From November 25thto 28ththe Coehar will host the international partners of the Replica project, the third of the 9 projects presented last June at the Center of Excellence for the Acceleration of Harm Reduction at the University of Catania, directed by Prof. Riccardo Polosa.
The ambitious goal of Replica is to replicate the most well-known studies conducted by tobacco companies on the efficacy and reliability of low-risk products to independently assess their scientific validity, enabling the scientific-research world to deal with the data obtained from an international network of seven university labs that will work independently of each other .
The Rector Prof. Francesco Priolo welcomed the delegates of the Universities of Greece, Serbia, Russia, Oman, Indonesia and the United States, who will attend the first international educational training on the techniques standardized during these past months in the Biometec Department labs at The Biological Tower.
“It is a pleasure –said the Rector– to witness to the importance of this kick off meeting coordinated by two professors who have distinguished themselves for the significant boost to the internationalization of the University of Catania. I am proud of the network activities that we initiated with several international partners and I am sure that Replica will validate the independence of the results of the science from any kind of external influence”.
During these past months, the Coehar has triggered collaboration agreements with some of the most prestigious universities in the world in an effort, willed by Director Polosa himself, to promote the excellence of Italian research in the world and to share science and knowledge.
“There are hundreds of researchers working on our projects all over the world- said Riccardo Polosa– and the actual goal is to provide the international scientific community with useful data and tools to promote the new science of the harm reduction that can be used by all medical fields to spread the idea of healthy lifestyles”.
To coordinate the work of the new Coehar project, which involves more than 20 researchers from the University of Catania and 30 international experts, there will be Giovanni Li Volti, biochemistry professor at the Medicine School of the University of Catania and delegate of the Rector for the biomedical research.
“The Replication Studies Project– explained Li Volti- will replicate 10 international scientific research to analyze the toxicity levels of conventional cigarette smoke and compare them to those from the electronic cigarette and products with no combustion. In the first phase of the study- he added- we will evaluate the effects of vaping on lung cells and later move to those on the cardiovascular system. Our data will be based on the evaluation of the effects in conditions of use as similar as possible to the real ones”.
The international partners will work together with the COEHAR researchers inside University of Catania labs, which in these months have been equipped with highly innovative devices, thanks to research funding of more than 500000 euros.
“Among the tools provided to the university- added the co-project leader, Dr. Massimo Caruso– there is a new device that can observe in real time the behavior of the cells exposed to different toxic products over several hours, even up to several days”.