, diabetes and related diseases such as hypertension and atherosclerosis are addressed through cell biology and morphological techniques.

- the study of the molecules involved in the development and differentiation of the human placenta, the pathologies of pregnancy, the uterine ones and the urinary tract. These researches are carried out both with in vitro and in vivo studies.

- study of nervous system physiology: experimental methods of immunohistochemistry, cell biology and behavior analysis with functional Magnetic Resonance imaging are currently used.

The Human Anatomy subsection has the following laboratories: Laboratory "A" of immunohistochemical techniques, Laboratory "B" of Molecular Biology; Cell Culture Room; Electron Microscopy Laboratory; Confocal Microscopy Laboratory; Gross Anatomy Room, equipped with several anatomical models and with the recently acquired Anatomage. The Human Anatomy research group, through morphological and molecular biology techniques, is involved in the following lines of research: functional anatomy of adipose tissues in humans and animal models; pathophysiological aspects of obesity and associated pathologies (such as diabetes, liver disease, hypertension, dyslipidaemias, etc.); central regulation of eating behavior and body metabolism; neuroendocrinology of the energy balance; functional anatomy of the human placenta; pathogenetic mechanisms of uterine leiomyomas. Some members of the research group are part of the Inter-Departmental Center for Obesity (C.I.O.) UNIVPM-Ospedali Riuniti of Ancona. Part of the staff of the SSD BIO / 16 "Human Anatomy" has an agreement with the National Health System and carries out the ultrastructural diagnosis service for assistance purposes

CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCE: Coordinator: Prof Maria Gabriella Ceravolo
The section of Clinical Neurosciences includes the following scientific areas (SSD) of clinical value.

All scientific areas (with the exception of M-PSI/02) play a clinical role and are also affiliated with the National Health System as part of the department of neurological sciences at the University Hospital United Hospitals of Ancona. The six scientific areas have active collaborations in the field of research and teaching to the Medical School, Bachelor’s degree and PhD students (Human Health branch).

Each scientific area (with the exception of M-PSI/02) is also responsible of a school for postgraduate medical education.

Researchers of the clinical neuroscience section especially focus their interests on the nervous and ophthalmic systems. There are extensive areas of collaboration, concerning:

  • neuro-oncology, cerebrovascular diseases, movement disorders, cranial and spinal trauma, for which clinical pathways have been developed, favoring the interdisciplinary management between neurologists, neurosurgeons and physical and rehabilitation medicine (PRM) physicians.
  • neuropsychological deficits resulting from brain injury in adulthood (language and cognitive disorders), behavioral disorders and the psychopharmacology with collaboration between psychiatry and neurology,
  • neurophtalmology and degenerative diseases with collaboration between ophthalmology and neurologyin terms of training and care

The majority of the research and collaboration is clinically orientated. This is a unique feature of the section and results in clear benefits in terms of training and care


The scientific activities of the clinical neuroscience section are expressed in many areas

  • Movement disorders: the scientific activity is aimed at investigating the neurophysiological characteristics, the main features of non-motor symptoms, the effectiveness of pharmacological and surgical interventions and  the prediction of functional improvement
  • Cerebrovascular diseases: the scientific activity is aimed at investigating the correlation between clinical features (subacute or chronic; ischemic or hemorrhagic type) and the characteristics of the feeding vessels. The phenomena that influence the functional recovery after stroke and the rehabilitation strategies useful for promoting the mechanisms of post-lesional neuroplasticity are also studied.
  • Dementias: the scientific activity is aimed at investigating neurocognitive aspects with particular attention to conditions that are less common
  • Neuro-oncology is involved with the clinical and therapeutic aspects of care for high-grade gliomas and primary CNS lymphomas, the development of shared protocols for diagnosis and treatment (recommendations). It is also involved in the treatment of brain tumor-related epilepsy.
  • Neuropsychopharmacology investigates the characteristics of new pharmacological agents and drug interactions
  • Psychopathology: the research aims to investigate the relationship between genetic contributions, with particular reference to the impact of polymorphisms and environmental factors on human personality. There are facilities dedicated to adolescent psychopathology, to eating disorders  and peripartum depression
  • The pathology of the posterior segment of the eye is investigated in its pathogenesis and therapeutic interventions
  • Language disorders are studied for both the diagnostic aspects and the innovative ways to recover
  • Neurotraumatology is treated through the development of integrated protocols for diagnosis and management of serious cranial and spinal trauma. It also involves the study of post-traumatic outcomes and the mechanism of recovery.
  • The research the area of retinal disease is directed toward new frontiers of treatment, such as biologics anti-VEGF agents and metronomic therapy intravitreal sustained-release
  • Minimally invasive surgery is applied in a wide range of retinal diseases such as retinal detachment, proliferative diabetic retinopathy and macular pucker
  • The application of therapeutic techniques from other medical disciplines (such as rheumatology and clinical immunology) to Ocular immunology
  • The eye clinic is a leading center in the international multicentre studies on Ocular Immunology


SURGICAL SCIENCES: Coordinator Prof Cristina Marmorale

The section of Surgical Sciences includes the following scientific areas (SSD) of clinical value.

The main research interests of the Section include:

- Neuro-Oncology and Basic Skull Surgery. Development of the most direct and least invasive access routes, through the use of adequate intra-operative monitoring techniques and endoscopic instruments that reduce the use of extensive craniotomies.

- Surgical treatment of complex vertebral degenerative and traumatic pathology. Development of rigid and hybrid arthrodesis systems suitable for the various pathologies treated.

- Surgical treatment of brain injuries in severe head injuries. Pathophysiology of post-traumatic intracranial hypertension, monitoring and application of techniques of brain decompression (craniectomy) and cranial reconstruction (cranioplasty),

- Surgical treatment of multifocal drug-resistant epilepsies. Development and application of resective techniques and of central and peripheral brain neuromodulation for the reduction of frequency and severity of epileptic seizures.