Download the English version of the Program 2015

May 7th


Visit with animation at the anatomical Theatre for primary schools
A morning dedicated to the small ones. The young students of the primary schools are invited to a guided and exclusive visit to the Teatro Anatomico, where professional entertainers, with the help of real doctors, will narrate them the splendours of the human body, entering in an anatomical mannequin. An unmissable appointment with a life-sized “Surgery”.


A.D. 1300: Boccaccio’s Plague
Gilberto Corbellini
Between 1348 and 1400 the European population lost 100 million people to the Bubonic Plague (or Black Death). Giovanni Boccaccio brightly described the tragic situation that developed in Florence and that led the protagonists of his literary masterpiece to escape the city. But what was the plague? How did it spread? Which was its origin? Why was it so lethal? How did it impact the social and economic development in Europe?

Following we will play PANDEMIC, with Christian Zoli – QUADRANTE HALL

Pandemic is a cooperative board game invented in 2008 by Matt Leacock. Pandemic is based on the premise that four diseases have broken out in the world, each threatening to wipe out a region. The game accommodates 2 to 4 players, each playing one of five possible specialists: dispatcher, medic, scientist, researcher or operations expert, and through the collaboration of their abilities they will try to stop the four epidemics. The game is unlike most board games as the gameplay is cooperative, rather than competitive. Through the combined effort of all the players, the goal is to discover all four cures before any of several game-losing conditions are reached. The group’s victory implicates the victory in the game.



The spells of medicine: From Harry Potter’s bezoar to homeopathy’s preparations
Marco Ciardi
What is real in Harry Potter’s Medicine? And how much magic is present in our so called “alternative medicines”? Professor Ciardi will try to show that the differences between magical thought and scientific thought do not concern the studied issues and arguments, but the methods and values that distinguish them.


The Messiah’s diet: Judaism and medicine
Saverio Campanini
Introduced by: Antonio Guerci
One of the most popular cabalistic treatises of the 13th century, the Letter on Sanctity (Iggeret ha-qodesh), wants to teach couples the old religious, ethic, dietetic and health practices to give life to male children, saint if possible, and, why not, suitable to become the Messiah. Under the appearance of a simple practical manual, the Letter shows us a Jewish way to see the affinity between saint and sane, pleasure and pity.

Inauguration with the authorities



Luigi Galvani Lecture: Living a long life. The traveller with two baggages
Luc Montagnier
Each human being is a traveller with two baggages: the first one is the biologic equipment that we receive from our parents and that we pass on to our children. But there is a second baggage, much more recent in the History of evolution, that is the one used to shape the environment where we evolve and in which we can also find medical knowledge. Lifespan depends on our genetic makeup, but in order to live a long life it is necessary to access and contribute to the development of knowledge, in order to try to live healthy as long as possible.

18.30 – RE ENZO HALL

Nutraceutical: the colorful path to health
Giorgio Cantelli Forti
Silvana Hrelia
Nutraceuticals are food elements (red oranges, broccoli, apples, etc.) which give important benefits to our health in terms of prevention of chronic-degenerative diseases. The OMS encourages the consumption of at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables a day, possibly in five different moments of the day and choosing among 5 different colours, to guarantee the assumption of nutraceuticals elements. Colour is indeed an empirical index of the contained nutraceutical types and of their consequent protective effect.

May 8th

Bologna, 07/05/2015. FESTIVAL DELLA SCIENZA MEDICA. PALAZZO RE ENZO. Foto Paolo Righi/Meridiana Immagini

Visit with animation at the anatomical Theatre for primary schools (see above)


A.D. 1500: Syphilis or of the French Flu
Maria Conforti
Syphilis spread out in Europe at the end of 1500, and led to intense and innovative debates on its transmission and causes. People inquired if and why this disease was unknown to the ancients; and, in case it was a new disease, if it had been imported due to the exploration of new territories. It was associated to feelings of fault and shame, attributed to the enemy or to “stranger” – it was called “Neapolitan disease” by the Frenchs and “French Disease” by the Neapolitans – and it was not curable before the 20th century.

