Beneficiary 01a: CNR-IBP (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Institute Protein Biochemistry), Napoli, Italy
The Institute of Protein Biochemistry (IBP) of CNR is dedicated to two main research areas: protein structure-function and biocatalysis, and molecular/cell biology and pharmacology, with focus on membrane transport, signalling and immunological response at the molecular level. The Laboratory of Innate Immunity and Cytokines of IBP-CNR has extensive experience in innate immunity mechanisms, focussing on human responses to inflammatory stimuli, with particular emphasis on the activity of monocytes/macrophages, the interleukin-1 cytokine network, and the role of inflammation in chronic/progressive autoimmune and degenerative diseases and during ageing.
Diana Boraschi is an immunologist that built her experience both in academic institutions (Italian National Council for Nuclear Energy, Rome, Italy; National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD; Mario Negri Institute in Milan, Italy; University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI; CNR in Pisa) and industrial settings (the vaccine company Sclavo in Siena, Italy; the pharmaceutical company Dompé in L’Aquila, Italy). She is presently Research Director at the Institute of Protein Biochemistry of the Italian National Research Council in Naples. She has served as Director of Fellowships at the Human Frontier Science Program Organization in Strasbourg, France. As external expert evaluator, she has served in the research programmes of the EU Commission (FP5, FP6, FP7), EDCTP, the Singapore National Medical Council, the US National Science Foundation, and governmental initiatives in Egypt, Romania, Sweden, Poland, South Africa, and Italy. She also serves as peer reviewer for numerous scientific journals and is on the editorial board of seven of them. She is author of 160 peer-reviewed research articles in immunology, editor of 20 books, and inventor in eight patents, in addition to numerous monographic and divulging publications (h-index 50, g-index 77, i-10-index 138, citations 7243). Since many years she is involved in international higher education training activities, with particular emphasis on capacity building actions in Africa in the field of poverty-related diseases and health care systems and delivery.
Diana Boraschi studies the mechanisms of innate defence responses, focussing in particular on the role of macrophages and inflammatory cytokines in the effector phase of defence reactions against infections and tumours. Her main interests are the receptors of the IL-1R/TLR family and their cytokine ligands (IL-1 and IL-18). A fragment of IL-1 endowed with immunostimulatory activity is now defined as the “Boraschi loop”. She is currently studying the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of diseases (from autoimmune syndromes to degenerative diseases such as ALS), with emphasis on abnormalities in the activation of macrophages. Within the study of the initiating mechanisms causing chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, she has addressed the possible impact of engineered nanoparticles, and of their interaction with microbial derived factors, in initiating or modulating pathology-related inflammation. She has initiated the “Immunosafety Focus Group” within the NanoSafety Cluster (an initiative sponsored by the EU Commission), aiming at defining and standardising the immunosafety assessment as central part of nanosafety regulations.
Beneficiary 01b: CNR-IBIM (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Biomedicina e Immunologia Molecolare "A. Monroy"), Palermo, Italy
The National Research Council (CNR) is the Italian government agency for research, which included over 100 institutes active in all research fields. The Institute of Biomedicine and Molecular Immunology (IBIM) is located at the CNR Area of Research in Palermo and is dedicated to molecular and cellular studies of immunoregulation and differentiation in immunological disorders and tumours, from mechanisms of cell regulation, signalling and degeneration to adult/embryonic animal models (e.g. sea urchin).
Current Position: Third-class Researcher, CNR-IBIM, Palermo (2014-present).
Dr. Annalisa Pinsino, PhD in Cell Biology and Development, her research is primarily concerned with improve knowledge of the molecular and cellular mechanisms influencing the development and the life maintenance and organism behaviour with special emphasis to echinoderms. Expert in: i) embryo-toxicology, immune-toxicology and regenerative response of echinoderms; ii) signalling pathways in echinoderm immune and stress response after insults; iii) identification and development of molecular markers to marine environmental monitoring; iv) cell lineage profiling of immune cells and v) basic mechanisms involved in bio-mineralization. Her current research focuses on the characterisation of the innate/inflammatory cascades/pathways activated in response to nanoparticles. Currently, she is a member of the PANDORA project, external partner of the Eco-SUN (Labex Serenade funding 2016-2019) and the NanoScreen (DOC2AMU- H2020-MSCA-COFUND) projects, responsible of the IBIM Unit in the framework of an Italian project of biomonitoring.
Education and Professional training:
- 2012-2014: Post-Doctoral Fellows in Identification of molecular markers of cellular stress.
