Research Area: Predictive Medicine
Our research team has 30 years of experience in translational medicine of acute lung diseases (including animal models, newborns, and adults) and in genetic mutations of lung surfactant-specific proteins.
The focus of our research is the development of stable isotope and high-resolution mass spectrometry-based approaches (targeted and untargeted) to improve the understanding of human biology on a cellular and whole-organism levels.
In recent years, we has focused on the neurological and pulmonary injuries occurring during pediatric cardiac surgery for congenital heart defects. The latter are the most common congenital disease affecting about 1% of all births. Improved surgical techniques have reduced operative mortality to 3% and major concerns are now focused on the long-term outcome, especially on neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders along with lung injuries. We are trying to define one or more easily assayed biomarker that correlates with the neurological and pulmonary outcome of children undergoing open-heart surgery for congenital heart diseases. We recently described how the minimum temperature reached during children cardiac surgery is the most important factor that influences the rise of a brain injury neuromarker and how the type of cardiac diseases is linked to a specific pulmonary surfactant status. Moreover, we linked a specific marker of brain injury (GFAP), along with other surgical parameters, to children’s neurodevelopmental outcome at 18 months after surgery. Neurodevelopmental followup in 45 of these CHD children showed that GFAP was associated with impaired communication skills. Up to 52% of CHD children reported neuropsychological impairments mainly related to the domain of the social and affective perception. Moreover, our laboratory applied an untargeted metabolomic approach to elucidate the mechanism underlying CHD phenotype and to identify the metabolite signatures of early brain damage.
Pulmonary surfactant status in critical diseases, both acute and chronic, is also a key topic of the laboratory. We used stable isotope tracers and high resolution-mass spectrometry techniques to describe lipids and metabolites profile and surfactant specific proteins metabolism and amounts in different disease in children and adults.
We are also studying a protective ventilation protocol to be used during cardiac surgery in CHD patients.
Studies on preterm and newborn infants’ nutrition (focused on parenteral nutrition) are also ongoing with important results obtained describing the metabolism of lipids components and their relationship with the diseases. Lipidomics studies are planned to study lipids metabolism in the fetus and during pregnancy complicated by intrauterine growth restriction.
Along with clinical studies, cellular and molecular studies are in progress to characterize the response of brain cell (especially glial cells) to hypothermia, hypoxia, and rewarming.
Manuela Simonato PostDoctoral Researcher
Alessio Correani PostDoctoral Researcher
Virgilio Carnielli Clinical Researcher
Aldo Baritussio Clinical Researcher
Giovanna Verlato Clinical Researcher
Nicola Faganello Master student
Laura Mezzalira Master student
Simonato M, Fochi I, Vedovelli L, Giambelluca S, Carollo C, Padalino M, Carnielli VP, Cogo P: Urinary metabolomics reveals kynurenine pathway perturbation in newborns with transposition of great arteries after surgical repair. Metabolomics 2019; 15: 145.
Giambelluca S, Ricci F, Simonato M, Vedovelli L, Traldi U, Correani A, Casiraghi C, Storti M, Mersanne A, Cogo P, Salomone F, Carnielli VP: Tracing exogenous surfactant in vivo in rabbits by the natural variation of (13)C. Respir Res 2019; 20: 158.
Vedovelli L, Padalino M, Suppiej A, Sartori S, Falasco G, Simonato M, Carnielli VP, Stellin G, Cogo P: Cardiopulmonary-Bypass Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Correlates With Neurocognitive Skills. Ann Thorac Surg 2018; 106: 792-798.
Simonato M, Baritussio A, Carnielli VP, Vedovelli L, Falasco G, Salvagno M, Padalino M, Cogo P: Influence of the type of congenital heart defects on epithelial lining fluid composition in infants undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass. Pediatr Res 2018.
Correani A, Visentin S, Cosmi E, Ponchia E, D’Aronco S, Simonato M, Vedovelli L, Cogo P, Carnielli VP: The maternal-fetal gradient of free and esterified phytosterols at the time of delivery in humans. Clin Nutr 2018; 37: 2107-2112.
Corso Stati Uniti, 4 F
Phone: +39 049 9640111
Fax: +39 049 9640101