After the lecture we will play PANDEMIC, with Christian Zoli – SALA DEL QUADRANTE (see above)


Defensive Medicine: wards and courts
Susi Pelotti
Amedeo Santosuosso
Filippo Sgubbi
Luigi Stortoni
It has been reported that defensive medicine (which is the prescription of drugs and specialized visits in excess for the patients’ dissatisfaction and charges) in Italy costs over 10 billion euros – more than the 10% of the healthcare expense. This is an evolution partly predictable due to the changes that took place in the relationship between doctors and patients, since it had been taken for granted that with the informed consent it was no longer necessary to invest in the good quality of communication between these two figures.


Innovation in teleassistance and for the efficiency of pharmaceutical companies
Luciana Bevilacqua
Graziano Leuzzi
Juri Monducci
sponsored by CISCO
Telecare and distance collaboration tools increase the quality and the number of services offered to patients, but also the organization efficiency of Local Health Authorities. The purpose of this round table is to examine in depth the advantages coming from technology, process and normative innovation in those fields and, more in general, from the evolution of medical knowledge.

11.00 – ATTI HALL

Gynaecological and obstetrician Clinic. Uterine Haemorrhages in women during pregnancy and fertile period
Simulated hospital rounds with: 
Nicola Rizzo, Renato Seracchioli
Staged by: Giulia Frezza
An original format: real hospital beds, with young students playing the part of the patients who act their own medical records. The audience follows the doctor during his visits, illustrating similar medical cases in different historical periods. A voyage to understand the History and evolution of diagnosis and medical therapies.


Before CSI. Birth and development of Forensic Medicine
Carlo Lucarelli
Susi Pelotti
This event will be dedicated to plagarum doctors, according to Bolognese Statutes of 1250 with the first documents of expert activity, astonishing beliefs, real facts and reports of crime which contributed to compose the plots of Forensic Medicine in the centuries. There will be the starting point taken by the literary forensic medicine page, there will be commented the new laboratory techniques in the field of personal identification, which gave a more modern look to the Italian Forensic Medicine: the road towards CSI was traced.

11.30 – RE ENZO HALL

The size of the public health services and the patient’s needs: which means for which situations?
Simona Dei
Walter Locatelli
Emanuele Vendramini
Francesco Zavattaro
Coordinated by: Francesco Ripa di Meana
The regional healthcare systems are facing two different powers: from one side, the growing pressure regarding costs containment, often defined “spending review”; on the other side, a growing demand for healthcare services from a growing number of chronic, post-acute and sub-acute patients. The regional healthcare systems are answering to these pressures with a centralization of the government system of the Local Health authorities. The managers’ considerations and the answers on the system overall governance, with particular attention to the districts’ role, will be discussed.


Biotechnological innovations for a better and longer life
Diego Ardigó
Eugenio Aringhieri
Coordinated by: Andrea Grignolio
Sponsored by: Farmindustria
Pharmaceutical innovation has radically changed people’s life expectancy, ensuring a more dynamic and better existence. Pharmaceutical biotechnologies are a growing opportunity for the country and the main source of possible answers to the still unsatisfied health needs.


From mantra to the knife. Ancient medicine and oriental religions
Antonio Panaino
Introduction by: Antonio Guerci
While Europe was coming out from one of the bloodiest wars, Émile Benveniste, great French linguist, was writing one of his most acute articles: La doctrine médicale des Indo-Européens, RHR 130, 1945, pp. 5-12. Some of his research focused on how the Roman world and the Iranian one shared an ancient Indo-European tradition which considered three main shapes of Medicine: the one of mantra, the one of drug (and plants) and the one of knife.


Clinical experimentations
Achille Patrizio Caputi
Every new compound is subject to wide pre-clinical analyses: studies on animals and in vitro. It follows the pre-marketing trial, which has a series of intrinsic limits: short term, selected population, test environment and a limited number of patients.


Gender Medicine
Flavia Franconi
“Gender Medicine” studies and points out the impact of sex and gender on normal and pathologic physiology and on the characteristics of disease, in other words on how sex and gender – in the sense of the expected social roles linked to sex – influence the risk of falling ill and the clinical history of diseases. Women are more exposed to the risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s and depression, but also other diseases due to the complex physiology of their reproductive apparatus. Women’s diseases are usually diagnosed and cured according to clinical models based on men. But women react to drugs in a different way because of the complex hormonal system that interacts with the active substances. To what extent and how did these facts enter the doctors’ way of thinking?


