My research interest is mainly turned to the broad area of the so called non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and in particular to the accompanying low level chronic inflammation that characterizes them. To explore this problem we take a highly interdisciplinary approach (see People), using rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as exemplar NCD with genetic background and environmental trigger.
Lately, the identification of non-pharmacological stimuli/therapies in a variety of fields has started to become relevant, the focus here is on the modulation of inflammation via physical (mechanical, electrical) triggers. In fact, little information is available regarding the local- to systemic- as well as the dose-effect relationship existing between such external stimuli and the control of inflammation.
Over time we have explored in silico approaches (from RA network (re)construction to mechanotransduction pathways’ simulations), animal model experiments and human pilot trials (see in particular: Nardini et al (2015), Moreau et al. (2017), Zhou et al. (2019), Maturo et al.(2020)). Recently, involvement in health policies and regulatory aspects, in particular for approaches in the frame of the Ps Medicine, has become also relevant in this quest.
Data So far we have used mostly omic data including transcriptomics, epigenomics, metagenomics (16S-rRNA-seq), either from public repositories, or from our own experiments on animal models, clinical pilot studies, and 3D biooprinted samples with the aim to identify signatures potentially acting as potential targets or biomarkers.
Bio-Computational Approaches We have spanned several approaches over time, starting from ODE and S-Systems model for small gene network reconstruction, to biological petri- networks approaches for networks simulation, to larger network repository-based reconstruction and topological analyses, to machine learning approaches for data integration. Overall, this work has been turned to the idea of having a more systemic approach to the biological events that cause/correlate with systemic diseases. With this interest, I serve the Editorial Boards of the Nature Springer journal BMC Bioinformatics and of PLoS ONE.
Medical and Healthcare Policies This is my more recent interest and activity, I have lately been involved in networks of stakeholders working at the redesign of medicine, to grant a more efficient management of healthcare, namely as national representative of the European Association for Predictive, Preventive and Preventive, Medicine (EPMA) and as participant to the Regions4PerMed Coordinated and Support Action. Lately, including human sciences in data analysis has open to new perspectives on potential novel therapies (see Nardini et al. (2022))