During the “Rome Training Meeting” of the European Horizon2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie project “Blood Biomarker-based Diagnostic Tools for Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease” held at the Sapienza University of Rome (March 19th-21st, 2018), senior and early stage researchers of several Countries have discussed a new plan for the monitoring of blood biomarkers, cognitive functions, and lifestyle in patients with Alzheimer’s disease by innovative graphene-based devices and information and communication technology services.
The local organizer, Prof. Claudio Babiloni (Department of Physiology and Pharmacology “Erspamer”, Sapienza University of Rome), opened the Meeting introducing the concept of “Italian Baroque” as a useful metaphor in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease. External Lecturers of the Meeting dealt with important challenges in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease. Prof. Ferdinando Nicoletti (Sapienza University of Rome) depicted a new provocative scenario where the pathophysiological diagnostic biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease (i.e. amyloid beta 1-42 protein) and its underlying biological substrate may represent a physiological resource rather than an enemy in the drug discovery pathway. Dr. Fulvio Galeazzi and Dr. Valeria Ardizzone (GARR, Italy) described the significant resource of innovative biomedical services of the GARR platform “DECIDE” for the biomarker-based diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, Prof. Laura Bonanni (University of Chieti, Italy) emphasized the issue of specificity in the discovery of new biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease, especially at the border with other progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Lewy Body diseases.
During the Meeting, all early stage researchers and their mentors (see the Meeting Agenda in the following) presented main objectives, milestones, and deliverables of investigations planned in the BBDiag project. The discussion was very fruitful paving the plan of secondments of the early stage researchers and shared protocols, databases, analysis tools, and other resources (including those for exploitation of the discoveries in the reference market) for successful research along the project. In this context, these researchers will be involved in the development of graphene-based devices for the measurement of new blood biomarkers in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease and selected seniors with preclinical (before cognitive deficits) or prodromal (mild cognitive deficits) stages of that disease.
The Coordinator of BBDiag project, Prof. Genhua Pan (University of Plymouth), chaired the general discussion of the project towards its ambitious objectives.
The Meeting was video recorded and enriched by short interviews to all early stage researchers, mentors, and external lecturers for the dissemination of the core messages through social media in the coming weeks. During the pauses of the Meeting (e.g. coffee breaks), pictures and music of Italian Baroque livened up the environment. Furthermore, a lecture entitled “Italian Baroque in Music” was held by M° Stefano Rotondi (flute) and Ms. Rebecca Rotondi (cello) before the social dinner of March 20th.