Curriculum

KATIA VARANI

CURRENT POSITION: Full Professor, academic discipline BIO/14, Pharmacology, Department of Translational Medicine, Unife.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

10/03/1988 - Degree in Biological Sciences, Unife

19/12/2006 – PhD in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, Unife

 

TEACHING ACTIVITY

Professor of General, Special and Gender Pharmacology teachings including organizational issues in the following Degree Courses pertaining to Unife:

- Physiotherapy (Ferrara and Bolzano)

- Orthoptics

- Logopedics

- Psychiatric Rehabilitation Technicians

- Nursing (Ferrara and Pieve di Cento)

- Obstetrics

- Medical biotechnology

- Motor Sciences

- Sciences and Techniques of Preventive and Adapted Motor Activity

- Master's Degree in Nursing and Midwifery Sciences

- Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Sciences of the Health Professions

- Master's Degree in Science of Technical Diagnostic Health Professions

 

MANAGEMENT ACTIVITY

- Coordinator of the Degree in Physiotherapy, Unife;

- Coordinator of the PhD in Advanced Therapies and Experimental Pharmacology, Unife;

- Coordinator of the Graduate School of Pharmacology and Clinical Toxicology, Unife;

- Coordinator of the 1st level Master in Management for the Coordination Functions of the Health Professions, Unife;

- Coordinator of the II level Master in Methodology of Research and Clinical Experimentation, Unife;

- Member with Scientific Expertise of the Unife Animal Welfare Board (OpBA);

- Member of the Council of the Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Prevention, Unife;

- Member of the Quality Presidium, Unife (Head of External Locations);

- Member of the Board of Directors of the University Center on Gender Medicine belonging to the Department of Medical Sciences, University of Ferrara;

- Member of the University Electoral Commission as full professor designated by the Academic Senate;

- Member of the Top Italian Scientists from ONDA (National Observatory on Women's Health, Milan) for her commitment and the high number of citations in biomedical research;

- Member of the Purine Club;

- Member of the Italian Society of Pharmacology (SIF);

- Co-editor of the book "The adenosine receptors" published by Springer (USA), 2018;

- Guest Editor of the volume "Adenosine Receptors: From Cell Biology to Human Disease" published by Cells, MDPI, 2020;

- Guest Editor of the volume "Pharmacological, Biochemial and Molecular Study of Adenosine Receptors" published by International Journal of Molecular Sciences, MDPI, 2021;

- Guest Editor of the volume "Pharmacology of Purinergic Receptors" published by Biomolecules, 2022.

RESEARCH ACTIVITY

 

- Publications: 312 paper in international scientific journals, H index = 62, Citations: 11467 (1 October 2022, Scopus) and 20 book chapters. A total of about 100 presentations were presented as posters or communications at International and National Congresses.

 

- Patent in Italy and in Europe of “Novel thiazolo [5,4d] pyrimidine derivatives as inverse agonists of  A2A adenosine receptors.” (Patent in Italy: n. 102016000070952, International extension with identification number WO 2018 / 007957A1).

 

- Research Projects:

- 2004-2005: The adenosine receptor A3 as a pharmacological target and "biomarker" for tumorigenesis in humans (COFIN 04 - National coordinator: Prof. Katia Varani).

- 2005-2009: IGEA Funds - Dr. Ruggero Cadossi - "New approaches for the study of the interaction between adenosine receptors and electromagnetic fields (PEMF) in the modulation of inflammatory processes at the joint level."

- 2009-2011: Regional Program for Industrial Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer (PRRIITT) "New device for the treatment of cartilage lesions in the field of regenerative medicine." Announcement of 7 July 2008 DGR n. 1043/2008 IGEA Funds - Dr. Ruggero Cadossi.

- 2009-2013: Fondi Pharmeste, "Spin off of the University of Ferrara" - "Pharmacological characterization of new ligands for the vanilloid receptor."

- 2010-2011: Nicox Research Institute funds, "Nitric oxide (NO) -donating derivatives for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy."

- 2011-2012: Inflammatory milieu and expression of adenosine receptors in the peripheral blood of patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis. Balance between inflammatory cytokines and the regulation of immune-suppressive cells (COFIN 09 - National coordinator: Prof. Katia Varani).