Unite to grow. Health in the global world
Stefano Golinelli
Gaetano Miccichè
Franco Moscetti
Carlo Rosa
Raffaele Stefanelli
Coordinated by: Dario Di Vico
Sponsored by: Intesa Sanpaolo
Research and scientific studies from a bio-medical and pharmacological point of view require the kind of investments typical of the so called “big-science”, which requires a political design of subsequent industrial aggregations. Health in the globalized world is one of the greatest challenges for the future: for Society, Politics, Business and Finance. Protagonists discuss this theme.


Finis vitae and living will
Lorenzo d’Avack
John Harris
The so called “end of life choices” lack specific regulation in our legal system. For this reason, although there were several legal cases, it is not possible to obtain, with certainty from our legal system, the legitimateness of taking all the possible meanings of the patient’s right to refuse consciously an intervention that can anticipate the coming of death and that requires the doctor’s attendance, even if it is instrumental to the patient’s will. It would be best to have not only a law to allow for the possibility to make safe choices for both for patients and doctors, but also the forecasting of a living will (Advance healthcare directive) through which a person with full faculties could express his own will about the treatments that he desires to receive or to avoid – in case that, during the development of a disease or because of sudden trauma, he could not express his own informed consent or dissent anymore.


Surgery in the 21st century between demolition and reconstruction
Sandro Giannini
All the fields of Orthopedic surgery – from the treatment of congenital or acquired deformities – have witnessed a remarkable development during the years. The research to reactivate the use of joints destroyed by traumas, infections or degenerative diseases was particularly attractive. Until the half of the last century, a serious articular damage was followed by amputation or, in the most favourable cases, by the fusion of the joint (arthrodesis), with a consequent limitation of its use. With the 21th century, it has been possible to create a program of biological reconstruction developed thanks to the evolution of tissue engineering. It still is an evolving research field, but it will surely represent the future of joint orthopedical surgery.


Who is old today? The new geroscience and the prospect of slowing down ageing
Claudio Franceschi
With the demographic revolution of the last 150 years, that is the doubling of life expectancy (from 40 to more than 80 years) corresponds a likewise amazing advancement of the knowledge regarding biological bases of ageing. The new Gerontology can slow down the ageing process and, for the major chronic diseases, it suggests that they share – among themselves and with ageing – the main molecular and cellular mechanisms: it means that they can all be fought together and not one at a time. It is extremely relevant for Medicine and society.


From the Plague to Ebola. Epidemics: history, faith and culture
Giuseppe Battelli
Pierluigi Viale
Plague! A word that has always raised, in the popular imaginary and in the literary metaphor, the terror of the humiliating loneliness that accompanies the contagious sick people. The Plague is a well known microbial disease, but the word “plague” exceeded in the times its scientific meaning, identifying a potentially uncontrollable disease. It happened from the plague described by Thucydides until the HIV infection, defined “the plague of 2000”. Nevertheless, the great epidemic of plague that hit Europe in the 14th century – although it was a tragedy of epochal dimensions – led to social and cultural changes that took Europe towards the blooming Renaissance age.


The story about enterprise and research
Antonio Gasbarrini
Coordinated: Marco Sensini
Sponsored by: Alfa Wassermann
In 1948, a meaningful year for the History of our country, in Bologna emerged a company that is a real “enterprise”. It is not easy to imagine, from the beginning, actors of research, technology and industrialization in a country still full of the war’s ruins. But in the Italy of the economic boom period, which was at the forefront also in the chemistry and pharmaceutic field, the Bolognese company became first Italian, later European and now international. It is the History of Alfa Wassermann.


Treating complexity
Presentation of the book “La fine dell’Onniscenza” (The end of omniscience), by Mauro Ceruti, with an intervention by Marco Trabucchi


The Making of “The Knick”. Meet the Burns Archive
Elizabeth Burns
Stanley Burns
One of the great successes of the tv-series season: “The Knick”, directed by Steven Soderbergh, with Clive Owen in the shoes of a brilliant and slobby surgeon of the 20th century New York. Protagonists, in Bologna, the “consultant” who rebuilt the set, the surgery instruments, the costumes, the diagnostic and therapeutic practices with a precious philological work based on a repertorie of pictures of “The Burns Archive”. A meeting behind the scenes between a Hollywood production and the medical practice at the beginning of the 20th century.


