Teaching Schedule

Teaching Schedule / Attività didattica Dottorato SVA 2016-2017

Date Day Course Time Classroom Teacher
21/11/2016 Monday Medical Statistic 3 13.00-16.00 310 Elisabetta Sala
24/11/2016 Thursday Medical Statistic 3 12.00-14.00 310 Elisabetta Sala
29/11/2016 Tuesday Medical Statistic 3 13.00-16.00 310 Elisabetta Sala
01/12/2016 Thursday Medical Statistic 3 12.00-14.00 311 Elisabetta Sala
15/12/2016 Thursday Medical Statistic 3 12.00-14.00 310 Elisabetta Sala
25/01/2017 Wednesday Communication 3 14.00-18.00 14-15 Ettore Galanti
08/02/2017 Wednesday Communication 3 14.00-18.00 14-15 Ettore Galanti
22/02/2017 Wednesday

Communication 3

14.00-18.00 14-15 Ettore Galanti

Giraldi / Scarpa


I am a graduated in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pisa. I have defended my graduation thesis titled “Copper-associated hepatopathy: diagnosis and clinical correlations” in July 2012. From December 2012 to March 2013 I spent a visiting period at the Veterinary Cytopathology and Hematology Service of the Hospital Clinic Veterinari at the University of Barcelona (UAB).
Since April 2013 I have joined a veterinary team in a private practice in Tuscany. My daily job activity were canine and feline clinical consultations, focused on internal medicine. I was also the vet in charge for management of laboratory equipment and for cytopathological and haematological diagnosis.


Associate Professor in Veterinary Medical Pathology at the Department of Veterinary Sciences and Public Health of the University of Milan.
Graduated at the University of Milan, she obtained a PhD in Large Animal Internal Medicine, a post Doc in Veterinary Sciences and Applied Biology and won a grant of the Specialization School of Small Animals Diseases.
Encharged Professor in “Applied Physiology in Small Animal” in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Padua State University from 1990 to 2000, she became researcher in 2001 in Milan. She is actually involved in clinical practice (internal medicine) in the small animal teaching hospital.
Paola Scarpa is the current vice president of the Italian Society of Veterinary Internal Medicine (SIMIV) and a member of the European Society of Veterinary Nephrology and Urology (ESVNU). She was also president of the Italian Society of Veterinary Nephrology and Urology from 2008 to 2011. The research interests are focused on Laboratory Medicine and Internal Medicine, with particular skills in nephrology and urology in dogs and cats.

Renal proteinuria in cats and dogs affected with spontaneous CKD: news and perspectives

CKD is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in cats and it's characterized by irreversible loss of renal function and and/or structure.
Despite an adequate standard therapy, CKD is ultimately progressive with peculiar pathologic alterations, such as hypertension and proteinuria.


These findings are recognized as diagnostic as well as causal factors in worsening and perpetuating kidney damage. The exact mechanism of the CKD-associated hypertension is not known, but the activation of the renin-angiotensin system may be involved. The activation of this system could also ultimately contribute to the intraglomerular hypertension and to worsen proteinuria.
The method to quantify proteinuria is the evaluation of urinary proteins and creatinine (UPC) ratio. To the best of our knowledge none information is available about analytical limitation and variability of this diagnostic procedure. Moreover, a potential high analytical variability of UPC could cause an erroneous staging of the patient and consequently affect clinical decision making. Hence, a preliminary objective is to characterize analytical imprecision and accuracy of proteinuria and biomarkers in client owned cat that will be presented for clinical examination in our clinic.


Given the progressive nature of CKD and the fact that it becomes clinically and biochemically evident when 75% of the kidney is compromised, finding a biomarker for CKD diagnosis would be useful in order to start an adequate therapy and to predict a worsening in animals. Previous studies in our department highlighted good results of serum big endothelin-1 and homocysteine in dogs with CKD. Furthermore, the pattern of urinary protein as visualized by urine electrophoresis can be used to help determine whether glomerular and/or tubular damage in contributing to proteinuria.
Our hypothesis is that serum biomarkers increase and urinary protein patterns change in cats with CKD, as happen in human and dogs. Hence, the aim is to determine concentration of serum levels of big endothelin-1 and homocysteine and to determine the urinary protein pattern by Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate – Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) in cats staged according to International Renal Interest Society (IRIS) classification, in order to gain information about their serum levels and their clinical utility. Such patients will be monitored until the development of azotemia, following and treating them according to international guidelines. Our further aim is to determine through prospective sequential sampling the concentration of the previous biomarkers, in order to assess if their increasing can predict the development of CKD, proteinuria or hypertension, or if their assessment can be useful in improvement the therapeutical management of small animals with CKD with standard therapy.

Bottagisio / Bonizzi


Marta Bottagisio graduated in Veterinary Biotechnology Science Master’s Degree at the University of Milan in July 2014 with the evaluation of 110/110 with the highest honors. She is the author of the thesis “Dynamic culture of ovine bone marrow stem cell-loaded construct for bone tissue engineering”. During her thesis internship she had the chance to work at the Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, at the Galeazzi Orthopaedic Institute in Milan. Her work is now focused on medicated hydrogels and activated mesenchymal stem cells to amplify the antibiotic activity against Staph. aureus and epidermidis infection in orthopedics.