- 2007/2009: M.U.R.S.T Special Doctoral fellow (University of Palermo)
- 2008: Award for research activity in the framework of the project PON 2000/2006 – Higher Education PhD program.
- 2005: Post-Lauream Fellowship in “Kristineberg Marine Research Station”, Fiskebäckskil, Goteborg University-Sweden.
- 2005: Award Visitor programme application in Kristineberg Marine Research Station promoted within the Network of
Excellence in FP6 "MGE"(GOCE-CT-2004-505403).
- 2003/2006: Post-Lauream Fellowship in the field of Toxicity Bioassays on marine invertebrates in polluted waters and
sediments, funded by the ICRAM Institute (Training Project PR 239 SEMACO).
- 2003/2005: Post-Lauream Master in Protection of Marine Environment and Oceanography (Mambo) (project N°1473/663
approved by the Ministry of Education, University and Research).
- 2002: Degree in Natural Science (University of Palermo).
Beneficiary 02: PLUS (Paris-Lodron Universität Salzburg), Salzburg, Austria
PLUS is a public university with 18000 students and a strong track record of EU projects. The present project will be performed at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, where external fellows with host institutions that cannot award PhDs will be inscribed as external doctoral students.
Albert Duschl studied biology at the University of Giessen, Germany, where he received his Diploma in February 1984 and received his PhD for work on bacterial membrane proteins in December 1986. He spent his postdoc years at the University of California, Irvine (1987-1989) and at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry at Martinsried, Germany (1990).
He became a University Assistant and group leader at the Biocenter of the University of Würzburg in 1990, where he established his own research group, working on molecular mechanisms in the regulation of the human immune systems. Specific areas of interest evolved in the fields of allergy, of signal transduction in dendritic cells, and of interactions between immune cells and environmental agents, in particular engineered nanoparticles.
In January 2001, Albert Duschl moved to the University of Salzburg where he is Full Professor (Chair) of Biochemistry. His research interests have continued and expanded, but increasingly administrative work had also to be accomplished. He was from 2003-2011 Vice Rector for Research at his University and has coordinated the FP7 projects NanoEIS and NanoTOES. He does not regret any of his career choices and enjoys working in Salzburg.
Beneficiary 03: UNIGE (Università degli Studi di Genova), Genoa, Italy
The University of Genoa (UNIGE) is a public teaching and research institution, in which academics, students, administrative and technical staff participate in the exercise of the respective competences, functions and responsibilities, being involved in the building of a European area for research and advanced professional training. UNIGE was founded in 1933 by means of Regio Decreto n. 1592, but its history can be traced back several centuries (14th century). It operates in accordance with the principles of the Constitution of the Italian Republic and of Magna Charta subscribed by European Universities in 1988. From 2012 UNIGE has a new Statute which led to the following organizational structure: 22 Departments, 5 Schools, 14 Interuniversity Research and Services Centres, 2 Centres of Excellence. The personnel consists of 1329 academics and 1413 administrative and technical staff, including 12 top executive managers.
DISTAV (www.distav.unige.it) at UNIGE is a large Department joining different expertise in Earth, Environment and Life sciences. The Life Science component includes all biological disciplines with researchers involved in basic and applied studies. In particular, research carried out by the Environmental Physiology group involves studies on the responses to both natural and anthropogenic environmental stressors (inorganic and organic contaminants such as endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals, NP, as well as microbial contamination) in different vertebrate and invertebrate experimental models, both in vitro and in vivo.
Laura Canesi is Full Professor of Physiology. She leads the Environmental Physiology Lab and is member of the board of the PhD in Science and Technology for the Environment and Territory (STAT) at DISTAV. Formation: 1984: Degree in Natural Sciences, 1988: PhD in Marine Environmental Sciences, 1994/1998: Researcher at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Urbino, Italy (UNIURB), 1998/2006: Associate Professor of Physiology at UNIURB, 2007/2015: Associate Professor of Physiology at UNIGE, 2016- Full Professor of Physiology at UNIGE.
Beneficiary 04: IMIC (Mikrobiologicky Ustav-AVCR, V.V.I), Prague, Czech Republic
The Czech Academy of Sciences was established in 1992 by the Czech National Council as the Czech successor of the former Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences and its tradition goes back to the Royal Bohemian Society of Sciences (founded in 1784) and the Emperor Franz Joseph Czech Academy for Sciences, Literature and Arts (founded in 1890).The Academy is the leading non-university public research institution in the Czech Republic. It conducts both fundamental and strategic applied research.
