Research projects (completed and ongoing):

Project 09-09 GSF

Una rete di ricerca italianaread and dowload

our publication

 

An Italian network to fight FSGS

in partnership with :

 

In September 2009, the Foundation “La Nuova Speranza- ONLUS”, published its first book entitled “A network of Italian research to fight focal glomerulosclerosis”.

The book describes the “Italian Network”, a network of researchers studying FSGS that was formed after the first workshop we organized in December 2008. Inside the book, all the projects and seats where they will be carried out are described exhaustively.

The book can be downloaded in pdf version or requested via email, fax or telephone to the Foundation and it will be sent after the payment of delivery costs



Project 02-04 GSF
Research on FSGS after transplant

partnership with :

Logo clinica De MarchiFondazione IRCSS Ca' Granda - Ospedale Policlinico di Milano

seat: Fondazione IRCSS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Mangiagalli e Regina Elena
c/o “Clinica De Marchi”, via della Commenda 9, Milano
department: Nephrology, Dialysis and Paediatric Transplant
year: 2009 -2011
requested funds: 35.000,00 euro/annui
duration: 2 anni

aim of the research: the foundation “La Nuova Speranza” co-financed a research contract for a nephrologist to carry out a project antitled “Studies on primitive and post transplant focal glomerulosclerosis”. The purpose is to study in depth the pathogenetic basis of FSGS and the mechanisms of recurrence of the disease in transplanted kidneys, in order to find new therapeutic measures to oppose FSGS.

awarded: Dr. Mirco Belingheri has been awarded with the bursary.

download (it)

Project 06-04 GSF
Project RITUXIMAB-MSC

in partnership with :

Logo Istituto Gaslini Istituto Gaslini

seat: Istituto G. Gaslini, Genova
facility: UO Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale dei Trapianti d'Organo, Unità Operativa di Nefrologia, IRCCS Istituto G. Gaslini, Genova
year: 2009
requested funds: 40.000,00 euro/annui
duration: 3 anni
aim of the research:

A) To define an “in vitro” model to assess the effect of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) on the production of the permeability factor P(alb) by the mononucleated cells of peripheral blood (PBMC) in patients with FSGS, in order to validate a possible use of stem cells “in vivo”. 

B) To outline clinical protocols to prevent and treat the recurrence of FSGS after renal transplant, through the use of the monoclonal antibody RITUXIMAB and of mesenchymal stem cells, in case required

scientific coordinator: Dott. Fabrizio Ginevri, medico specialista in Nefrologia e Pediatria

Scarica curriculum vitae

Project 05-04 GSF
Project P(alb)

in partnership with :

Ospedale di Cattinara, TriesteUniversità degli Studi di Trieste


seat:
Ospedale di Cattinara, Trieste
facility: UO Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e sperimentale e Neurosclenze cliniche e sperimentali
year: 2009
requested funds:17.000,00 euro/annui
duration: 2 anni

aim of the research:

  1. To characterize the permeability factor Palb (PF), presumed effector of the glomerular damage, and to understand its role in the pathogenesis of FSGS
  2. To study the interaction between PF and the glomerular filtration barrier.
  3. To study a model of animal disease through the injection of human nucleated cells taken out from peripheral blood.
  4. To produce a protocol of cellular therapy of FSGS based on the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC).

scientific coordinator: Dr. Michele Carraro, specialist in Nephrology, Sport Medicine and Internal Medicine.

download curriculum vitae (in italian)

Project 04-04 GSF
Project MESENCHYMAL CELLS

in partnership with :

smatteo PaviaIRCCS Fondazione Policlinico S. Matteo, Pavia

seat: IRCCS Fondazione Policlinico S. Matteo, Pavia
facility: Department of Paediatric Oncohematology
year: dal 2009
requested funds: 40.000,00 euro/annui
duration: 3 anni

aim of the research: : to assess the role of cellular components of peripheral blood in the pathogenesis of FSGS, by rating the role of each circulating cellular population in the genesis of the podocyte damage and by assessing the effect on FSGS of the regulatory T cells. Furthermore, the research aims to develop a therapeutic protocol based on the use of MSC. Therefore, a production of MSC will be started in order to use them during “in vitro” tests and for “in vivo” studies. The phenotypic and functional features of MSC coming from patients with FSGS will be assessed and a clinic study for the treatment of FSGS through dispensation of MSC will be carried out.

