Who are we and what is our mission?

The Center of Excellence on Neurodegenerative Diseases (CEND) is a multi-faculty, interdisciplinary teaching and research center consisting of: molecular and cell biologists, chemists, geneticists, neuroscientists, neuroendocrinologists, neuropharmacologists,  neurologists, neurosurgeons, chemists, biochemists, pathologists, physicists, all dedicated to the exploration of how mammalian nervous system functions, what are the bases for brain diseases (with particular reference to neurodegeneration), and how to translate these discoveries into improved prevention and treatments.

Primary appointments of CEND members are in different departments; their research interests span the breadth of basic and clinical research with studies aimed at increasing our understanding of the causes and mechanisms leading to brain dysfunction and degeneration in:

  • Alzheimer’s disease,
  • Parkinson’s disease,
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Motor neuron disease (Kennedy’s disease)

and neurodegenerative disorders that occur more frequently with advancing age.

A major strength of CEND is the commitment to investigate on the basic mechanisms of neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, and aging, with particular emphasis on the role of intracellular receptors and energy metabolism. The role of gender in neurodegeneration is a main topic in the studies carried out at CEND. Major efforts are made to translate this knowledge into therapy. Research is also aimed at the generation of innovative reporter animal models.

CEND Faculties are involved in  academic training programs, research at basic, translational, clinical level, dissemination of knowledge.

CEND was established in 2001 by the Italian Ministry for University and Scientific and Technological Research as a Center of Excellence dedicated to:

  • Encourage and coordinate research and academic programs in neuroscience;
  • Develop and coordinate academic training programs in neuroscience at the undergraduate, doctoral, and post-doctoral levels;
  • Foster collaborative research between and among basic and clinical neuroscientists;
  • Develop programs of continuous education for the dissemination of academic research to the general public
  • Outreach and advocacy.