CELLULAR AND GENE THERAPY

CELLULAR AND GENE THERAPY

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iten
Code
86844
ACADEMIC YEAR
2018/2019
CREDITS
2 credits during the 4th year of 8451 Pharmaceutical chemistry and technology (LM-13) GENOVA

2 credits during the 4th year of 8452 Pharmacy (LM-13) GENOVA

2 credits during the 5th year of 8452 Pharmacy (LM-13) GENOVA

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
BIO/13
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (Pharmaceutical chemistry and technology)
semester
2° Semester
modules
This unit is a module of:
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

The course will provide an overview of the most advanced cell and gene therapies, starting from their molecular bases to their current translational applications. The course will deal with the fundamantal biological concepts of stemness, pluripotency, plasticity and inducibility of the cells used in cell therapy approaches, and with the morphological and genetic charachteristics of several viral families that makes them suitable as effective vectors for gene therapy.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The aim of the course is to evidence the applicative potential displayed by some technological innovations in the fields of cellular and molecular biology in the treatment of several pathological conditions, bringing students closer to a current research field and to its latest outcomes. We want also to evidence the deep changes brought by innovative advanced therapies to the concepts of "drug" and of "therapy" within the last two decades, including their positive and negative consequences. Moreover we also intend to stimulate the students' criticism not only relating to the technical contents of the subjects, but also focusing on the legislative mandatory requirements that define the use of cell and gene products in applicative medicine.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

At the end of the cours the student must retain: a) the general applicative principles, methodologies and technical requirements for the preparation of cell and gene therapy products; b) the biological, morphological, genetic and functional main requirements of the cell and viral types used in cell and gene therapy approaches; c) pros and cons and associated risks with advanced therapies, particularly in confrontation with current gold-standard therapeutic approaches; d) general rules and regulations defining production and use of cell and gene therapy products.

We also expect that the student will be able to evaluate comparatively different therapeutic approaches (i.e. traditional pharmacological vs advanced therapy) for the same pathological condition, critically supporting his/her observations.

 

Teaching methods

The course lasts 16 hours of front lessons, 8 of which are dedicated to cell therapy and the remaining eight to gene therapy. Lesson items are presented through PowerPoint presentations; didactic material (non-textual) will be available under AulaWeb, through a controlled access system. During the course the students will be offered a chance to give a powerpoint presentation on a scientific paper provided by the teacher. The presentation is non-mandatory, but it may be considered for the final evaluation of the student.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

DETAILED PROGRAMS

CELL THERAPY (8 hours): Acquisition, characteristics, pros and cons and state-of-the-art in the research field for embrional and foetal stem cells, for stem cells derived from umbilical chord, placenta or amniotic liquid, and for adult stem cells, as well as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

Products for advanced therapies: definitions, general regulatory issues on their production, distribution and use.

Cell therapy for the hemopoietic tissue:Functional aspects of blood, of its cellular components and of the hematopoiesis. Collection, processing and cryopreservation of hemopoietic stem cells. Transplantation of hemopoietic stem cells: autologous or allogeneic translplantation.

Cell therapy applications to ecto-mesodermal tissues:Epithelial stem cells; cell therapy of the vascular tissues; cell therapy applications in orthopedics: cartilage and bone; cell therapy of myocardial tissue

GENE THERAPY (8 hours):Clinical trials based on gene therapy: geographical distribution and socio-economic aspects. General principles of gene therapy and choice of the proper target pathology. Side effects: consequences and complications. Examples of therapeutic approaches by means of gene therapy (for ex. in hematopoietic cells, in muscular dystrophy, in tumor treatment or in neuropathological disorders) will be presented along the description of the viral vectors used.

Viral vectors used in gene therapy approaches: structure, characteristics, pros and cons

Herpesviridae (HSV):-Structural characteristics of HSV and of their life-cycle; immediate-early (IE), early (E) and late (L) genes and corresponding proteins; packaging systems based on helper virus and helper virus-free systems.