The Institute of Microbiology (http://mbucas.cz/en/) of the Czech Academy of Science is a legally independent non-profit research organization with a staff of 400 people and belongs to the leading scientific institutions in the Czech Republic in biomedical and environment-related research. It has a worldwide network of cooperating research institutes, universities and private companies and a broad experience in the development and implementation of projects financed by both local and international organisations, including the EU. IMIC performs basic research in physiology, biochemistry and genetics of microorganisms, immunology, molecular biology, biotechnology and environmental microbiology.
Dr. Petra Prochazkova research field is comparative and developmental immunology that uses invertebrates as a tool for study of defense mechanisms against pathogens on the basic level. She is focusing on the characterization of defense mechanisms of earthworms (Eisenia andrei species), which like in other invertebrates, rely generally on the innate immune system including both cell-mediated and humoral mechanisms. She studies immune response of earthworms on the molecular and cellular level and main aim is the finding, cloning and description of new immunologically important genes. Besides that, she is following up the effect of pathogenic bacteria on the immunity of earthworms during vermicomposting.
Education and Professional training:
- - PhD Institute of Microbiology AS CR, v.v.i, Prague, Czech Republic (2006)
- - RNDr, Faculty of Nature Sciences, Charles University in Prague (1998)
In the year 2014 Dr Prochazkova was awarded the Otto Wichterle Prize, an honour given by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic to stimulate and encourage selected, exceptionally outstanding, promising young scientists at the Czech Academy of Sciences for their remarkable contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge in a given area of science.
Beneficiary 05: EKUT (Eberhard-Karls-University of Tübingen), Tübingen, Germany
The Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen is one of Europe’s oldest universities. Several hundred years of history in the sciences and humanities have been written here. The University's history began in 1477, when Count Eberhard “the Bearded” of Württemberg founded the University. In Tübingen’s historical center there is hardly a building or a square that is not linked to a renowned scholar. Tübingen notables include Hegel, Hölderlin and Schelling, Mörike and Uhland, Johannes Kepler and Wilhelm Schickard. Tübingen today remains a place of research and teaching. In addition to the nearly 85,500 inhabitants, there are some 28,300 German and international students. Some 450 professors and 4.400 other academic staff teach at the University’s seven faculties. The University of Tübingen was successful in competition for the status of being one out of 11 top universities in Germany, securing additional funding for top-level research.
The Center for Plant Molecular Biology is a research centre at the University of Tübingen. The Center was funded in 1999 to generate optimal working condition for Plant Molecular Biology with central facilities supporting research of currently 16 individual groups.
Dr. Birgit Kemmerling, project group leader at the Center for Plant Molecular Biology has experience in plant immunology, pathogen perception, receptor kinases and plant defence responses.
Beneficiary 06: UNILJ (Univerza v Ljubljani), Ljubljana, Slovenia
The University of Ljubljana is the oldest and largest complete university in Slovenia. It includes 26 member schools of humanities, social, technical and natural science profiles. Most of them are teaching and research institutions with developed international cooperation. The Department of Biology at the Biotechnical Faculty of University of Ljubljana has a staff of 115 people. Ca. 70 undergraduate students are accepted yearly and ca. 25 postgraduates. The Department covers the whole spectrum of biology in teaching and in research. Its strongest groups are on Zoology, Botany, Molecular biology, Microbiology and Ecology. Within a chair of zoology a very strong group is working on (eco)toxicity of metals, pesticides and nanoparticles (Group for Nanobiology and Nanotoxicology (http://www.bionanoteam.com/).
Prof. Dr. Damjana Drobne is head of Bionanoteam, the Research group for nanobiology and nanotoxicology at the Biotechnical faculty, University of Ljubljana. Damjana Drobne is a Professor of Zoology and Professor of Toxicology from University of Ljubljana. With over twenty years of research experience, she is the founder and principal investigator of Bionanoteam.
Beneficiary 07: CU (Cardiff University), Cardiff, UK
Cardiff University is a public research university located in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. Founded in 1883 as the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, it became one of the founding colleges of the University of Wales in 1893, and in 1997 received (but held in abeyance) its own degree-awarding powers. It adapted the public name of Cardiff University in 1999, and in 2005 this became its legal name as it left the University of Wales to become an independent University awarding its own degrees. It is the third oldest university institution in Wales and is the only Welsh member of the Russell Group of leading British research universities.
