I have a more than 25-year-long specific expertise the pre-clinical assessment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (CIPN) and in my laboratory most original experimental models of CIPN now widely used worldwide have been established in rats and mice, since the first description of cisplatin-induced peripheral neurotoxicity in 1992. These models have been characterized using pathological, neurophysiologic and behavioral tests.
Since 2007 I was appointed as Head of the Experimental Neurology Unit (ENU), a research enterprise implemented at the University of Milano-Bicocca (School of Medicine and Surgery) enforced with the specific aim to unify in a single research team different expertise and equipments required to investigate at the highest preclinical level the pathogenesis of central and peripheral nervous system diseases and to test their treatment, with the aim to translate the results in clinical setting. The main focus of the ENU is on CIPN, but it has been subsequently extended to multiple sclerosis, innovative drug delivery methods and restorative medicine using cellular transplants.
Besides preclinical research, given my clinical activity as Senior Consultant Neurologist at the Dept of Neurology of the S. Gerardo University Hospital in Monza, since 1990 I have also been deeply involved in the clinical evaluation of CIPN and I am currently coordinating an academic clinical network involving 21 centers in US, Europe and Australia (“CI-PeriNoms Study Group”) aimed at the formal validation of clinical and/or instrumental methods to assess the severity of CIPN.
As an expert in CIPN I have been invited to give lectures at the Clinical Trials Planning Meeting on CIPN organized by the US National Cancer Institute (March 23, 2009 – Rockville, MD) and at the subsequent CIPN Workshop organized by National Institute of Health (June 24, 2011 – Bethesda, MD). In 2013 I was a panelist at the FDA Development Programs for Disease-Modifying Agents for Peripheral Neuropathy Workshop (topic: CIPN), (Silver Spring, MD, February 11, 2013. In 2015 I was an American Society for Clinical Oncology and American Academy of Neurology lecturer on CIPN. I have been invited to join the US National Cancer Institute panel of the“SxQoL Steering Committee Clinical Trials Planning Meeting in Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: Developing Novel Trials Informed by Translational Science” (first meeting March 1, 2017, Rockville, MD).
As a second major research interest I am involved in the preclinical assessment of animal models of Multiple Sclerosis and as head of the Neuroimmunology Center of the S.Gerardo Horpital in Monza I am actively involved in clinical care and treatment, as well as in clinical trials in Multiple Sclerosis patients. The Neuroimmunology Center is a node of the Italian Network of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, approved by the Italian Ministry of Health
I successfully applied and acted as principal investigator or local principal investigator in several to national and international (EU and US) grants.
I authored more than 270 full papers in peer-reviewed international journals with more than 9000 citations (current Scopus h-index = 52).