Research areas and methodologies

Research areas:

  • Ph-impedence monitoring of the integrity of the esophageal mucosa and correlation with the perception of symptoms
  • Prospective evaluation of optimal dosing of proton pump inhibitors in the treatment of cough associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Evaluation by high-resolution manometry of patients with esophageal motor disorders and indications for invasive treatments
  • Study of the defence mechanisms against esophageal reflux and their correlation with the response to proton pump inhibitors
  • Pathophysiology of chronic functional gastrointestinal disorders and visceral sensitivity in gastro-esophageal reflux disease, chronic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome with a focus on the role of the intestinal microbiota
  • Protective beneficial effect of probiotics, prebiotics and natural extracts on mucosal permeability and colonic muscle contractility following inflammatory processes in cellular and tissue models
  • Clinical nutrition: evaluation of eating patterns in patients suffering from functional gastrointestinal disorders. Evaluation of nutritional alterations in patients candidates for gastrointestinal surgery: focus on the relationship between nutritional status and tumors of the digestive system.

The research unit carries out basic and translational research projects through molecular biology analyses, the study of intestinal permeability using the "Ussing chamber system" and the electrophysiological study of muscle contraction with a dedicated device (Organ bath, Radnoti). It deals with the study of the intestinal microbiota using NGS analysis (Illumina) through collaborations with reference centers. It also carries out clinical research protocols, both spontaneous and sponsored, for the study of the pathophysiology and clinic of gastroesophageal reflux disease, through the use of high-quality instrumentation (high-resolution manometry, pH-impedance monitoring). Finally, phase II and III clinical research protocols are conducted for the testing of new biological molecules and "small molecules" for the treatment of chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases.

Collaborations with other Research Centers

  • Department of Clinical Nutrition. Sapienza University, Rome 
  • Human Microbiome Research Unit, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Rome
  • Research Center for Social Diseases c/o the Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, La Sapienza University of Rome 
  • Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biotechnology, Department of Physical, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome “Foro Italico”
  • Plant Cellular Biotechnology Laboratory of the Department of Environmental Biology, La Sapienza University of Rome
  • Institute of Bioimaging and Molecular Physiology (IBFM) of the National Research Council (CNR), Segrate (MI)
  • Laboratory of Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition; Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia
  • Biostatistics and Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia

International collaborations

  • Center for Gastroenterological Research, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
  • Barnes-Jewish Center for Advanced Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis (USA)