scientific coordinator:Dott.ssa Patrizia Comoli, specialist in Paediatrics

download curriculum vitae (in italian)

Project 03-04 GSF
FOXp3

iartnership with :

Logo clinica De MarchiFondazione IRCSS Ca' Granda - Ospedale Policlinico di Milano

seat: Fondazione IRCSS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Mangiagalli e Regina Elena
c/o “Clinica De Marchi”, via della Commenda 9, Milano
department: Nephrology, Dialysis and Paediatric Transplant
year: 2009
requested funds: 50.000,00 euro/annui
duration: 2 anni

aim of the research: to verify the presence of alterations of the systems regulating the immune response, in a population of children affected by nephrotic syndrome, by measuring the expression of regulatory T cells in the peripheral blood. To verify if mutations or polymorphisms of the gene for FOXp3 can be related to the occurrence and progress of the nephrotic syndrome in children.

scientific coordinator: Dr. Mirco Belingheri specialist in Nephrology

download curriculum vitae (it)

Project 02-04 GSF
Project OXIDATIVE BRUST

in partnership with :

Logo Istituto Gaslini Istituto Gaslini

seat: Istituto G. Gaslini, Genova
facility: UO Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale dei Trapianti d'Organo, Unità Operativa di Nefrologia, IRCCS Istituto G. Gaslini, Genova
year: 2009
requested funds: 63.000,00 euro/annui
duration: 3 anni
aim of the research:the project aims to find out if any cell can modify the oxidative process in the nephrotic syndrome. The comparative model will be the ANCA-positive vasculitis, in which the formation of autoantibodies against circulating neutrophils can cause an anomalous activity of the neutrophil itself. In other words, the project aims to find out if the oxidation mediated by the oxidative burst has any direct pathogenetic implication on kidneys. Therefore we will design experiments to define possible mechanisms of direct toxicity “in vitro” and “in vivo” on cavies. The goals of the project will then target the following aspects:

1) regulation of the oxidative burst by the Treg regulatory cells in patients affected by idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (NS) compared with cases of ANCA-positive vasculitis;

2) damaging effects on renal podocytes “in cultura” of cells producing ROS, purified from patients with NS,

3) toxic activity of neutrophils with oxidative activity, purified from patients with NS and injected in naked rats.

scientific coordinator: Dr. G.M. Ghiggheri, specialist in Nephrology, Biochemistry, Medical Genetics, director of the Department of Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplant, Gaslini Institute, Genova.

download curriculum vitae (it)

Project 01-04 GSF
Project Neuron-Like Podocyte

in partnership with :

IRCCS Foundation Policlinico, Mangiagalli and Regina Elena, and Foundation D’Amico for the research on Renal Diseases.  

seat: seat: Istituto G. Gaslini, Genova
facility: UO Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale dei Trapianti d'Organo, Unità Operativa di Nefrologia, IRCCS Istituto G. Gaslini, Genova
year: 2009
requested funds: 63.000,00 euro/annui
duration: 3 anni

aim of the research: the primary goal of the research is an exhaustive characterization of the podocyte neuron-like, glutamatergic and GABAergic signalling pathways, completed by an analysis of the molecules of intercellular junctions and of the mechanisms regulating cell polarity. The formation of networks of glomerular signal will be analysed in details to characterize its molecular components and to understand the role of this kind of signals in maintaining the glomerular filtration barrier. In particular, starting from what we already know about the common features of the podocytes and of the neuronal cells, the study aims to:

  • Completely characterize the neuron-like signalling systems and the formation of networks of intercellular communication in the glomerulus.
  • Identify further molecules shared by podocytes and neurons to understand the procedures of formation, maintenance and repair of ramified podocytes.
  • Define functional domains and interactions among these cells.
  • Understand how these molecular interactions can contribute to maintain the molecular filter and how their alterations can translate into the FSGS phenotype, in its uniqueness of primary pathology for the podocyte.

scientific coordinator: Dott.ssa M.P. Rastaldi, specialista in Medicina Interna, Nefrologia, dottorato in Medicina Molecolare.

