Designing a new model of cardiovascular disease prevention in women through the use of innovative research techniques such as analysis of big data and the study of epigenetics. This is the goal of the project that Benedetta Izzi, a researcher at the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention of I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed of Pozzilli (IS), will carry on thanks to the assignment of a scholarship “Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship“.
The Marie Curie fellowships are awarded by the European Commission to researchers who propose cutting-edge projects, with the aim of promoting their mobility. A well-known award for the researcher from the Molise region who followed a path between Italy, Belgium and the USA. She graduated in Medical Biotechnology at the University of Milan with a thesis prepared within the Moli-Sani Project, she received a Ph.D. from the University of Leuven, Belgium, and then had her post-doc studies at Harvard University in Boston. After a second period in Leuven, at the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, she has been working at Neuromed since last April.
Women will be at the center of her research. Much of what we know about cardiovascular disease, from prevention to therapy, comes from studies that largely refer to men. But Izzi explains “in women these pathologies have different characteristics. Symptoms and risk factors, to begin with, are not always the same. Furthermore, several studies have shown that for women the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases are of an inferior level. It is time to fill these gaps “.
The tools that will be put in place are among the most innovative available today for research. Starting with big data (a new way of analyzing scientific data to extract radically new answers) and epigenetic analysis(the study of how the information contained in the DNA can be modulated by the environment in which we live). These are just two of the cornerstones on which the Neurobiotech Research and Innovation Center of Caserta is based on.Neuromed inaugurated this centre last September in Caserta. This Center of Big Data and Personalized Health ( whose director is Licia Iacoviello) is the operational base for the research of Benedetta Izzi.
“These European scholarships named after the famous Polish researcher are very coveted and prestigious. These kind of scholorships rewards young researchers’ ability to push towards innovative directions. This is an important milestone for Benedetta and for all of our Institute, which sees her researcher also rewarded for choosing to return to Italy, applying the knowledge acquired abroad. There is much talk of combating the brain drain from our country. This is the contribution of Neuromed ” opines Giovanni de Gaetano, Head of the Neuromed Department of Epidemiology and Prevention and Scientific Director of Neurobiotech.