Sunday, 06 January 2019 18:13

College Teaching

On 17th December 2018 EDiSU published the list and a preliminary ranking order of students who had applied for College-based teaching for the current academic year. A copy of the list can be found at this page. The new procedure has been implemented in order to maximise financial support from government toward College-based teaching.

The final ranking order of students contributing to teaching will be established after a round of students' interviews that will take place in the coming days (7th-11th of January 2019).

Image: Palazzo Vistarino, the main site of EDISU offices.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 06 January 2019 17:46

Pavia Colleges

On the 5th of December 2018 nearly two thousand students of the University of Pavia took to the streets in order to protest against prospective cuts to students' bursaries and the collegiate system of the University of Pavia. A number of University lecturers also joined the protest.  The University of Pavia has enjoyed higher than average governemental income toward students bursaries and eleven University Colleges.

Under Italian law support for Higher Education reaches students and Universities via regional government, Regione Lombardia in the case of the University of Pavia. New criteria for resource allocation currently under consideration by regional government, however, may appreciably decrease the quota of funding reaching the students of the University of Pavia and the Colleges at Pavia.

The Chancellor of the University of Pavia and the President of EDiSU, the body in charge of governing the eleven University Colleges present at Pavia and students' bursaries , are engaging Regione Lombardia in order to reverse the threat of the cuts. They can count on extensive support from the students and staff of the University of Pavia in this endeavour and first and above on the support of students living and working in the Colleges of the University, including the students of Volta who had a strong role and presence in the demonstration of 5 December 2018.

Image: a photograph of the demonstration of 5 December 2018 against the prospective cuts to students' grants and University Colleges at the University of Pavia.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 09 December 2018 11:05

HMGB1 Protein

On the 10th of December 2018 Marco Bianchi, of Università San Raffaele, will give a seminar entitled High Mobility Group Box 1 protein orchestrates tissue regeneration via CXCR4 at 5.00 pm in the College lecture theatre.  In his talk ME Bianchi will discuss the signaling role of HMGB1 (High Mobility Group Box 1) protein as Damage Associated Molecular Pattern (DMAP) protein. DAMPs are molecules that are normally present inside cells, and whose extracellular presence signals that some cell has died or risks doing so. HMGB1, as the prototypical DAMP, signals tissue damage and triggers inflammation.

This is a major area of research in cancer biology, crucial for understanding the somatic evolution of cancer. All College students are invited to attend, especially those reading Medicine, Biology, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The poster of the lecture can be downloaded here.  Further information about the seminar, including an abstract, short biography and key references can be found at this page.

Image: human hepatocytes in culture. Liver parenchymal cells are a key target cell population for liver regeneration.

 

 

 

 

High Mobility Group Box 1 protein orchestrates tissue regeneration via CXCR4

10th December 2018.  
Marco Bianchi, San Raffaele University, Milan

On the 10th of December 2018 Marco Bianchi, of Università San Raffaele, will give a seminar entitled High Mobility Group Box 1 protein orchestrates tissue regeneration via CXCR4 at 5.00 pm in the College lecture theatre.  In his talk ME Bianchi will discuss the signaling role of HMGB1 (High Mobility Group Box 1) protein as Damage Associated Molecular Pattern (DMAP) protein. DAMPs are molecules that are normally present inside cells, and whose extracellular presence signals that some cell has died or risks doing so. HMGB1, as the prototypical DAMP, signals tissue damage and triggers inflammation. This is a major area of research in cancer biology, crucial for understanding the somatic evolution of cancer. All College students are invited to attend, especially those reading Medicine, Biology, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The poster of the lecture can be downloaded here.

Abstract
Inflammation and tissue regeneration follow tissue damage, but little is known about how these processes are coordinated.High Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1) is a nuclear protein that, when released on injury, triggers inflammation. Remarkably, extracellular HMGB1 recruits inflammatory cells when it is fully reduced, and activates them when a disulfide bond forms between two cysteines. We have now found that fully reduced HMGB1 is also involved in tissue regeneration: it orchestrates muscle and liver regeneration via CXCR4 receptor, whereas disulfideHMGB1 and its receptors TLR4/MD-2 and RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation end products) are not involved. Injection of HMGB1 accelerates tissue repair by acting on resident muscle stem cells, hepatocytes, and infiltrating cells. The nonoxidizable HMGB1 mutant 3S, in which serines replace cysteines, promotes muscle and liver regeneration more efficiently than the wildtype protein and without exacerbating inflammation, by selectively interacting with CXCR4. Overall, our results show that the reduced form of HMGB1 coordinates tissue regeneration and suggest that 3S may be used to safely accelerate healing after injury in diverse clinical contexts.