Culture and the body. Medicine and interculture: the challenge is achievable
Ivo Quaranta
In the past, anthropologists described and explained the life styles of remote corners of the worlds, highlighting the social processes that gave sense to apparently bizarre and irrational behaviours. Today the healthcare professionals and our health and social services face this cultural polyphony on a daily basis so that we can learn not only about the “sense of the others”, but also about ourselves.

18.30 – RE ENZO HALL

The Brain, The Heart and Cancer: using nutrition as cure
Claudio Borghi
Patrizia Hrelia
Giovanni Scapagnini
Eating healthy does not mean only eating non polluted or adulterated food, or avoiding foods that in the long run can damage tissues and organs, with the following loss of functionality and generalized damages. It also means eating with an awareness that starts from biochemical knowledge of food composition and of the metabolism, to prevent diseases or to reduce the use of drugs. In the future, it will be possible to use also information about individual genetic predispositions to decide to feed in a healthier and less damaging way.


The truth of medical science
Presentation of the book “Medicina e rivoluzione. La rivoluzione francese della medicina e il nostro tempo”. (Medicine and revolution. The French revolution of medicine and modern times), by Giorgio Cosmacini


Francesco Rizzoli Lecture: Today we are able to control genes. Which are the opportunities, the new challenges, and the ethical point of view
Andrew Z. Fire
Introduction by: Lucio Ildebrando Maria Cocco
The possibility of controlling genes, which means that small double helix RNA are able to regulate the RNA that codify for proteins, is a consequence of the discovery by Andrew Fire and Craig Mello. Those small RNA, called interference, are those that regulate the development, are active against microbial infections, keep under control genes that move in a strange and uncontrolled way in the genome. Which is the future of the treatment, of the microbial infections, of cardiovascular diseases, of metabolic and neoplastic diseases? The new challenges of the frontier research, without forgetting the researcher’s ethical responsibilities.

19.30 – RE ENZO HALL

Doctor and patient: the fundamental relationship
Gilberto Corbellini
Giancarlo Pizza
Sociological studies state that the doctor is still the professional figure that people tend to trust the most. Other studies show that a listening attitude towards the patient increases the satisfaction of the latter. Are doctors aware of this fact? How much does the just renewed professional ethic code takes into account the social requests that are changing the relationship between doctor and patient? A meeting on the ethic and social aspects that qualify in a special way the patient-doctor relationship.


The wife and the mistress: science and humanism of the doctor-writer
by Sandro Modeo
Reading recited by: Massimo Popolizio
A selection of texts for Bologna Medicina, concentrating on a group of writers who were previously doctors. The intersections and the dilemmas appear- directly or in backlight – with a fundamental allusion: the “other face of the mirror”, that is the point of view and the direct experienced of a doctor. In this way, it will be possible to see confirmed or denied (or at least smoothed) many perceptions of the patient, for example about the “weaknesses” of the doctor and his deficit in listening and compassion. But, above all, it will be possible – on the other side – to understand his deep loneliness, with the relative doubts, uncertainties, fears. Nobody can “humanize” the doctor more than the doctor himself: and maybe no one can dissolve the diaphragm between science and humanism better than the doctor-writer. The five doctor-writers: Čechov, Cronin, Bulgakov, Céline, Sacks.

May 9th

Strilloni - foto di Paolo Righi-Meridiana Immagini


A.D. 1900: Greater than the Great War… the Spanish flu
Mauro Capocci
Worse than the black plague and the First World War. The famous Spanish flue of 1918-19 was probably the most devastating epidemic in the history of humanity. Where did it come from? Why was it so violent? Answers can be found in history and biomedical research, which analysed in depth this nightmare of the recent past to prepare for a possible future pandemic scenery.
After the lecture we will play PANDEMIC, with Christian Zoli – SALA DEL QUADRANTE (see above)


Demons and Genes: the evolution of how we perceive illness
Gilberto Corbellini
Why do we get ill? Rather than asking “what” is illness – as usually Philosophers and Pathologists do – we ask what we did or what happened that led to this illness; above all, when our condition does not leave any hope for a positive solution, and it prefigures an existence of sorrow and disability, or the end of our life. The question “why do we get ill?” has a long history, deeply rooted in the human psychology, and today it finds an answer in the evolutionist study about the imperfections of biology and human psychology.

