Partner 6: University of Bologna (UNIBO), Italy, Lab of Immunology, Department of Experimental Pathology
Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna (UNIBO) is the oldest University in Europe and one of the largest in Italy, and nationally it ranks at the top in several disciplines. The Laboratory of Immunology (LoI) that belongs to the Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine is fully equipped for genetic, epigenetic, cell and molecular biology studies. LoI identified the major characteristics of immunosenescence, and a variety of genetic variants, including mtDNA, associated with successful aging (centenarians and their offspring, long living sib pairs) and age-related diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, T2DM) and is at present involved in a systemic (genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics) approaches to ageing and age-related diseases. The main focus is on “inflamm-ageing”, the ageing of liver and of gut microbiota. The LoI acted as coordinator for the large EU project GEHA (GEnetics of Healthy Ageing, 204-2010) and coordinates the large EU project NU-AGE (Nutrition and Ageing, 2011-2016).
Partner 6 team leader:
Prof. Franceschi will lead WP8 and will be responsible for selecting the fibroblasts (in part yet available) from the subjects characterised by exceptional healthy longevity, i.e. semi-supercentenarians (subjects over 105 years of age) and patients affected by T2D – for the production of iPSC. All these donors are fully characterised from a genetic and epigenetic point of view (whole genome re-sequencing and DNA methylation). The laboratory will also contribute to the high dimensionality data analysis with particular reference to interactome and network analysis.
Prof. Claudio Franceschi (M) is Full Professor of Immunology at the School of Medicine where he leads the LoI. He is the founder and Director of Interdepartmental Center “L. Galvani” for studies on Bioinformatics and Biocomplexity and former Scientific Director of the Italian National Research Center on Aging, INRCA, Ancona, Italy, the largest Italian Institution of the Ministry of Health on research and care of the elderly (1,500 employees, 300 researchers and MD). He has published more than 550 papers in peer-reviewed journals (h-index = 80, 26,413 citations; h-index in the last 10 years = 48, 11,015 citations). He coordinates the large EU projects GEHA (GEnetics of Healthy Ageing, 204-2010) and NU-AGE (Nutrition and Ageing, 2011-2016) and is a partner in (MARK-AGE, biomarkers of ageing, 2008-2013; MYOAGE, sarcopenia, 2009-2013; IDEAL, epigenetics and ageing, 2010-2015; MISSION T2D immune system model of type 2 diabetes, 2013-2016). He is a member of the editorial board of several journals (Aging Res Review, Aging, Exp Gerontology, Mechanisms of Ageing and Development). He pioneered the field of the biological basis behind human longevity by proposing centenarians as models of successful aging and by conceptualising theories on human aging (“remodelling”; “inflamm-ageing”).
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2. Beekman M, et al. (2013) The GEHA consortium. Genome-wide linkage analysis for human longevity: Genetics of Healthy Ageing Study. Aging Cell. Apr;12(2):184-93.
3. Cevenini E, et al. (2013) Inflamm-ageing. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. Jan;16(1):14-20.
4. Garagnani P, et al. (2012) Methylation of ELOVL2 gene as a new epigenetic marker of age. Aging Cell. Dec;11(6):1132-4.
5. Achilli A, et al. (2011) Mitochondrial DNA backgrounds might modulate diabetes complications rather than T2DM as a whole. PLoS One 6(6): e21029.
6. Tieri P, et al. (2011) Integrating Omics data for signaling pathways, interactome reconstruction, and functional analysis. Methods Mol Biol. 719:415-33.