Università Degli Studi Di Milano, Milan, Italy

Group Description

Brief description of legal entity
The Centre of Excellence on Neurodegenerative Diseases (CEND) of the University of Milan (UNIL) is one of the 21 Centres of Excellence established in Italy by the Italian Ministry of Research. The Centre is directed by Adriana Maggi and lead by the Board of Directors ( The main characteristic of the Centre is its multidisciplinarity: the 250 faculty and researchers of the Centre of Excellence belong to different Departments spread in the School of Medicine and School of Pharmacy. Actively involved in the CEND research are pharmacologists, endocrinologists, biochemists and neuroscientists; these researchers carry our collaborative research with neurologists of the Department of Neurological Sciences University Hospital (Ospedale Maggiore IRCCS Policlinico Milano). To facilitate the exchanges among its members, the Centre has generated a series of technological platforms aimed at supporting collaborative projects. The most active platforms are: Core Laboratory of Biotechnology and Bio-engineering, Core Laboratory of Structural and Functional Neurochemistry and Core Laboratory of Functional Bioimaging.

Main tasks
A major strength of CEND is the commitment to investigate on the basic mechanisms of neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and aging, with particular emphasis on the role of intracellular receptors and energetic metabolism. Major efforts are made to translate this knowledge into therapy. Research is also aimed at the generation of innovative reporter animal models. In addtition, it will also undertake the work previously done by TOPsrl (former P22), and will work on the generation and characterisation of novel mouse models.

Participation in INMiND: WP1 (leader) / WP2 / WP3 / WP5 / WP6 / WP10 / WP12.

Previous experience relevant to INMiND tasks

  1. Intracellular receptors and brain activity.
    CEND group is strongly focussed on molecular events regulating microglia and neuronal physiopathology. To pursue its research interests, CEND applied biotechnological methodologies (including genomics and proteomics) to identify intracellular molecular pathways modulated by lipid signalling and activation of membrane and intracellular receptors. Current studies are aimed at identifying molecular targets for improving antiinflammatory and neuroprotective strategies to be developed for therapeutic intervention in neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases.
  2. Imaging. Partner 2 developed experimental tools and competence to apply bioluminescence-based imaging to the study of molecular mechanisms and pharmacological regulation of neural intracellular signalling. The group generated reporter mice to visualize, by optical imaging, intracellular receptor signalling (ER, PPAR) and created innovative vectors for multimodal imaging in living organisms.

University of Milan
Centre of Excellence on Neurodegenerative Diseases
Prof Adriana MAGGI
INMiND Office
European Institute for Molecular Imaging (EIMI) Waldeyerstr. 15
· 48149 Münster
Tel: +49 251 83 49300 · Fax: +49 251 83 49313