What are the biological mechanisms behind the development of certain chronic multifactorial diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disease? How are they related to ageing processes, diets or genetic and physiological characteristics of individuals?
Answering these questions is one of the scientific objectives of Chronos (Chronical Multifactorial Disorders Explored by Novel integrated Strategies), the project of excellence carried out at the Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences of the University of Milano-Bicocca, funded with over 6 million euro by the Ministry of University and Research under the “Financing Fund for Departments of Excellence”, which awards university departments of excellence that carry out cutting-edge research.
The Chronos project is based on the awareness that 20% of the EU population is aged 65 and over and that increasing age is associated with a growing prevalence of disabling chronic conditions such as dementia and cancer. In addition to this, these diseases are determined by other factors such as lifestyle, nutrition and environmental factors.
The aim of the project is to analyse the incidence of these diseases in their complexity, by studying the genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors that affect the development, progression and drug resistance of the different diseases. For this reason, the Chronos project involves the construction of new infrastructures, the recruitment of researchers and professors and the retraining of the department’s staff through dedicated paths and exchanges with other Italian and foreign research institutes of excellence.
“Research that will be carried out in the future thanks to the creation of these laboratories and the human capital acquired will make a significant contribution to the development of new treatments for these diseases through the integration of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, personalized medicine and digital solutions. In particular, these studies will contribute to the development of accurate early diagnosis systems as well as effective treatments, thanks to the translation of research results into new diagnostic and therapeutic tools,” said Francesca Granucci, head of the Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca.
The project also includes technology transfer communication activities to foster interaction with society. The end goal is for the Department to become a reference centre for the territory and attract investment from private companies.
Source: Università di Milano Bicocca