11.00 – ATTI HALL

The Clinic. Jaundice
Simulated hospital rounds with:
Luigi Bolondi
Staged by: Giulia Frezza
Jaundice, which has always marked physiologically the first days of every human being, has always represented a diagnostic problem of difficult solution in the adult life. Until the 80s, doctors did not have any tools to understand its several, multiple causes – benign or malignant – and were unarmed, waiting for a spontaneous solution; a failure which left the patients in the hands of surgeons for an abdominal “exploration”. Today, with the new imaging and laboratory techniques (is it the liver that does not work? are the excretory ducts obstructed?) the diagnosis is immediate and the therapy can be carried out without the need of a surgeon.


Serious organ deficiencies and transplants
Franco Citterio
Sergio Stefoni
When serious diseases damage living organs, they can gradually lose their functions, with a serious risk for the patient’s life. Those functions can be substituted with artificial organs and, above all, with transplants. Bologna is one of the cities that, on an international level, stands out, from the ‘60s, for its excellent results in transplant activities.


1315-2015 – Mondino de Luizzi’s lecture: the conflict between body and book, tradition and experience (strolling through the museum and the Sala Settoria di Anatomia)
With Bologna’s Anatomists
In 1315, in Bologna, the anatomist Mondino de’ Liuzzi restarted the practice of dissection on human bodies, after over 16 years of suspension. In this way, the Bolognese medical school affirmed its own primate, and inaugurated Anatomy properly called, marking a crucial passage for the whole Western culture. Coming back on the corpse analysis, Mondino puts in conflict book and body: the classical textual authority vs the empirical examination, tradition vs. experience. Celebrating the seven hundred years of the first didactic public dissection by Mondino de’ Liuzzi, the Anatomic School of Alma Mater Studiorum gives to the city the up-to-date dissection room, newly opened less than a year ago and entitled to Professor Giovanni Mazzotti.


Appearances that don’t deceive: ageing and new imaging technologies
Rita Golfieri
Maurizio Zompatori
At the beginning of last century, three out of five children could not reach 20 years of age, because of infective diseases that reappeared when their guard was lowered. The use of innovative technologies applied to the vaccine research allowed to create efficient and safe prevention tools. Nevertheless, vaccines are victims of their own success: modern parents, thanks to vaccination, did not know of those infective diseases until some years before they spread out, and chose not to vaccine their children thinking that the risk would have not been worth the benefit. Why is it not like this? What happens if we stop vaccinating?


Vaccinations today, from individual to collective health needs
Rino Rappuoli
Maria Grazia Pascucci
Coordinated by: Anna Meldolesi
A look at the pulmonary ageing in the light of the information that we can obtain with the modern methods of radiological imaging (especially TC, PET and echography). The lung is an organ that ages relatively well, but cigarette smoke and environmental pollution can accelerate its ageing. Furthermore, smoke and ageing work in a synergic and complex ways. Signs of ageing can be revealed by modern imaging depending on the urinary and reproductive apparatus (kidneys, bladder and pelvic floor): the normal ageing of these organs lacks of clinical relevance or appears with minimal symptoms.


Balm of the prophet. Medicine and Islam
Francesca Romana Romani
Introduction by: Antonio Guerci
This presentation investigates the Arab-Islamic medical tradition in its elements of common Hippocratic-Galenic source and in the specificities due to the influence of Islamic law and its all-embracing conception of law, which influence the contemporary bioethical debate, in a critical rereading of the themes of western reflection. We shall examine the doctor’s role and the debate about the body’s holiness, end of life and transplant surgery.


The Placebo
Fabrizio Benedetti
The placebo effect is a clinic improvement coming from the belief of having received a therapy, even if it is false. Recent studies have identified its biological mechanisms, underlining that a placebo activates the same biochemical pathways of drugs. It has important consequences on the clinical practice, the doctor-patient relationship and clinical trials.


Homo senex: ageing anthropology
Marco Trabucchi
Stanley Ulijaszek
Evolutionist Anthropology shows how longevity contributes to the success of our species. The possible advantages deals with the reproductive success, the children’s surviving, the grandparents’ support and the role of wisdom and of knowledge-society. Some evidence of the anthropological research demonstrates that there are different ways to age and how the changing of social structures is accompanied by different ways of comprehension of this phenomenon.


