October 2017 - october 2018: Thesis internship at the platelet biochemistry laboratory of the Biology and Biotechnology Department "Lazzaro Spallanzani", University of Pavia (head of Prof. Mauro Torti).
October 2018: Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences, obtained at the University of Pavia. Thesis title: “Preliminary investigation on the effects of the X-rays exposure in two breast adenocarcinoma cell lines” (supervisor: Prof. Gianni Francesco Guidetti).
October 2018 - july 2020: Thesis internship at the platelet biochemistry laboratory of the Biology and Biotechnology Department "Lazzaro Spallanzani", University of Pavia (head of Prof. Mauro Torti).
July 2020: Master's Degree in Experimental and Applied Biology, Biomolecular Biomedical Sciences curriculum, obtained at the University of Pavia. Thesis title: "Investigation of CD93 expression and function in human and murine platelets " (supervisor: Prof. Gianni Francesco Guidetti).
The research activity conducted during the PhD period will concern the biochemical and functional analysis of the CD93 glycoprotein role in platelet biology, which is currently unknown. Preliminary studies carried out in the platelet biochemistry laboratory have shown that CD93 is expressed in platelets and that, following platelet activation, it can be phosphorylated into tyrosine and released in its soluble form (sCD93) in the extracellular environment. These observations suggested that CD93 may be involved in the control of platelet function and in platelet-dependent pathophysiological processes. By means of specific techniques it will be possible to investigate the main platelet functions and biochemical events promoted by CD93 in the context of haemostasis and thrombosis. These studies will allow us to determine the function of CD93 is within the biochemical machinery of platelets and the possible role of this protein in the events of adhesion, secretion of platelet granules and aggregation induced by the main physiological agonists. The identification of CD93 as a possible regulator of platelet function could open new ways for the development of innovative antithrombotic therapies.
Platelets are also involved in the inflammatory response through the recruitment of immune cells to the inflamed site, particularly monocytes and neutrophils, and the regulation of phagocytosis events and removal of exogenous DNA following bacterial infection. The research activity proposed will also allow me to understand the role of CD93 in platelet activation induced by exogenous DNA and to characterize the possible involvement of platelets in inflammation and in the antimicrobial response mediated by CD93. The platelet-PAMPs interaction (PAMPs, pathogen-associated molecular patterns) assumes a relevant significance in the development of cardiovascular infections and in serious complications that can give rise to endocarditis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, immune thrombocytopenia, increased risk of myocardial infarction and sepsis. The development of platelet-PAMPs interactions inhibitors could represent an effective strategy for the treatment of subjects sensitive to antibiotic therapy.
The realization of these activities will involve the use of human and murine platelets and may make use of a knockout (KO) mouse model for the CD93 protein and a control wild type (WT) mouse model.