download curriculum vitae (it)

Project 12-08 GSF
1^SEMINAR

On 19 December 2008, the Foundation “La Nuova Speranza – Onlus” organized a seminar on FSGS, together with the Department of Nephrology and Paediatric Hemodialysis of the “De Marchi” clinic. The seminar was open to researchers expert in GSF and glomerular diseases

The following people took part in the seminar:

  • Dr. A. Edefonti, Department of Nephrology and Paediatric Hemodialysis at the “De Marchi” Clinic, Milan, as the moderator.
  • Dr. G.M. Ghiggeri, Department of Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplant, G. Gaslini Institute, Genova, on “Genetics, physiopathology and therapy of FSGS”.
  • Dr. M.P. Rastaldi, Foundation d’Amico, on “Podocytes and FSGS”.
  • Dr. M. Carraro, Department of Dialysis and Nephrology, Gattinara Hospital, Trieste, on “Permeabilizing factor and FSGS”.
  • Dr. P. Comoli, Department of Paediatric Oncohematology, San Matteo General Hospital, Pavia, on “Mesenchymal cells and FSGS”.
  • Dr. M. Belingheri, Department of Nephrology and Paediatric Hemodialysis at the “De Marchi” Clinic, Milan, on “Regulatory T-cells and FSGS”.

The following people also attended the seminar :

  • Dott.ssa L. Ghio,

  • Dott.ssa C. Zennaro

  • Dott. G. Messa

  • Dott. F. Ginevri

  • Dott.ssa G. Giani

  • Dott. Ardissimo

  • Dott. N. Borsa Tedeschi

  • Dott. A.S. Tirelli

  • Dott. L. Alberti

Project 05_07 GSF
ILLUMINA

Partnership with :

Mario Negri - Istituto di ricerche farmacologiche

Seat: Pharmacological Research Institute “Mario Negri”
Facility: Clinical Research Institute for Rare Diseases “Aldo e Cele Daccò” c/o “Villa Camozzi” (Ranica-BG)
Bursary: 15.000 euros/year
Year: from 2007
Invested funds:  20.000,00 euros
Duration: ongoing
Aim of the research:
to identify new gene mutations that can cause focal glomerulosclerosis. The project is named after a new technology, illumina, which allows to study more than 1.000.000 polymorphisms present in the human genome. This technology will be used to study the genome of patients affected by GSF. In this way, it will be possible to identify genetic loci where there might be a gene connected to GSF. Afterwards, these loci will be sequenced, searching for the mutations. This new nanotechnology will be applied to the study of both familial and sporadic forms of GSF.

Project 04_07 GSF
SEMINAR STEM CELLS

Seminar
“HAEMOPOIETIC STEM CELLS TRANSPLANT: CURRENT ROLE AND FUTURE PROSPECTS”

On 22nd November 2007, the Foundation “La Nuova Speranza-ONLUS” organised a seminar on the topic “haemopoietic stem cells transplant: current role and future prospects”. The seminar was open to all the patients affected by focal glomerulosclerosis and their parents, as well as to people working in this field and to anyone interested in it.

The speakers of the conference were:

  • Dr. L. Ghio, Department of Nephrology, Dialysis and Paediatric Transplant at the “De Marchi” Clinic (Milan)

  • Dr. A. Edefonti, Department of Nephrology, Dialysis and Paediatric Transplant at the “De Marchi” Clinic (Milan)

  • Prof. F. Locatelli, Department of Paediatric Oncohematology, Foundation IRCSS, San Matteo General Hospital (Pavia).

Download seminar leaflet: Seminar

Following this seminar, a teamwork study started among
De Marchi Clinic, Milano (Dr. L. Ghio),
San Matteo General Hospital, Pavia (Prof. F. Locatelli)
University of Pavia (Prof. O. Zuffardi)
Gaslini Institute, Genova (Dr. F. Ginevri)
University of Trieste (Dr. C. Zennaro)

This study is centred on two projects:

  • The first one aims to find new strategies to treat the post-transplant recurrence of GSF, by using mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). The study plans to outline an in vitro model to evaluate the capability of mesenchymal stem cells to modulate the production of the permeability factor by the lymphocytes in patients affected by GSF. After having demonstrated in this model the immune regulatory capability of MSC, a pilot study will be carried out to treat the recurrence of GSF through infusion of MSC.