- 2012: IGEA Funds - Dr. Ruggero Cadossi - “Low frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields enhance the anti-tumor effect of adenosine A3 receptors: in vitro and in vivo studies”.

- 2012: Istituto Superiore di Sanità - Prof. Patrizia Popoli - “Evaluation of adenosine A2A receptors as potential therapeutic targets for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (SLA)”.

- 2013-2017: Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute - Dr. Matilde Tschon - "BIOlogical and BIOphysical STimulation on IMplant Osteolysis and aseptic LOosening conditions: effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields and platelet derivatives". BIOBIOSTIMOLO - University Region Research Program.

- 2014: IGEA Funds - Dr. Ruggero Cadossi - "New device for the treatment of post-traumatic spinal injuries using pulsed electromagnetic fields."

- 2015: IGEA Funds - Dr. Ruggero Cadossi - "Effect of pulsed electromagnetic field exposure in hypoxia and inflammation."

- 2016: IGEA Funds - Dr. Ruggero Cadossi - "Effect of pulsed electromagnetic field exposure in hypoxia and inflammation induced damage in microglial cells."

- 2013-2017: Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A. - Dr. Marcello Trevisani "Kinetic Analysis of ligands to M3 and M2 muscarinic receptors."

- 2017: Fondi IGEA - Dr. Ruggero Cadossi - "Signaling pathways involved in the reduction of hypoxia and inflammation induced damage in microglial and neuron-like cells by pulsed electromagnetic field exposure."

- 2017: Fondi Phytoplant Research, The Science and Technology Park of Cordoba (ES), Dr. Xavier Nadal - "Binding studies of phytocannabinoids at the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2."

- 2018: IGEA Funds - Dr. Ruggero Cadossi - "Effect of pulsed electromagnetic field exposure on cellular metabolism and vitality."

- 2019-2020: IGEA Funds - Dr. Ruggero Cadossi - "Anti-inflammatory role of low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields and A2A adenosine receptors in various cell lines such as osteoblasts and human chondrocytes".

- 2021-2023: JOCARE Project “Biophysical Stimulation Medical Device for Regeneration of Articular Cartilage” - Project funded by the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE). Project title: “Biophysical Stimulation Medical Device for Regeneration of Articular Cartilage”.

-2022: Dompè Farmaceutici Fund – Dott.ssa Daniela Iaconis – Pharmacological characterization of novel ligands for cannabinoid receptors on human and mouse models.

-2022: Bright Eyed Biosciences Inc.Vancouver, British Columbia – Dott. Alessandro Lovera Profiling Novel Adenosine Compounds with Potential Therapeutics.

 

Main Research Topics in Preclinical Pharmacology:

- Characterization of adenosine receptors in neurodegenerative diseases, chronic and neuropathic pain, cardiovascular disorders, and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, psoriasis, lupus erythematosus, and cancer.

- Study of A2A adenosine receptors in neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's Korea, Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Scientific advances suggest potential use of A2A antagonists and/or inverse adenosine agonists for Parkinson's disease.

- Effect of biophysical stimulation in the treatment of cerebral ischemic stroke by evaluating the molecular and cellular processes involved at the neuronal and microglial levels.

- Cellular mechanisms involved in the effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields in osteoarticular cells to identify new therapeutic strategies in synoviocytes, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts. The results obtained demonstrate that the application of electromagnetic fields reduce pain and inflammatory state of joints following trauma or surgery.

- Molecular-level characterization of drug-receptor interaction from biochemical, kinetic, and thermodynamic perspectives.

- In vitro studies concerning the evaluation of the affinity, potency, and selectivity of novel ligands interacting with different G-protein-coupled membrane receptor subtypes such as adenosine receptors and cannabinoid receptors.

- Development of novel enzyme inhibitory compounds that interact on the endocannabinoid system and structure-activity relationship to identify novel inhibitors of FAAH and MAGL enzymes that degrade endogenous cannabinoids.

- Development of novel agonists interacting with melatonin MT1 and MT2 receptors with potential neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant effects.

- Additive or synergistic effect of melatoninergic and endocannabinoid system modulators on neuroprotection and evaluation of neuroprotective activity of dual malatonin receptor ligands and endocannabinoid degrading enzyme inhibitors.

- Development of novel enzyme inhibitors of various isoforms of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) family with potential neuroprotective effect in neurodegenerative and demyelinating diseases.