Luigi Bonizzi, PhD (Head of Department, UNIMI-DIVET)
Degree in Biological Science, PhD in Animal Pathology

- Researcher of Domestic Animals Infectious Diseases at University of Milan (1992-1998);
- Associate Professor of Domestic Animals Infectious Diseases at University of Padova.
From 2000: Full Professor of Domestic Animals Infectious Diseases at University of Milan.
Since 2005: Delegate of the Dean as Director of Veterinary Hospital of the University of Milan in Lodi.
From 2009: Head of Department of Veterinary Science and Public Health, University of Milan.
Member: International Centre for Rural Health (WHO).
From 2013: President of “Fondazione Italian Proteomics Association onlus”.

Research interests:
The main research interests are focused on:
- Zoonoses and Public Health;
- Classical and innovative diagnosis of infectious diseases;
- Microbial proteomics;
- Metagenomics and metaproteomics of bacteria consortium in complex matrices;
- Metabonomics and proteomics applied to food safety and quality;
- Evaluation of immunodeficiency and study of immune parameters in breeding;
- Molecular immunology;
- Animal immunodeficiency virus (e.g. FIV) and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE).
The scientific activity is supported by 150 scientific reports.

PhD Project
Bacterial infections due to implanted prosthesis or complicated fractures still represent a serious burden in orthopedic surgery.


Septic complications are the first and the third reason for knee and hip joint prosthesis failure and similarly acute or chronic osteomyelitis develops from 5% to 33% of cases after bone fractures. The most common pathogens of these infections are opportunistic microorganisms, including methicillin-susceptible or resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis and aureus (80%), Streptococcus spp. and Gram-negative bacteria (20%). Typically, these bacteria are able to adhere to one another, forming a microbial assembling embedded in an extracellular matrix, the biofilm, that leads to persistent local (osteomyelitis) and/or systemic infections and retains a multifactorial tolerance to host immune cells and antibiotic treatments.


The administration of antibiotics involves some drawbacks such as systemic toxicity, reduced absorption into the ischemic or necrotic tissues and prolonged hospitalization to monitor drug levels and its effects. In order to avoid these drawbacks, local antibiotic therapy has become an accepted and common alternative, and in the recent few years, studies have shown that mesenchymal stem cells exhibit antimicrobial activity when activated in vitro. The first aim of the project is to investigate antibacterial materials with non-fouling properties, for use as coatings of the orthopedic prostheses; such materials should preferably be capable to release drugs immediately and during the following hours after the operation to cover the critical period of possible bacteria attack and proliferation in the intervention site.


The second aim of this project is to activate mesenchymal stem cells to enhance the activity of conventional antibiotics. This project provides for both in vitro and in vivo studies in order to test the hydrogel capability in releasing drugs in vitro and in contrasting the biofilm formation in Staph. Aureus/epidermidis infected animal models of fractures and prosthetic implants. Furthermore, adult mesenchymal stem cells will be expanded in vitro and activated to assess the effects on antimicrobial activity and production of antimicrobial peptides. The effects of the cell therapy in vivo will be assessed using an animal model of chronic Staph. aureus/epidermidis biofilm infection.

Zenobi / Brevini


Alessandro Zenobi
Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety, University of Milan
Address: Via Celoria, 10 20133 Milan
Tel.: + 39 02 503 17973
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Alessandro Zenobi graduated in Science in Veterinary Biotechnologies (curriculum Cell Cultures) Master’s Degree at the University of Milan in October 2014 with the highest honors. Final thesis: “Role of Oxygen in Pancreatic Development Process”. Currently involved in research on Epigenetic Conversion of Skin Fibroblasts into Insulin Secreting Cells at the Laboratory of Biomedical Embryology UNISTEM in Milan.


Tutor: Tiziana A.L. Brevini
Tiziana A.L. Brevini is an Associate Professor of Anatomy and Embryology at the University of Milan, Italy. She studied the interactions between the female genital tract and the maturing oocyte in the Department of Molecular Embryology at the University of Cambridge, UK. She completed her doctorate degree in Endocrinology and Metabolic Sciences at the University of Milan, Italy, and then carried out research at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and at the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia. Her main areas of research focus on the understanding of cell differentiation and commitment, epigenetic control of cell fate, and pluripotency-related networks in mammalian cells and embryos. She serves as MC member for Epiconcept and SALAAM Cost Actions and acts as Project Reviewer for several European and US Research Councils.

Research Project

We have recently developed a method for the epigenetic conversion of adult cells from one phenotype to a different one. This approach has notable advantages compared to the alternative available procedures: it is highly efficient, it does not require any transgenic modification, it does not induce a stable pluripotent stage, it is patient-specific and therefore it avoids allogeneic rejection.


