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(ERSU) The joint Galveston-Palermo Science Week that began on April 2 in Palermo, Italy, came to an end on April 6 with the return of the US delegation to Texas. The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and the University of Palermo (UniPA) agreed to have a joint PhD for research in Biomedicine and Neuroscience, which, starting from the next academic year, will be issued jointly by the two Universities.

The participation of the public marked the success of this initiative, and encouraged the new projects already under way between UTMB and UniPA. This initiative falls also within the agreement with CSNA (Sicilian Confederation of North America) and the Houston COM.IT.ES (Committee of Italians Abroad).

On April 2, before the Dean Roberto Lagalla, the President of ERSU Antonino Bono, the Dean's Representative for International Affairs Pasquale Assennato and the President of the College of Medicine Giacomo de Leo an agreement was signed between the latter and UTMB. This agreement aims at facilitating the exchange of students, researchers and teachers of medicine and surgery between both Universities. Luca Cicalese, Surgery Professor at UTMB, and Francesco Capello, Associate Professor of Human Anatomy at UniPA, have been appointed as international references.  
The Workshop “Biomedicine and Neuroscience at Galveston and Palermo” was held on April 2 in the Church of Sant’Antonio Abate inside the “Steri” complex. A significant number of doctors and teachers from the University of Palermo were able to interact with the Texas delegation and establish new patterns of cooperation in projects that will shortly be in place. The workshop was addressed live by the Consul General of Italy in Houston, Fabrizio Nava, and the President of  (COM.IT.ES.) Vincenzo Arcobelli.
Namely, the issues that were addressed dealt with the patogenesis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Alzheimer's disease as well as the regenerative medicine for the nervous system and pancrease. Luca Cicalese, Director of the Transplant Center and Hepatic Surgery at UTMB, talked about " Hepatocellular carcinoma: understanding its origin". Cristiana Rastellini, from UTMB's Surgery Department, gave a speech on " Regenerative medicine: our experience". Giulio Taglialatela, from UTMB's Department of Neuroscience and Cellular Biology, gave a presentation on " The curious case of cognitively-intact individuals with severe Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology: molecular insights into evading dementia". The speeches were ended by Maria Adelaide Micci, from UTMB's Anestesiology Departmen, who gave a presentation on "Neural stem cells for Nervous System repair". The workshop was enriched by a number of presentations given by researchers from Palermo, such as Valentina Di Felice (Cardiac progenitor cells and their application in cell therapy), Fabio Bucchieri (Three-dimensional mucosal  outgrowths: characterization and possible applications), Giampiero La Rocca (Adult and extraembryonic mesenchymal stromal cells and immune modulation: when regenerative medicine meets tissue repair), Fulvio Plescia (Role of acetaldehyde in alcohol addiction: current evidence and future perspective), Mary Grillo (Identification of GPR23 as a receptor for guanine based purines), Antonella D’Anneo (Parthenolide induces caspase-independent and AIF-mediated cell death in human osteosarcoma and melanoma cells) and Giovanni Grasso (Role of erythropoietin in neuroregeneration).

On April 3 and 4 the UTMB Professors were part of the jury to award the title of Research Doctor in Neurosensorial Fisiopathology and in Experimental and Molecular Medicine within the context of the PHD course in Biomedicine and Neuroscience coordinated by Giovanni Zummo.
On April 3 the UTMB delegation visited "Villa Malfitano", which hosts the Euro-Mediterranean Institute of Science and Technology (IEMEST) chaired by Bartolomeo Sammartino, where a joint UTMB-IEMEST Conference was held with theparticipation of members of IEMEST Advisory board and Scientific Committee members, where participants agreed on common targets to be pursued under a new form of collaboration.

The UTMB Professors will be recognized as Visiting Professors at the University of Palermo, a title which is bestowed to foreign teachers who teach and research at UniPA, once the necessary procedures will be completed.

(ERSU Palermo - Ente Regionale per lo Studio Universitario, Regione Siciliana)