  • The second one aims to identify the genes engaged in the immune system, which could predispose to the post-transplant recurrence. The presence of CNV (Copy Number Variation), that is a DNA alteration which could be related to the disease, are sought in the samples of human genome of patients affected by GSF, by using the genome-wide array-CGH analysis (array-Comparative Genomic Hybridization), a new and sophisticated technique to analyse the human genome. 

Project 03_06 GSF
GSF GENETICS

Partenership with:

Mario Negri - Istituto di ricerche farmacologiche

Seat: Pharmacological Research Institute “Mario Negri”
Facility: Clinical Research Institute for Rare Diseases “Aldo e Cele Daccò” c/o “Villa Camozzi” (Ranica-BG)
Bursary: 15.000,00 euros/year
Year: from 2006
Duration: 1 year
Aim of the research:
in 2006 the Foundation “La Nuova Speranza-ONLUS” established a partnership, still going on, with the Pharmacological Research Institute “Mario Negri”, specifically with Clinical Research Centre for Rare Diseases “Aldo e Cele Daccò” c/o “Villa Camozzi” (Ranica-BG).
In this institute, the study of genetic causes of the focal glomerulosclerosis and of possible new treatments has been going on for years.
In order to favour the ongoing work in this centre, the Foundation has established a annual bursary for a lab researcher.

Award: Dr. Bettinaglio Paola.

Download project

Project 02_06 GSF
MULTICENTRIC

Partnership with :

Logo clinica De MarchiFondazione IRCSS Ca' Granda - Ospedale Policlinico di Milano

Seat: Foundation IRCSS General Hospital, Mangiagalli and Regina Elena
Department: Nephrology, Dialysis and Paediatric Transplant, “De Marchi” Clinic, via della Commenda 9, Milan
Year: 2006
Duration: 36 months
Invested funds:
15.000,00 euros for an annual bursary
12.000,00 euros in equipment

Researchers:

  • Dr. A. Edefonti, Consultant of the Department of Nephrology, Dialysis and Paediatric Transplant, “De Marchi” Clinic, Milan

  • Dr. E. Torresani, Superintendent of the Department of Medical Pathology, General Hospital, Milan

  • Dr. D. Coviello, Medical Genetics Laboratory, General Hospital, Milan

  • Dr. M. Travi, Medical Genetics Laboratory, General Hospital, Milan

  • Dr. A. Biondi, Department of Paediatrics and Paediatric Haematology, New “San Gerardo” Hospital, Monza

  • Dr. F. Vicenti, UCFS, Department of Surgery, San Francisco; expert in GSF,

  • Dr. G.M. Ghiggeri, Department of Nephrology, Dialysis and Paediatric transplant, Gianna Gaslini Institute, Genova, expert in GSF,

  • Dr. M. Carraro, Department of Clinic Medicine, Hospital Gattinara, Trieste.

Aim of the research:

  • Epidemiologic study on the cases of cortico-resistant nephrotic syndrome from GSF, treated at the Department of Nephrology, Dialysis and Paediatric Transplant, “De Marchi” Clinic, Milan;
  • Etiopathogenetic study through the genetic study, the study on the permeability factor and the immunologic study;
  • Study on proteomics in GSF;
  • Therapeutic protocol  with new monoclinal antibodies and aphaeresis techniques;
  • Follow-up study on the therapeutic response

Download project

Project 01_06 GSF
BURSARY DE MARCHI

Partnership with :

Logo clinica De MarchiFondazione IRCSS Ca' Granda - Ospedale Policlinico di Milano

Seat: Foundation IRCSS General Hospital, Mangiagalli and Regina Elena (www.policlinico.mi.it) c/o “De Marchi” Clinic, via della Commenda 9, Milan
Department: Nephrology, Dialysis and Paediatric Transplant
Years: 2005-2006
Bursary: 15.000,00 euros/year
Duration: 1 year
Aim of the research:to expand on the genetic and immunologic basis of the disease and to identify a therapeutic protocol to treat post-transplant recurrence of GSF in paediatric patients.
Award: Dr. Elisa Meregalli

Download the bursary memorandum