For all these reason cells derived with this approach (defined epiCC) look very promising candidates for their clinical translation as a therapy. In particular, the data available have shown that they may find advantageous application for regenerative management of diabetes.
Aim of this project is to investigate the mechanism that control epigenetic switch of cell fate, the acquisition of a different phenotype and its stability. In vitro and in vivo studies using animal models will be performed to confirm the safety and the efficacy of these cells.


A multidisciplinary approach will be used and will involve advanced techniques of stem cell culture, cell, tissue and organ cryopreserving, cell and molecular biology, methylation studies, in vivo imaging of cell growth and cell migration, immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy, cell and exosome mediated interactions, cell differentiation and mechano-sensing. The PhD student will become familiar with these techniques, will acquire skills to design and carry out experiments, will develop experimental projects and will present the results obtained at meetings and scientific manuscripts.


Ceriotti / Ferrucci


Serena Ceriotti graduated as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in December 2013 at the University of Milan with a master thesis about the assessment of sensitivity and specificity of ultrasonography for the diagnosis of malabsorption syndromes in horses, obtaining a final grade of 110/110 cum laude. Before graduation, in 2012, she attended a four months practical training in Equine Medicine and Surgery at the Maisons-Alfort University Equine Hospital (France), under the supervision of Dr Celine Mespoulhes-Rivière. After graduation, in 2014, both she continued participating to clinical, didactic and research activities of the Equine Internal Medicine and Sport Medicine Unit of the Large Animal Veterinary Hospital in Lodi (University of Milan), under the supervision of Prof. Francesco Ferrucci, and she worked as a private veterinarian, particularly practicing equine emergency medicine and intensive care in collaboration with the veterinary team of “Clinica Veterinaria della Brughiera” (Varese). During the same year, she participated as presenting author to the SisVet Congress (Pisa, june 2014), she obtained the qualification as FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale) Permitted Treating Veterinarian (November 2014) and she attended a one month practical training in Working Equides Medicine and Surgery at the charity veterinary hospital American Fondouk (Fes, Morocco), under the supervision of Dr. Gigi Kay (August 2014). Her main research interests concern equine internal medicine (particularly equine gastroenterology) and equine sport medicine.


Tutor: Francesco Ferrucci, Associate Professor, PhD, DVM
Graduated as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1990 and attended his PhD program between 1994 and 1997, working on a research project about the role of bronchoalveolar lavage made via a paraendoscopic technique as ancillary diagnostic test for the assessment of pneumonic diseases in calves. From 1997 to 2001 he worked as a project researcher for the University of Milan, focusing his research activity on the diagnostic value of dynamic tests performed using high-speed treadmill for the assessment of respiratory diseases in sport horses. He worked as Assistant Professor from 2001 to 2010 when he got his actual academic title of Associate Professor (VESPA department, University of Milan). Concerning teaching activities, he is responsible both for the management of the classes about Equine Semeiology and Internal Medicine, of the practical trainings in Equine Internal Medicine and Sport medicine, school of Veterinary Medicine (University of Milan), and for the organization of the didactic activity. School of Specialization in “Equine Medicine and Surgery”, Large Animal Veterinary hospital (University of Milan).His main research interest include equine sport medicine, particularly focusing on respiratory, cardiovascular, metabolic, neuromuscular assessment during exercise using the high-speed treadmill.


The project aims to assess the potential beneficial role of ghrelin (a GH-releasing peptidic hormone with an additional anti-inflammatory activity) for the prevention/treatment of equine joint chronic inflammation such as osteoarthritis (OA).


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disorder of movable joints characterized by degeneration of articular cartilage and bone that arises when catabolic processes of joint tissues (stimulated by mechanical overload) overwhelm anabolic repair processes. OA represents a common disease in athletic horses: strenuous exercise may cause joint mechanical stress that exceeds cartilage and bone capability to adapt. An important role in the pathogenesis of OA is played by the synovial membrane: it responds to mechanical injury by releasing several biochemical mediators responsible for cartilage degradation, inflammation and pain which is a frequent cause of equine lameness. Therefore, there are two main goals for medical treatment of OA in horses: reducing pain (lameness) and minimizing the progression of joint degeneration. Ghrelin showed an important anti-inflammatory activity in treating experimentally-induced arthritis in rats. Additionally, in vitro and in vivo studies reported that ghrelin influences activity of human and rats chondrocytes and bone cells, modulating the synthesis of eicosanoids in the cartilage and stimulating osteoblast proliferation and differentiation.
The research project includes both a preliminary laboratory step and a following clinical trial. The preliminary laboratory step consists of the evaluation of the in-vitro effects of ghrelin on equine osteoblasts and chondrocytes primary cultures: the main goal is to examine whether or not ghrelin is able to counteract the stimulation of bone and cartilage resorption and the inhibition of bone formation induced by exposure of bone cells to TNFα.


The clinical trial consists of a in-vivo perspective case-control study that aims to assess the efficacy of ghrelin in treating joint inflammation, degeneration and pain induced by OA: improvement of clinical signs, diagnostic image findings, quantitative reduction of markers of inflammation in synovial fluid samples will be compared between affected joints treated with a combination ghrelin + hyaluronate and affected joints treated only with hyaluronate.