Biography
ME Bianchi graduated in Biology at the Università di Milano in 1980, and soon after moved to Yale University, joining the Radding lab and studying molecular aspects of recombination catalyzed by RecA, a bacterial protein. On returning to the Università di Milano in 1983, he started looking for equivalent proteins in eukaryotes. This work blossomed when he moved in 1986 to the EMBL in Heidelberg, as an independent Staff Scientist: he isolated a protein that bound Holliday junctions, recombination intermediates formed by DNA molecules swapping helices. After joining the University of Pavia as an Associate Professor in 1989, he showed that this protein, HMGB1, was the founding member of so called “architectural proteins” that distort and bend DNA as chaperone to promote the assembly of multiprotein-DNA complexes. Since 1992 he is at San Raffaele, where he is currently a Professor of Molecular Biology, and where he identified HMGB1 as the first DAMP, a class of molecules that had been predicted by the dogma-changing “Danger Theory” of immunology.

Reference
[1] Tirone M, Tran NL, Ceriotti C, Gorzanelli A, Canepari M, Bottinelli R, Raucci A, Di Maggio S, Santiago C, Mellado M, Saclier M, François S, Careccia G, He M, De Marchis F, Conti V, Ben Larbi S, Cuvellier S, Casalgrandi M, Preti A, Chazaud B, Al-Abed Y, Messina G, Sitia G, Brunelli S, Bianchi ME* and Vénéreau E* (2018) High Mobility Group Box 1 orchestrates tissue regeneration via CXCR4. J Exp Med 215: 303-18.  doi: 10.1084/jem.20160217.
[2] Bianchi ME, Crippa MP, Manfredi AA, Mezzapelle R, Rovere Querini P and Venereau E (2017) High Mobility Group Box 1 protein orchestrates responses to tissue damage via inflammation, innate and adaptive immunity, and tissue repair. Immunol Rev 280: 74-82. doi: 10.11

Image
Immunofluorescence of skeletal muscle, one of the targets of the HMGB1-CXCR4 signalling pathway.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 21:41

Molecular Medicine

Three scientists working in the Department of Molecular Medicine of the University of Pavia will give research seminars in the coming days. The first seminar by Patrizia Sommi at 2.00 pm on the 29th of November will discuss Nanoparticle-cell interaction for new applications in nanomedicine. The second one by Federica Pisano at 2.00 pm on the 3rd of December will address Stem cell secretome to treat heart disease and the final one by Hugo de Jonge at 2.00 pm on the 6th of December will tackle: SF-MET complex: a basis for developing receptor agonists and antagonists.

The three seminars highlight new therapeutic approaches to disease that may have important applications in future. All College students are warmly invited to attend, especially studfents of Biology, Biotechnology, Medicine . The posters of the seminars can be downloaded here.

 

 

 

Monday, 26 November 2018 12:04

College Rules & Regulations

The College Rules & Regulations, available  in an Italian version at this page on the College website and downlodable here have been revised in several respects, largely to comply with changing Health & Safety and EDiSU Regulations. The English version will be updated shortly as well. The following points are worth noting:

Residence. The College aims to introduce an electronic system that keeps track of the students present in the College building at any time. This is specially important on Health & Safety grounds. Further information will be made available as soon as the workability of the new system is confirmed.

Guests. Guests will to sign in and sign out when they enter and leave College, once more on Health & Safety grounds.  The hours at which guests must leave the College have also been updated in order to comply with the working hours of the College porters. Students expecting guests on Sunday must inform College in advance and provide details of the name surname, address, arrival and departure time of the guests.

Parties. Parties organised by individual students (birthday, graduation, etc) involving up to 15 people must be notified to College at least 3 days in advance. Permission for these is granted by College. Larger parties organised by groups of students, ie College Clubs & Societies, must be notified to College at least 10 days in advance. Permission for these parties is granted jointly by College and EDiSU.

Discipline. EDiSU has introduced minor changes in matters of discipline last May and the College Rules & Regulations have been updated accordingly.

