Two UniPD research projects selected in the fight against ALS


AriSLA, the Italian Research Foundation for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) announces the selection of excellence in ALS scientific research in Italy with seven new research projects from its spring ‘Call for Research Projects’. Also known as, Lou Gehrig’s disease, ASL is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects about 6000 Italians, for which there is no current effective cure.

The total investment of 762,000 euros will be shared by seven pre-clinical basic research projects that were judged by an International Scientific Commission and involve nine research groups located between Milan, Pavia, Padua, Turin, Trieste, and Verona.

Two out of the seven projects were awarded to University of Padua researchers. Assoc. Prof. Marco Bisaglia, an instructor of General Physiology in the Department of Biology, and Dr. Emanuela Zuccaro, a researcher from the Department of Biomedical Sciences and the Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM).

The project of Assoc. Prof. Marco Bisaglia entitled 'ALSoDJ-1' aims to understand how the DJ-1 protein is involved in ALS by asking if and how DJ-1 interacts with other proteins associated with the familial form of ALS, such as SOD1, TDP-43, and FUS, as well as its implication during the onset of the disease. The research project received funding of 50,000 euros for a period of one year.

Dr. Emanuela Zuccaro has received funding of 60,000 euros for the same duration for her 'MOVER' project that aims to study the susceptibility to motor neuron degeneration in ALS through the identification of the gene expression profile of specific neuronal groups using cutting-edge techniques.