It is an enormous privilege for me to contribute to the ECTS Academy activities as the newly elected ECTS Academy co-Chair and to collaborate with the current Chair Annegreet Vlug.
I am a Research Associate and Lecturer in Physiology at University of Naples “Federico II” Medical School, Naples, Italy. During the last years, I have conducted my research in the laboratories headed by Dr. Anna Villa and Dr. Cristina Sobacchi at IRGB-CNR and Humanitas Research Center in Milan, Italy. I focused on novel therapeutic approaches for the RANKL-dependent osteopetrosis by exploiting gene therapy and 3D culture models. I also contributed to the dissection of the anabolic role of RANKL in bone physiology. At the same time, I investigated the interaction of bone and immune cells focusing on bone loss and immune system defects driven by oxidative stress. Nowadays, in the laboratory directed by Prof. Sabrina Diano, my attention is aimed at dissecting bone cell metabolism, investigating the role of nutrient availability in the regulation of bone cells function. To further elucidate cellular and physiological basis of bone homeostasis, I am also interested in the local and hypothalamic regulation of energy metabolism, connecting bone diseases and metabolic disorders.
Since 2014, I have been an active member of the ECTS as well as the Italian Forum in Bone and Mineral Research, the Italian Society of Osteoporosis, Mineral Metabolism and Skeletal Diseases and the Italian Society of Physiology. In 2018 I have been elected as ECTS Academy member and I felt very honored to join this incredible group of talented scientists coming from all over Europe. The wonderful vibrant atmosphere of the Academy made me very enthusiastic to contribute to its activities and I have started a working group to ‘translate’ research results for the lay public in order to disseminate research results to the general population to increase understanding within the society for the importance of research. In addition, I have organized several activities during ECTS Congresses. Today, as co-Chair I will work side by side with the Chair to highlight the Academy effort and enthusiasm in what we do, to promote the excellent research carried out by the ECTS Academy scientists and to increase our visibility within the scientific community and the general population.
One of my main goals will be to further strengthen Academy internal and external research collaborations, combining our diverse expertise to build new project proposals and obtain funding. On the one hand, these collaborations will enforce the connection between basic, translational and clinical research enhancing knowledge in musculoskeletal pathophysiology and improving patient care. On the other hand, strengthening Academy member research interaction would also bolster our scientific career as independent investigators. Finally, I hope to represent the Academy activities in the framework of the ECTS, creating stronger interactions within the ECTS community and contributing to the Society mission. It is worth to mention also the already existing collaborations between ECTS Academy and other Scientific Societies such as ASBMR, ANZBMS, JSBMR and IFMRS, that I will strongly support and hopefully we will be able to add many more in the future.
For the future of the ECTS and Academy it is important to get the Academy more involved in sharing knowledge and technical expertise with young investigators, such as graduate students, PhD students and early Postdocs belonging to the ECTS, considering also how much I enjoyed being active part of the New Investigator initiatives. This would enormously benefit early career scientists with basic and experimental suggestions coming for experienced scientist to plan and perform their research.
In conclusion, I am honored to contribute to the ECTS Academy growth as co-chair in next two years, and of course I will convey all my efforts to keep and intensify the Academy’s energetic environment and to enforce ECTS Academy scientific collaboration and personal interaction. I would like to sincerely thank the members of the Academy for putting so much trust in me, and I will do anything to be up to the role, to maintain the vision of the Academy and to contribute to its mission.
Taking advantage of this great opportunity, I would like to invite young researchers and clinicians in the musculoskeletal field in Europe to join us by applying to ECTS Academy 2022 basic/translational and clinical calls released in September 2021 (deadline October 31st 2021).