The College, as always, welcomes comments and suggestions from students about the Rules & Regulations and any other aspect of College life.

 

 

 

Wednesday, 21 November 2018 00:16

College Teaching

The long awaited 'Bando' EDiSU in support of College teaching and services - including library support - has been published.  The text of the call for interest is available at this page on the EDiSU website and the same page contains the links to two additional documents: a privacy statement and, most importantly, the application form.

All students of Collegio A Volta interested in teaching one of the College Courses, or one of the College tutorials or interested in offering library support must apply to EDiSU using the relevant application form before 12.00 noon on the 29th of November 2018. Applications must be taken in by hand to the Ufficio Protocollo at EDiSU headquarter at 26, via Sant'Ennodio, Pavia or sent by certified electronic email or by recorded mail.

Image: College students attending the 2017 EDiSU Open Day.

 

 

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 21:31

Myc and Transcription

Mattia Pelizzola of the Italian Institute of Technology branch in Milan will give a seminar entitled MYC-dependent dynamics of transcriptional regulation on the 26th of November 2018 at 2.00 pm in the College lecture theatre.  In his seminar M Pelizzola will report major progress from work carried out in his laboratory on the mechanisms through which the transcription factor Myc orchestrates transcription of hundreds of target genes and the temporal dynamics aof this process.  All College students are invited to attend, especially those reading Medicine, Biology, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The poster of the lecture can be downloaded here. Further information about the seminar, including an abstract and a short biography can be found at this page.

Image: Crystal structure of the Myc and a partner protein protein (Max) bound to DNA.

 

 

MYC-dependent dynamics of transcriptional regulation

26th November 2018.  
Mattia Pelizzola, Italian Institute of Technology, Milan

On the 26th of November 2018 Mattia Pelizzola of the Italian Institute of Technology branch in Milan will give a seminar entitled MYC-dependent dynamics of transcriptional regulation at 2.00 pm in the College lecture theatre.  In his talk M Pelizzola will discuss extensive studies from his laboratory that have enabled in depth understanding of the complex gene dynamics and regulation enabled by the transcription factor Myc, the product of the MYC proto-oncogene and a master regulator of cell proliferation.  All College students are invited to attend, especially those reading Medicine, Biology, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The poster of the lecture can be downloaded here.

Abstract
Overexpression of the MYC transcription factor causes its widespread interaction with regulatory elements in the genome but leads to the up- and down-regulation of discrete sets of genes. The molecular determinants of these selective transcriptional responses remain elusive. Here, we present an integrated time-course analysis of RNA and RNAPII dynamics following MYC activation in proliferating mouse fibroblasts, based on chromatin immunoprecipitation, metabolic labeling of newly synthesized RNA, extensive sequencing, and mathematical modeling. Altogether, our results shed light on how overexpressed MYC alters the various phases of the RNAPII cycle, and leads to pervasive post-transcriptional regulation.

Biography
Mattia Pelizzola graduated in Biotechnology in 2001 at the Milano-Bicocca University. Following a PhD in computational biology, he spent 4 years in the States for two postdocs, first at the Yale University, and later on at the Salk Institute. In 2011 he moved back to Milan to start his own group at the Center for Genomic Science of the Italian Institute of Technology, located within the IFOM-IEO campus. His research currently focuses on the characterization of epigenomics and epitranscriptional determinants of RNA dynamics, and how these are altered in disease conditions. His group employes an interdisciplinary approach, which combines experimental and computational methods, including metabolic labelling of nascent RNA, epitranscriptome profiling and their integrative analysis through mathematical modelling.

Reference
[1] De Pretis et al. Genome Res 27:1658 (2017).

Image
Fluorescence in situ hybridisation with a Myc gene probe demonstrates amplification of the Myc gene in cancer cells.

Friday, 16 November 2018 18:44

Blood Stem Cells

Nicola Vannini of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Lausanne will give a seminar on the 22nd of November 2018 entitled Metabolic modulation of hematopoietic stem cells at 2.00 pm in the College lecture theatre.  The talk will address the important - but incompletely understood link between the metabolic activity of haematopoietic stem cells and their behaviour.  All College students are invited to attend, especially those reading Medicine, Biology, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The poster of the lecture can be downloaded here.

Image: A bone marrow stem cell (green) and a megakaryocytic (red). Courtesy of D Zhao and Linheng Li, Stowers Institute for Medical Research.

 

 

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