Adenoviridae (AV):-Viral particle structure and its life cycle; E1, E2, E3 and E4 genes; ITR and psi (ψ) region of the viral genome; effects of AVs and specific functions of their proteins against host defenses. AV vectors and their potentiation (promoter-specific activities, pro-drug enzymes, vector-spread molecules, anti-tumor molecules). Adeno-associated viruses (AAV) and applications of AV/AAV approaches.

Retroviridae(RV)-Viral particle structure of retroviruses; the RV genome and its integrated provirus; main relevant characteristics of the RV genome: gene products, LTRs, cPPT, TAR, RRE. Packaging cell lines bi- and tri-sected. Self-inactivating vectors; RV/LV use in gene therapy approaches.

Non viral-based gene therapy approaches and principles of “genome editing”:Naked DNA inoculation, jet-gas injection, gene-gun, electroporation, sonoporation, hydrodynamic transfer, chemical vectors. General principles on engineered proteins to perform genome editing: Zinc finger Nucleases (ZFNs), Transcriptor activator-Like Effector nuclease (TALENs), and the CRISPR/Cas9 system.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Suggested textbooks:

F. Zinno; “Principi di terapia cellulare”; e-book; Amazon.it

M. Giacca; “Terapia Genica”; Springer Biomed Eds., 2011

A.J. Dunn; “Elementi di virologia molecolare”; CEA Eds.

B. Alberts,et al; “Biologia molecolare della cellula”; Zanichelli Eds.

J.D. Watson, et al.: “DNA Ricombinante”; Zanichelli Eds.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: Office hours for students are normally set on Thursdays from 09:00 to 11:00. The office address is: Biology Section, Dept. Experimental Medicine, entrance: Via Pastore 3 or  C.so Europa 30, second floor. E-mail appointments are strongly encouraged. The teacher's e mail address is the following: paolo.giannoni@unige.it. Alternatively the teacher can be reached at the following phone number: 01035338201.

Exam Board

BRUNO TASSO (President)

ELEONORA RUSSO (President)

LESSONS

Teaching methods

The course lasts 16 hours of front lessons, 8 of which are dedicated to cell therapy and the remaining eight to gene therapy. Lesson items are presented through PowerPoint presentations; didactic material (non-textual) will be available under AulaWeb, through a controlled access system. During the course the students will be offered a chance to give a powerpoint presentation on a scientific paper provided by the teacher. The presentation is non-mandatory, but it may be considered for the final evaluation of the student.

LESSONS START

Location, date and timetable of the lessons will be provided by the competent office.

 

EXAMS

Exam description

The student's performance is evaluated during an oral examination (average duration: 30 min), according to the exam calendar and timetable set by the competent office.

 

Assessment methods

Questions of raising difficulty will be posed, relating both major issues of the course (cell and gene therapy). In particular we will evaluate: a) exactness of the student's response; b) the student's ability to frame the topic in a wider context; c) the student's ability to correlate the topic with other topics, not necessarilty related to the course; d) the terminology and language appropriatness; e) the student's criticism.

For the final evaluation of the candidate the commission may also take into consideration the performance provided during the non-mandatory presentation of a scientific paper.

 

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
21/01/2020 09:00 GENOVA Orale Gli studenti dovranno presentarsi all’appello muniti di un valido documento d’identità e, al fine di dimostrare l’avvenuto rispetto delle propedeuticità richieste, dovranno esibire un’autocertificazione degli esami sostenuti, acquisibile in formato .pdf dal sito web di Ateneo, nella sezione “Servizi online agli studenti”, alla voce Anagrafica, Carriera, Tasse e Benefici – La tua carriera."
04/02/2020 09:00 GENOVA Orale Gli studenti dovranno presentarsi all’appello muniti di un valido documento d’identità e, al fine di dimostrare l’avvenuto rispetto delle propedeuticità richieste, dovranno esibire un’autocertificazione degli esami sostenuti, acquisibile in formato .pdf dal sito web di Ateneo, nella sezione “Servizi online agli studenti”, alla voce Anagrafica, Carriera, Tasse e Benefici – La tua carriera."

FURTHER INFORMATION

Additional infos, relating the access keys to the material available under AulaWeb as well as the scientific articles for the students' critical presentations, will be provided directly to the students during lessions.