Non-Communicable Diseases

There is a growing interest in the ICGEB Member States for research into non-communicable disorders. Understanding the causes of human disease at the genetic and molecular level now enables the development of innovative therapies or preventive measures in fields of enormous importance for public health, such as cardiovascular disorders, cancer and neurodegeneration. Multiple Groups in Trieste, New Delhi and Cape Town are active in these areas.

Cardiovascular disorders image

Cardiovascular Disorders

Two Groups in Trieste operate in the field of cardiovascular disease. The Molecular Medicine Group (Giacca) aims to identify proteins and microRNAs controlling cardiac protection and regeneration that might be exploited for the therapy of heart diseases.

Dendritic cell, antigen-presenting immune cell, 3D illustration


Two Groups in Trieste and two in New Delhi study the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the immune response to pathogens and cancer.

microscope of cell, Embryonic stem cells, Cellular Therapy and Regeneration 3d illustration

Molecular Genetics

In Trieste, the RNA Biology Group (Baralle) performs research in elucidating the molecular mechanisms that control processing of human genes and their relevance for human disease.

Science image with human brain on blue background


In Trieste the Molecular Pathology Group (Buratti) investigates aberrant pre-mRNA processing defects that lead to neurodegeneration.

Lymph node metastasis, light micrograph of cancer that has spread to a lymph node


Several research Groups in Trieste, Cape Town, and New Delhi investigate the genetic and molecular mechanisms of cancer development. In Cape Town, the Cancer Genomics Group (Zerbini) develops novel therapeutics targeting various cellular proteins that are deregulated in cancer.

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Using gene therapy approaches, the ICGEB is developing novel therapies against rare genetic diseases. A phase I clinical trial for the treatment of the Crigler Najjar Syndrome commenced in 2018, with broad clinical application expected within 5 years.