The ASAcampus researchers in the CORM experiment team, selected by the Italian Space Agency (ASI)

22 December 2016 - Research -

One of the research projects that will be carried out as part of the VITA mission, which will start in May 2017 with the participation of Italian ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, studies the effect of Coenzyme Q10 as a countermeasure for retinal damage induced by space environment.

Among the involved researchers, Dr. Monica Monici, Dr. Francesca Cialdai, and Dr. Leonardo Vignali of ASAcampus, Joint Laboratory between the Research Division of ASAlaser and the Department of Clinical and Experimental Biomedical Sciences of the University of Florence

“The Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) as an antiapoptotic countermeasure for retinal damage induced by radiation and microgravity on the ISS: experiment on retinal cells in culture (CORM)” – this is the title of the research project – has been selected and it is coordinated by ASI (Italian Space Agency) as part of the NASA/ASI VITA mission. The scientific coordinators are Dr. Matteo Lulli (Principal Investigator, University of Florence), and Prof. Sergio Capaccioli (Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florence), with the involvement of other researchers of the University of Florence (Dr. Alberto Magi) and Rome ‘La Sapienza’ (Dr. Stefano Cacchione), in addition to the researchers of ASAcampus.
Kayser Italia has instead built the hardware for the experiment.

“Our studies – explains Dr. Monici – focus on the role of physical factors, such as light and gravity, in the biological processes, and the possible applications of physical factors in the therapeutic field. We’ve been carrying out research in the field of Space Biology for many years, and for us it is very important to have the opportunity to participate in an experiment that takes place on the International Space Station, under real microgravity.”

“CORM - concluded Dr. Lulli and Prof. Capaccioli - aims to study the damage inflicted by microgravity and radiation present on the ISS to retinal cells, and to evaluate the possible protective role fulfilled by Coenzyme Q10 towards such damage. Because CoQ10 has been the subject of one of our patents, which resulted in an eyewash for the cure of corneal diseases, we believe that in addition to the direct impact on the health of the astronauts' eyes, especially in view of long-term missions, our project will have important effects on Earth to numerous diseases that affect the retina.”

‘The Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) as an antiapoptotic countermeasure for retinal damage induced by radiation and microgravity on the ISS: experiment on retinal cells in culture (CORM)’

Funded by: ASI/NASA

Participants: Dr. Matteo Lulli (Principal Investigator (PI), University of Florence), Prof. Sergio Capaccioli (Co-PI, University of Florence), Dr. Monica Monici (ASAcampus Joint Laboratory, ASA Research Division - University of Florence), Dr. Alberto Magi (University of Florence), Prof. Stefano Cacchione (University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’).


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