The research activity of the Department of Sense Organs reflects the research objectives of the single groups of the scientific-disciplinary sectors that make up the Department.

One of the primary objectives of the Department was to integrate the research activities of these various groups by providing ongoing guidance and information on current research activities in order to integrate the specific objectives into common departmental objectives.

A total of 306 works were produced, including 261 articles published in scientific journals (in the 2011-2013 three-year period), with a growing trend from 72 publications in 2011 to 95 publications in 2013.

The research objectives of the Department are:

  • to consolidate and increase the production and scientific quality of the Department;
  • to promote the integration of research among the members of the Department by developing clinical, basic, and translational research, and , in particular, to promote research on diseases with a high impact on society and national health expenditure;
  • to develop collaborations with national and international research groups;
  • to promote research that allows entry into national or international research networks;
  • to develop research through research grant institutions and scholarships.

The specific research objectives for the individual scientific-disciplinary sectors of the Department are shown below.

MED 30 - Visual apparatus diseases

A total of 17 professors belong to the scientific-disciplinary sector MED 30 - Visual apparatus diseases – (2 associate professors and 15 researchers).

The ophthalmology section has focused its basic, translational, and clinical research on issues of high social impact such as low vision, glaucoma, maculopathy, and diabetic  retinopathy. In particular, the specific objectives are:

1. clinical and epidemiological research on low vision;

2. research on pathogenetic mechanisms of vasculitis in eye diseases;

3. studies on new diagnostic investigation techniques in pathologies of the posterior ocular segment;

4. research on the pathophysiological role of growth factors in in vitro retinal pathologies;

5. research on ocular complications of infectious diseases;

6. clinical research on glaucoma;

7. clinical research on maculopathy;

8. clinical research on diabetic retinopathy;

9. clinical research on uveitis;

10. research on the treatment and management of retinal diseases and bulbar traumas.

MED 31 - Otorhinolaryngological diseases

A total of 14 professors belong to the scientific-disciplinary sector MED 31 - Otorhinolaryngological diseases (1 full professor, 9 associate professors, and 4 researchers). Specific objectives include:

1. to study new approaches and treatment for complications of head and neck carcinomas;

2. to research the role of autoimmunity in middle and internal ear diseases and in other diseases of interest to ENT;

3. to research pathologies of the salivary glands;

4. to study the results of lateral basicranium surgical techniques on the prevention of complications;

5. to study C-VEMPs, O-VEMPS, and vHIT in otoneurology;

6. to study the functional results of a new malleostapedotomy intervention prostheses;

7. to research cochlear implants for the therapy of severe/profound deafness;

8. to study the diagnostics and therapy of facial paralysis;

9. to study different immunological approaches, such as ELISA, Bioplex, IF, and immunohistochemistry on the inflammatory cytokines in the nasal mucosa in allergic rhinitis and the changes induced by biological anti-IgE and anti-cytokine therapies;

10. to research the effects of drugs on the treatment of nasal polyposis;

11. Immunological studies of nasopharyngeal lymphatic tissue.

MED 32 - Audiology and Phoniatrics

A total of 10 professors belong to the scientific-disciplinary sector MED 32 - Audiology and Phoniatrics (1 full professor, 3 associate professors, and 6 researchers). Specific objectives include:

1. to study the early diagnosis and genetic aspects of childhood deafness;

2. to research new strategies for the use of auditory evoked potentials in infant audiological diagnostics;

3. to study new classification models of tinnitus;

4. to study ototoxic, tinnitogenic and vertigogenic drugs;

5. epidemiological research on deafness in Italy;

6. studies on the psychological and psychopathological implications of tinnitus;

7. studies on tinnitus of somatosensory origin;

8. experimentation with technical aids in order to support the non-invasive evaluation of neurogenic dysphagia;

9. Instrumental evaluation of the progression of neuromuscular and sensory deficits in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;

BIO 16 - Human Anatomy

A total of two professors belong to the scientific-disciplinary sector BIO 16 - Human Anatomy (1 full professor and 1 researcher). Specific objectives include:

1. to study the role of parnaparin (PNP) on the development and clinical evolution of atherosclerosis and hepatic steatosis in laboratory animals;

2. to study the anatomy of patients affected by neo-vascular compression of the lower limbs, using non-invasive diagnostic tools;

3. the localization of neurotrophins and their receptors by immunohistochemistry to determine whether they can serve as potential diagnostic markers to monitor pituitary adenomas and paragangliomas;

4. to study the pro-inflammatory role of certain growth factors and cytokines and evaluate their involvement in the development and progression of various human pathologies such as carpal tunnel syndrome and eye diseases;

5. to study dopamine receptors and transporter alterations in the hippocampuses of rats treated with trimethyltin;

6. research activity on the pro-inflammatory role of specific growth factors and cytokines in order to evaluate their involvement in the development and progression of various human pathologies such as osteosarcoma and Waldeyer's ring inflammation;

7. to study patients suffering from AMD in order to test the protective effects of the factor deriving from the pigment epithelium;

8. to study the involvement of dopamine in the regulation of immune function;

9. to study phosphoinositide signal transduction in bone tumor pathology;

10. to study phosphoinositide signal transduction in connective tissue;

11. to study phosphoinositide signal transduction in angiogenesis;

12. to study phosphoinositide signal transduction in schizoaffective pathologies;

13. morphological analysis of embryofoetal cardiovascular anomalies;

14. morphological analysis and gene characterization of endometrial pathology.

MED 36 - Diagnostic Imaging and Radiotherapy

One teacher belongs to the scientific-disciplinary sector MED 36 - Imaging and Radiotherapy Diagnostics (1 full professor). Specific objectives include:

1. to increase advanced cultural and professional training to intervene with high skills in the care, management, training, and research processes in the field of radiodiagnostics;

2. research aimed at increasing the development of new diagnostic methods: elastosonography, contrast media in ultrasound, and cone beam computed tomography in the field of diagnostics of pathologies in the head-neck anatomical region.

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