Prof. Giuseppe Legname, D.Phil - Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Trieste, Italy
Professor Giuseppe Legname earned his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick, UK. After a long spell in industry in the field of immunotherapy, he moved to the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Medical Research Council in London, UK as a Research Associate. In 1999 he became Assistant Adjunct Professor, and later Associate Adjunct Professor, at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (IND), University of California at San Francisco, USA, under the direction of 1997 Nobel Laureate Professor Stanley B. Prusiner. Since then he has been involved in basic research projects in the field of Prion Biology and Disease. In 2006 he joined the faculty of SISSA in Trieste as Associate Professor at the Department of Neuroscience. Currently he is the Coordinator of the PhD Program in Functional and Structural Genomics at SISSA and member-elect of the Academic Senate. He is a reviewer for several international journals and co-author of various patents. The main focus of his research program is the physiological function of the prion protein in mammals and the mechanisms of prion replication as well as the structural characterization of molecular determinants for prion infectivity.
Professor Marco Galeotti - Professor, Department of Food Science, Veterinary Pathology Section, University of Udine, Italy
Professor Marco Galeotti is full professor in Veterinary Pathology at the University of Udine. He coordinates the Section of Veterinary Pathology and the Degree Course in Animal Husbandry and Health. He carried out research projects at the Institute of Domestic Animals Pathology (Gent, Belgium) and at the Aquaculture Institute of Stirling University (UK). Member of the European College of Veterinary Pathology (E.C.V.P.) since 1998. Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Udine, from 2001 to 2007. Scientific coordinator of the International Master in “Biotechnology Medical Application” for the years 2006-2008. Since 2008, Delegate of the Rector for the relationships between University of Udine and Sub-Saharan African Countries. From 2009 to 2012, member of the Committee for Scientific Research and Technology applied to fisheries and aquaculture of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. He has been involved in several national and international research projects. The research activity mainly focused on domestic animal pathology, as well as fish diseases. In brief, the topics under investigation are: studies on infectious agents causing diseases and diseases pathogenesis in freshwater and saltwater fish; study of immune system of fish, evaluation of the immunological parameters to survey the efficiency of immune response after vaccination, immuno-stimulation, stress; bio-molecular research on fish immune system and applied research on vaccine development.
Dr. Liviana Leita - Research Director, CRA Agricultural Research Council, Gorizia, Italy
Dr. Liviana Leita is a chemist and soil scientist. From 1986 to 1996 she worked as a senior researcher in the field of soil chemistry at the University of Udine where she was also appointed adjunct professor. She currently works at CRA-Consiglio per la Ricerca e Sperimentazione in Agricoltura (Agricultural Research Council) as research director and supervises various R&D projects in the field of soil science. Since 1982 her research activities have been mainly focused on the environmental functions of organic matter as multifunctional matrix governing the immobilization and release dynamics of nutrients and contaminants with the specific interest on interaction between xenobiotics and soil. Her other research interests include organic/inorganic colloids, soil characterization in polluted sites and development of reclaim strategies. She is currently involved in a research project studying the interaction of prions with soil and the ensuing consequences on prion infectivity, residual infectivity and inactivation. She is also a member of various national financing panels targeting research and experimental projects and cooperates as appointed expert in governmental working groups. She is a lecturer of soil chemistry and environmental chemistry for undergraduate and Master courses, a reviewer for several international journals and co-author of patents.
Professor Stefano Gustincich, D.Phil - Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Trieste, Italy
Stefano Gustincich is Associate Professor in Physiology at SISSA, where since 2003 he has been directing the Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation Laboratory of Neurogenomics. Following his training in Biology at the University of Trieste, he obtained his PhD degree in Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology at SISSA, working at the Laboratorio Nazionale CIB – Area Science Park in Trieste (Italy), under the supervision of Prof. Claudio Schneider. In 1993, he was awarded a long-term EMBO fellowship and joined as post-doctoral fellow the laboratory of Prof. Elio Raviola at the Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston (USA). In 1998 he was appointed Instructor in Neurobiology at the Department of Neurobiology of Harvard Medical School in Boston. In 2003 he founded the Laboratory of Neurogenomics at SISSA, thanks to the support of the Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation, which honoured him a career development award. Since 2004 he is Associate Professor in Physiology at SISSA. From 2001 he has been collaborating with the FANTOM consortium, a joint international effort led by RIKEN, Japan to study the mammalian transcriptome. From 2009 to 2012 he coordinated a large international multi-center consortium (DOPAMINET) focused on the study of the molecular networks acting in dopaminergic neurons of Chordates and sustained by EU fundings (FP7-HEALTH-2007-B). Among his most significant scientific discoveries: the unexpected finding of hemoglobin expression in the brain, the identification of new regulatory networks for dopaminergic cell conversion, and the discovery of a new class of long non-coding RNAs that activate translation of their sense protein-coding partners. His current major interest is the study of long non-coding RNAs and repetitive elements in the brain and their role in neurodegenerative diseases.