The School of Biosciences (BIOSI) (www.cardiff.ac.uk/biosciences) has witnessed a record research income of >19 M€ in the period 2013/2014, and life science is ranked in the top 100 globally (http://www.shanghairanking.com/). Additional investment of in excess of 30 M€ has been made to further strengthen the School’s reputation for research and teaching excellence. The major facilities in BIOSI are augmented by dedicated research support units within the School, including Molecular Biology (Prof. P. Kille Co-Director), Confocal Microscopy/ Fluorescence microscopy (Dr. T. Hayes Director), Electron Microscopy, Histology, Analytical unit, Transgenic production, Experimental MRI Centre (angiography, diffusion tensor imaging, fMRI and molecular imaging) and Stem Cell Suite and Flow Cytometry unit (includes time lapse fluorescent microscopy). Furthermore, the Organism and Environment Division of the School of Biosciences supports a suite of constant environment facilities to underpin terrestrial and freshwater ecology and ecotoxicology.
Prof. Peter Kille is Strategic Director of Education, Bio-Initiatives Director. His present research harnesses 'omics' tools to characterise the pathways and regulatory networks which response to and regulate the essential metal ion Zinc and Copper and the respond to toxic heavy metals and other Xenobiotics. Heavy metals are essential for life, however, paradoxically exploitation of land for mineral extraction and manufacturing industry results in the release of large quantities of heavy metals that can be toxic to the natural environment. Prof Kille research portfolio is designed to exploit state-of-the-art genomic, proteomic and metabolomic techniques to study the mechanisms by which biological systems handle heavy metals assessing: their impact as pollutants, their involvement in disease and the basic mechanisms by which they are bound within biological systems.
Beneficiary 08: NERC (Natural Environmental Research Council), Wallingford, UK
The UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is one of the world’s leading bodies for research within the terrestrial and freshwater sciences. NERC's mission is to provide a sound and informed scientific basis for making environmental decisions at the political, administrative and commercial levels. NERC, through its component organization the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) (www.ceh.ac.uk/), is actively engaged in a number of important national and internationals risk assessment and monitoring programs relating to environmental threats and hazards. These include chemical hazard assessments for existing and emerging substances to which the named staff have contributed (e.g. environmental fate modelling of chemicals (e.g. pharmaceuticals), national soil and wildlife chemical status assessment, critical loads assessment, microbial ecology mapping, and engineered nanoparticle risk assessment). NERC-CEH has extensive collaborations with NP synthesis, characterisation and toxicology laboratories worldwide.
Dr. Claus Svendsen got his MSc in Chemistry and Ecotoxicology from Odense University (Denmark) in 1995 and obtained his PhD in 2000 from the University of Reading working on terrestrial biomarker systems. Since 2000, he has worked on fundamental and applied environmental research at the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology at Monks Wood and in 2009 moved to their Wallingford site.
Dr Svendsen is author or co-author of over 50 papers and book chapters. He has been a partner in several EU-funded projects on biomarkers and chemical mixtures. His current research interest includes comparative environmental genomics, bioavailability, and mixture toxicity with the overall focus being how effects at these mechanistic levels translate into effects for populations and how organisms survive as populations in polluted habitats. Most recently his research has moved into the field of environmental risk assessment of engineered nanoparticles, where he coordinated the EU project NanoFATE and CoI other collaborative project with the US.
Beneficiary 09: ACS (AvantiCell Science Ltd), Ayr, UK
AvantiCell Science Ltd (ACS) is an SME specialising in cell-based analysis using human primary and stem cells. The company was founded in 2006 and has secured venture capital investment matched by the Scottish Investment Bank, an agency of Scottish Government. AvantiCell has grown organically, through re-investment of profit from commercial business. ACS is a profitable company, with its commercial business delivering both cell-based services and cell products into the cell-based analysis market, which spans industry sectors, from pharmaceutical drug discovery through nutraceutical and food development, to nanosafety testing. ACS proprietary technologies for additive printing and cryopreservation of 3D cell models are creating new opportunities for scalable manufacturing of innovative cell-based analysis tools in “plug and play” user-friendly formats. ACS conducts international business in part through its wholly-owned subsidiary company in SE Asia.
Dr. Colin Wilde is Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of AvantiCell Science Ltd. AvantiCell is a biotechnology company specialising in cell biology and cell culture technology. The company’s business is founded on the principle that advances in cell culture technology enable the development of physiologically-relevant alternatives to animal testing in research and drug discovery. Colin manages the Company’s contract services, product development, and its programme of research and development in the field of cell-based analysis. He is the author of ten patents or patent applications and >100 research papers in the fields of mammary biology and cell-based analysis. His international network of research collaborations has enabled AvantiCell to build commercial partnerships, often supported by competitive grant funding, to produce and sell leading-edge cell-based technologies internationally, with a particular focus on South East Asia.
