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General Physiology

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The Research Unit of General Physiology is involved in research lines concerned with the investigation of the physiologic and pathologic mechanisms evolving in nerve cells or in neuronal circuits during development or in response to perturbations of the microenvironment. In particular, the research activity is currently focused on the cytotoxicity mechanisms in nerve cells and in cells of the Organ of Corti as well as on the study of the physiopathology of retinal diseases, including the experimentation of new therapeutic approaches in animal models. These researches are aimed at possible practical applications regarding the restoration or the protection of neuronal vitality and the efficiency of neuronal network physiology. The main experimental models employed in these studies are represented by cell line cultures, in vitro preparations obtained from mammalian retinas, and in vivo models of retinal pathologies. Both qualitative and quantitative data are obtained with methods of molecular biology, immunohistochemistry, microscopy, imaging, and electrophysiology.

The research activities are supported by grants from national as well as international public and private agencies.

Research lines in detail include:

  • Analysis of the pathogenetic mechanisms of retinal pathologies;
  • Administration methodologies for drug delivery to the retina;
  • Natural substances as possible protective factors for the retina;
  • Natural substances as possible protective factors against chemotherapeutic and antibiotic induced cytotoxicity in immortalized Organ of Corti cells;
  • Neuroprotection in animal models of retinopathies;
  • Study of the effects of antiangiogenic/anti-inflammatory molecules in animal models of retinopathies;
  • Mechanism of the vitamin D3 protective effect in cellular models of neurodegeneration.

The Research Unit of General Physiology is based at the branch of the Department of Biology in via S. Zeno 31, Pisa.

The members of the Research Unit are involved in teaching the following disciplines:

  • General Physiology, Course in Biological Sciences
  • Cellular and System Physiology, Course in Biotechnology
  • Physiology, Course in Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Biotechnology in Neuroscience, Master Degree in Molecular Biotechnology
  • Advanced Neuroscience, Master Degree in Molecular Biotechnology
  • Physiology of Marine Organisms, Master Degree in Marine Biology
  • Neurophysiology, Master Degree in Biology Applied to Biomedicine
  • Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Master Degree in Biology Applied to Biomedicine
  • Neurobiology II, Master Degree in Neuroscience (course held in English)
  • Neurobiology of Animal Behavior, Master Degree in Neuroscience (course held in English)

 

Personnel of the General Physiology Unit:

Associate Professors

Prof. Giovanni Casini

Prof. Massimo Dal Monte

Researchers

Dr. Maurizio Cammalleri

Dr. Maria De Las Mercedes Garcia Gil

PhD Students

Dr. Rosario Amato

Dr. Filippo Locri

Dr. Noemi Pesce


 

Address:

Via San Zeno, 31 I-56123 Pisa
Phone 050-2211426
Fax 050-2211421

 

 

 

 

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