The 500 euro loan has been assigned. From April , the search will continue for two years

Preclinical and clinical studies on obesity and bone fragility, development of surgical robotic instruments for the administration of therapies for the intervertebral disc, application of the cell-on-chip approach for predictive toxicology studies are the objectives of the three winning projects of the internal tender " University Strategic Research Projects". The research, which reflects the interdisciplinary and inter-faculty requirements, was evaluated by a Commission external to the University and will start on April 24st for a duration of 5 months. Overall, only 14 out of 13 projects presented were evaluated above the minimum threshold for funding (16 points out of a maximum of 3) and, as envisaged in the notice, the best projects were admitted to funding.

The internal call is part of the interventions envisaged by the 2014-2016 University strategic plan regarding research development programmes. For financial coverage, the Executive Committee has allocated 500 thousand euros made available to the Integrated Research Centre. The projects will be monitored according to the modalities foreseen by the European projects. All the research presented, not only the funded ones, will be supported by the CIR for their re-proposition at the European level. The final objective of the initiative is twofold: on the one hand, to promote strategic projects that can increase the competitiveness of research groups and favor effects on the University Hospital in terms of clinical innovation; on the other hand, to increase the level of participation of University research groups in European tenders.

In particular, the winning projects are:

Evaluation of bone strength and WNT pathway in obese patients

The aim of the project is to evaluate, through preclinical and clinical studies, how obesity in elderly patients can influence bone fragility and provide new indications for the prevention and treatment of the disease.

Key person: Dr. Nicola Napoli UR Endocrinology and Diabetology (coordinator), Prof. Rocco Papalia UR Orthopedics and Traumatology, Prof. Carla Rabitti UR Pathological Anatomy, Dr. Claudio Pedone UR Geriatrics, Prof. Mauro Maccarrone UR Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dr. Carlo Cosimo Quattrocchi, UR Diagnostic Imaging, Prof. Sergio Silvestri UR Biomedical Instrumentation.

Funding: 160.000 Euros

Smart Surgical platform for the Transpedicular delivery of Advanced Regenerative Therapies into the intervertebral Disc space

The aim of the project is to develop dedicated robotic surgical instruments for the administration of regenerative therapies for the intervertebral disc.

Key Persons: Prof. Rocco Papalia UR Orthopedics and Traumatology (coordinator), Ing. Dino Accoto, UR Biomedical Robotics and Biomicrosystems, Prof. Vincenzo Di Lazzaro RU Neurology

Funding: 160.000 Euros

A multi-cellular 'gut-on-chip' technology for predictive human safety testsing: an integrated experimental and modeling approach

The aim of the project is to develop a platform based on the cell-on-chip approach for predictive toxicology studies, overcoming the limitations of conventional in vitro models and animal experiments.

Key Persons: Ing. Alberto Rainer UR IngTissue and chemical engineering forIngengineering (coordinator), Dr. Michele Pierluca Guarino UR Gastroenterology, Ing. Christian Cherubini UR Nonlinear Physics and Mathematical Models, Prof. Sergio Morini UR Microscopic and Ultrastructural Anatomy

Funding: 180.000 Euros