Beneficiary 10: ICN2 (Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology), Barcelona, Spain
The Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2 – Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology) is a non-profit international research institute located close to Barcelona, Spain. Its research lines focus on the newly discovered physical and chemical properties that arise from the fascinating behaviour of matter at the nanoscale. The patrons of ICN2 are the Government of Catalonia (Generalitat), the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). The Institute promotes collaboration among scientists from diverse backgrounds to develop basic and applied research, always seeking interactions with local and global industry. ICN2 also trains researchers in nanotechnology, develops numerous activities to facilitate the uptake of nanotechnology by industry, and promotes networking among scientists, engineers, technicians, business people, society, and policy makers.ICN2 was accredited in 2014 by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence, the highest recognition of centres of excellence in Spain.
Victor Puntes is a research professor on the nanotechnology field since 2005. He has an extended expertise in the design, synthesis and characterization, prisitne and in operando of inorganic NPs, ranging from metal to oxides, plasmonic to optical and with catalytic activities. He is active in teaching, training and communication and also in several technology transfer activities, participating in different public and private initiatives. He is an international expert on safety by design.
ALTA (Alta Ricerca e Sviluppo in Biotecnologie S.r.l.u.), Siena, Italy
ALTA is a service-provider company specialized in developing and managing scientific research projects financed by the European Commission and Italian Public Authorities. Advanced training programs are also a strength of ALTA. Founded in 1998 by Aldo Tagliabue, ALTA has been involved in several projects since the 5th FP. ALTA has been chosen by 39 among the top Italian scientists and is involved in the management of several projects funded by the EC. ALTA provides support and consultancy services for scientists and researchers at universities, in businesses and research institutes from the idea to project implementation finding the proper strategy, building the Project Consortia and putting science in the most appropriate administrative and management framework.
Our team is a perfect blend of project managers with great knowledge of public funding rules, scientists with expertise in immunology, microbiology, pharmacology and chemistry and experts in administration, communication and events organization.
Paola Cesaroni obtained her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology in 1994 at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (Italy). After several working experiences in research labs, in 1999 she joined ALTA. Paola is currently Grants Manager with expertise in technical and scientific editing of national and European grant proposals and in management of funded projects.
AN (Applied Nanoparticles S.L.), Barcelona, Spain
AN is a spin-off of the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology (ICN2), the University Autonoma of Barcelona (UAB) and the Institut Català de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA). Among is co-founders are scientist from these institutions, international experts on RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation), experts in e-communication and experts in business development and technology transfer as Nanonica (CH). AN has the office address in Barcelona and the laboratory in the campus of the UAB. The main current objective of AN is the commercial exploitation of the patent application "biogas production", in the U.S. and Europe, consisting of the use of iron oxide NP as additives to optimise the production of biogas. AN also develops projects on the production, characterisation and commercialization of model NP, as well as consulting work related to other possible industrial uses. In this regard, AN explores the use of iron oxide NP or similar in other applications, such as catalysis, environmental remediation, energy storage, drug, imaging contrast agent, bacteriostatic and bactericide substance or hyperthermia. AN business is based on the principles of Responsible Innovation, focussing on the design processes of NP and low energy consumption, low toxicity, waste minimisation and reduction of emissions. In 2013 AN has received awards from the Repsol Foundation and the Secretaria General Iberoamericana (SEGIB). Among the costumers of AN there is the Barcelona City Council, CosmoCaixa –the science museum-, researchers from different EU laboratories and other technology-based companies. AN involves part-time two nanotechnologist (Victor Puntes and Eudald Casals), three chemical engineers (Antoni Sanchez, Xavi Font and Raquel Barrena), a full-time staff scientist (Martí Busquets), a project manager (Ariadna Peral) and the legal representative and RRI responsible (Ignasi Gispert). Legally, AN only employs Martí Busquets and Ariadna Peral, the others being co-owners of the company and working in it on a different basis.
Martí Busquets is a Nanoparticles Engineer. He has been the last 4 years in the Inorganic Nanoparticles Group of ICN (Catalan Institut of Nanotechnology) lead by Prof. Victor Puntes, focusing his research on the síntesis and characterization of both metallic and oxide nanoparticles and polymeric nanocomposites. He has been involved in EU projects on nanotoxicity, nanosafety and safety-by-design of nanoparticles. Additionally, he has collaborated in some science dissemination activities such as in the preparation of an exhibition for Cosmocaixa Science Museum (Barcelona). He enrolled Applied Nanoparticles on December 2013.
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