Professor Giovanni Scapagnini
Currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Università of Molise, Italy. He was previously employed as an Assistant Professor at the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, West Virginia University, Rockville, MD and at the Institute of Neurological Sciences, Italian National Research Council. He also worked as a Visiting Scientist at the NINDS, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD, and at the Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research, Harrow, UK. Since 2004, he is a Visiting Professor at the University of Maryland (IHV), Baltimore, MD. Dr. Scapagnini is a founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Italian Society of Nutraceuticals SINUT. His current work focuses on the functional roles of food phytochemicals as redox regulators of aging process.
Professor Scapagnini was born in Naples on 31/08/1966. He has graduated in 1992
at the School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Catania, and he has obtained a PhD in
Neurobiology in 2000. Since completing his education, Dr. Scapagnini has conducted research
with the Institute of Pharmacology associated with the University of Catania and has worked as
a Visiting Scientist with Department of Surgical Research, Northwick Park Institute for Medical
Research, Harrow, UK in 1999, and with Laboratory of Adaptive Systems, National Institute of
Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD, USA in 2000.
Dr. Scapagnini has been Research Assistant Professor at the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences
Institute, West Virginia University at Johns Hopkins University, Rockville, MD from 2000 to
2003 and Research Assistant Professor at the Institute of Neurological Sciences, Italian National
Research Council, from 2003 to 2006. From 2004 he has been Visiting professor at the Institute
of Human Virology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD. Currently he hold an Academic
positions as Associate Professor of Clinical Biochemistry, at the Faculty of Medicine, University
of Molise, Campobasso. His fields of research regard biology and molecular mechanisms of ageing
and neurodegenerative disorders, with particular focus on nutrient activated signaling pathways
related to lifespan regulation.
2015 - 1) Nutrient signals that modulate aging: a complex regulatory network for nutrigenomics research
Ageing is a challenge for any living organism and human longevity is a complex phenotype. With increasing life expectancy, maintaining long-term health, functionality and well-being during ageing has become an essential goal. Healthy ageing involves the interaction between genes, the environment, and lifestyle factors, particularly diet. Food, particularly fruits and vegetables, often contain active compounds endowed with potent antioxidative and chemopreventive properties, and an extensive literature describes the positive impact of dietary phytochemicals on overall health and longevity. Although the exact mechanisms by which phytochemicals promote these effects remain to be elucidated, several reports have shown their ability to stimulate various mechanisms including modulation of xenobiotic metabolising enzymes. Dietary phytochemicals include a large group of non-nutrients compounds from a wide range of plant-derived foods and chemical classes. Over the last decade, remarkable progress has been made to realize that chronic, low-grade inflammation and redox unbalance are critical aspects for the development of age-related diseases.
Despite the translational gap between basic and clinical research, the current understanding of the molecular interactions between phytochemicals and oxy/inflammatory response could help in designing effective nutritional strategies to delay the onset of chronic diseases and improve healthy ageing. In this context, our and other laboratories, have highlighted the relevance of specific dietary phytochemicals for the maintenance of the efficiency of the Nrf2/ARE pathway, a central mechanism for adaptive responses to oxidative stress and inflammation.
This presentation will focus on the effects of some food contained phytochemicals on ageing and longevity with particular focus on dietary patterns of long-lived populations, such as Okinawa centenarians, and nutrient-sensing pathways that have a pivotal role in the regulation of oxi-inflammation and life span.
2015 - 2) From lipid profiling to nutrigenetics: the bases for personalized nutrition and healthy ageing managment.
What we eat and how much we eat are principal factors for the increase in chronic health problems in industrialised societies.. Lipidomics is an emerging field of study driven by advancements of analytical tools, specifically mass spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography. The use of a top-down lipidomic approach enables the accurate characterization of blood cells and plasma lipids in their native state, which has the potential to serve as a screening tool for some metabolic disorders, and track changes in the blood lipid profile that result from dietary assumption of essential fatty acids. Several sources of information suggest that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) of approximately 1 whereas in Western diets the ratio is 15/1-16.7/1. Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids compared with the diet on which human beings evolved and their genetic patterns were established. Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today's Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio), exert suppressive effects. Dried blood spots (DBS) analyses can provide a reliable and accurate reflection of tissue fatty acids profile and particularly omega‐3 fatty acid status. Lipidomic approach, together with other analytical tools related to gene–diet interactions, will enable to design healthier diets tailored for each individual.