Prof. Vincenzo Silani
Clinical Care, Academic Teaching, Basic and Clinical Neuroscience Research.
Department of Neurology – Stroke Unit and Neuroscience Laboratory.
Secondary School Diploma – Classic Lyceum (1971), Medical Degree cum laude (1977), ECFMG USA (1980),?Residency in Neurology (1981) and Neurosurgery (1987) completed both cum laude at the University of Milan Medical School.
TRAINING AND CAREER:
Prof. Vincenzo Silani was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston (1979-1981), at Columbia University, New York (1987), and?Visiting Professor of Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA (1999).?Assistant Professor of Neurology (1981-1990), then Associate Professor (1990-1997) with Inpatient Supervision Responsibilities (1997-2001) at the Institute of Neurology of IRCCS Maggiore Hospital of Milan directed by Prof. Guglielmo Scarlato. Prof. Silani was Chief of the Neurobiology Laboratory at the Institute of Neurology and “Dino Ferrari” Center from 1981.?He later became Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Milan Medical School in a national contest ( 2001), Director of the Neurology Department – Stroke Unit and the Neuroscience Laboratory of the University of Milan Medical School at the IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, (2002 – present) with an educational role for the Residency programme in Neurology of the University of Milan.?Prof. Silani is Director of a section of the “Dino Ferrari” Center for the Diagnosis and Therapy of Neuromuscular and Neurodegenerative Diseases of the University of Milan Medical School (2002 - to the present).
Prof. Silani coordinates the clinical activity of 12 inpatient beds and 4 Stroke Unit beds of the Neurology Department, taking care of the principal pathologies of the Central and Peripheral Nervous System with particular attention paid to the neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases.Motor Neuron Diseases (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), Extrapyramidal disorders (Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Parkinsonisms), Dementia (Frontotemporal Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease) and cerebrovascular pathologies are specifically studied. Large clinical databases provide support to an extended collection of DNA, liquor, serum, and skin fibroblasts (BioBank) transformed into stem cells (iPSCs).
Prof. Silani is responsible for various University Courses for both Students and Postgraduates of the University of Milan Medical School, as well as in the context of the European Neurological Society (ENS) and the European Federation of Neurological Societies (FENS) with Teaching Courses. Prof. Silani contributed greatly to the study of neurodegenerative, and more recently, cerebrovascular diseases in the dual clinical and research responsabilities at the Neuroscience Laboratory of the IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano. He has trained new generations of neurologists and neuroscientists over the years based on broad collaborative exchanges with the most prestigious European and North American Institutions. He has also participated in the first MD and PhD training programme of the University of Milan.
RESEARCH WORK AND PUBLICATIONS:
As a Neuroscientist, Prof. Silani has studied Neurodegenerative Diseases and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), in particular, from 1977. His contribution to both clinical and basic research work has been significant: after an intensive study of neuronal cells in culture with development of a cryopreservation method for human cells, he then progressively developed an ALS Centre in Milan with a large database for both familial and sporadic cases, supported by a large collection of biological samples. Prof. Silani was the Principal Investigator (PI) in various clinical trials.
As the Founder of “Consorzio Italiano SLAGEN” (Italian consortium for the genetics of ALS) he has been involved in various genetic research projects concerning ALS (2009 - to the present day), including a broad Genome-Wide Association (GWA) study designed to identify the genetic risk factors associated with susceptibility to the ALS in the sporadic form. He was also PI in an exome sequencing study on Italian pedigrees with familial ALS, sustained by “AriSLA” (ALS Research Agency) (ExomeFALS 2009 Project) and identified two genes of the familial forms of ALS. He is now engaged in identifying de novo mutations by sequencing the exome of patients suffering from ALS and of their parents (NOVALS 2012 Project – AriSLA).
Prof. Silani has also taken a broad interest in Parkinson's Disease, being the co-author of the first grafting in Italy of autologous medullary cells in the brain (1987). He is interested also in Huntington's Disease, contributing with the collaborators to study a large number of families. More recently, he is interested in defining the biological mechanism of neural degeneration in Frontotemporal Dementia (FTLD). Considerable research time has been devoted over the years to studying neural and non-neural stem cells implanted in animal models affected by different neurodegenerative diseases in order to achieve a therapeutic approach in humans. In particular, amniotic, cord and mesenchymal stem cells derived from the human bone marrow were largely characterized for the potential of neural phenotypic expression. Human stem cells were transplanted in various neurodegenerative animal models with evidence of engraftment and functional efficiency, in particular, in animal models of Parkinson's Disease and ALS. Prof. Silani has recently taken an active part in an international collaborative project to define neuroimaging biomarkers in neurodegenerative pathologies (ALS and FTD) (NiSALS, 2011 - to the present) and collaborated to activate a vast Brain Computer Interface (BCI) project to facilitate the neuropsychological evaluation and the communication of patients suffering from mutation deficiencies, by developing a large Neuropsychology Unit.?Prof. Silani is the author of 220 papers published in international journals, including, Science, Nature, Neuron, Lancet, Lancet Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Neurology and New England Journal of Medicine.
• Co-Chairman (2002-2005) and Chairman (2005-2007) of the European ALS Consortium (EALSC);
• Director of the European Neurology Society (ENS) - Subcommittee for Motor Neuron Disease (2008 - to the present day);
• Director of the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS) - group of scientific experts on ALS and degenerative diseases without dementia (2008-2009),
• Member of the ALS Commission of the Italian Ministry of Health (2004 - 2005, 2006 - 2007);
• Member of SinDEM Commission (Italian Society for the Study of Dementias) 2012 - to the present day);
• Member of ENCALS (European Network for the Cure of ALS) (2012 - to the present day)
• Member of international scientific journals’ board, including, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration (1999 –to the present day); European Neurology (2007 - to the present day); the American Journal of Neurodegenerative Disease (2012 - to the present day).
• Member of international scientific societies as the American Academy of Neurology, the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) and the Society for Neuroscience – USA.
• Prof. Silani has been awarded various national and international funding in both Europe and North America.
• Prof. Silani has received the International “Vivisalute” Award – First Edition 2004.
• Member of the Ministerial Commission (Ministerial Decree dated 18th June 2013) for stem cell therapies.
• Co-Director of the ALS/Frontotemporal Dementia Group of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) (September 2013 - present).
• Member of the Ethics Committee of the IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano (2013 - present).
• Counselor of the Italian Society of Neurology – Dementia Section (SINDEM)(2012 – present).
• Counselor of the Italian Society of Neurology (SIN) (2013 – present).
• Member of the International Society for Frontotemporal Dementias Committee (November 2013 – present).