I am the Chief of Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation Unit and Director of the Laboratory on the Pathophysiology of Uremia. Since 2016 I am the Director of the Department of integrated Pediatric and Hemato- Oncology Sciences, Giannina Gaslini Institute, Genova.
Since 1987, 475 pediatric kidney transplants have been performed at our institution, within several national clinical programs including a pediatric program for kidney transplantation in sensitized children. Our pediatric program has been active in the field of viral infection monitoring and evaluation of virus-specific immunity, with specific focus on polyomavirus BK and Epstein-Barr virus-related lymphoproliferative disease. Through a collaboration with Dr. Comoli, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico S. Matteo, Pavia, we implemented a program of Cell Therapy for EBV-PTLD after solid organ transplantation. Since 2010, we focused our clinical and research activity on characterizing the pathogenic potential of anti-HLA donor specific antibodies, in order to identify patients at risk for antibody-mediated rejection and graft loss, and design preventive treatment strategies.
In last ten years our Unit has developed and validated new therapeutic strategies for idiopathic nephrotic syndrome based on anti-CD20 antibodies. The lab is actively involved in the investigation of the mechanisms of nephrotic syndrome in humans and autoimmune diseases. For the past 15 years, we have characterized many genetic factors, biomarkers and biochemical defects in FSGS and membranous nephropathy. We had an active collaboration with the Sanna-Cherchi lab on the genetic studies of kidney malformations and nephrotic syndrome. In addition, I have participated in many international multicenter studies and networks, including clinical trials, so I am well aware of the requirements for standardized operating procedures for high quality clinical research. The patient population and the infrastructure at our institution are well suited for execution of the proposed project aims.