Claudio Mencacci
Depression represents one of the most diffused causes of disability in women. Epidemiological studies substantially documented that the “lifetime” prevalence of depression is double in women rather than in men. This proportion is the same in also different countries and ethnic groups. This difference shows around the age of 10 and persists until the middle age, when it tends to disappear. Connections, diagnosis and future therapeutic perspectives.


Government spending
Emilia Grazia De Biasi
Massimo Scaccabarozzi
Sergio Venturi
In the western countries the healthcare expense is reducing. The efforts of the governments to reduce the deficit in the context of the economic crisis were repaid, even if Italy has still the anomaly of a public expense financing that is 5 points higher than the OCSE average. In addition, the risk factor markers improved, and it could encourage a reduction of the cost that getting older in too many, represents for society.


Elementary Watson! Methods of medical investigation
Claudio Rapezzi
Analogies between clinical method and investigation science, among great clinicians and great detectives, and the crossed recalls between doctor and patient, between crime and disease, are widely present in literature, cinema and television. Both the doctor and the detective have, as their main purpose, to identify the culprit of an abnormal and dangerous situation: the diagnosis of an illness in one case, the identification of the killer in the other.


Medicine and reproduction
Eleonora Porcu
Reproduction has peculiar characteristics that differentiate it from any other apparatus of the human body. Although it has the task of creating new individuals, it transcends the simple reproductive finality and it is at the centre of the dimension of human communication, protagonist of life planning. Unfortunately, human fertility is low and, although medically-assisted techniques saw a wonderful development, it is necessary not to forget that the economic and emotional costs are high and the effects on health are partly unknown. Knowing fertility and preventing sterility becomes the strategy that must be favoured.


The clinic, a window of the world
Andrea Vitali
The narration of the experiences of a treating doctor – work practiced for 25 years –with the patients, from which often originated occasions of meetings and novels. It is a sort of oral novel of formation, which starts from a beginning full of fears and uncertainties towards an always clearer consciousness of the meaning of approaching a person and entering its privacy. The meeting with a doctor and writer.


The annoyance of allergies: why did nature do this to us? A talk on the history, biology, confusions of homeopathy, and the science behind new treatments
Donald MacGlashan Jr.
Introduction by: Michael G. Plummer
In collaboration with Johns Hopkins University
For all those who suffer from allergies – in case these prevent them from enjoying a beautiful day or that threaten their life because of a good meal – there is a common, sorrowful question: why is nature against me? The reason can be searched in the long history of evolution, in the delicate cohabitation among the various species and in the way our body defended itself from intruders. But what are allergies really? And why are these diseases often object of attention of non-medical industries? Which objectives have been achieved in the last decades and what are the hopes for better treatments in the future?


Food of the future
Dario Bressanini
Roberto Defez
Roberto Tuberosa
Coordinated by: Anna Meldolesi
The food of the future will see an increasing intervention of man. GMOs are only one of the possible strategies that will be adopted to improve productions, reduce the parasite attacks and limit the anti-nutritional molecule and growing the health benefits and the taste of foods. International scientific research is following this direction, and those who think to cultivate nostalgia and not innovation are only deciding to put an end to agriculture and to the production of chosen foods, suitable for the local usage.


Making the drug: birth (of the drug) and longevity
Maurizio Castorina
Luca Pani
Carlo Patrono
The development of new drugs or the identification of new indications for existing active substances are affected by the reduction of the companies’ profit, to the politics of costs containment in western countries, to the law controls on clinical experimentations and to the always more strictly requisites on the regulatory field. The challenge of the pharmaceutical industry, the regulatory authorities and the researchers will have to manage and invent new strategies to increase the number and the quality of new drugs, which will have to be advantageous in terms of cost-effectiveness, avoiding that the costs become unsustainable from a research point of view.


Not just insomnia: sleep, drowsiness and lifespan
Yves Dauvilliers
Maurice Ohayon
Introduction by: Giuseppe Plazzi
More than 20% of the European population has sleep disturbances that would require a suitable treatment. This prevalence is not reflected in an engagement from the different national healthcare systems: only a low percentage of their budget is dedicated to these pathologies. Which are the roles of the sleep disturbances, and in particular drowsiness, as predictors of important diseases and/or of an increasing risk of morbidity and mortality? Which strategies can be adopted to find and treat the sleep disturbances and their co-morbidity? What are the necessary interventions?


Biology and Biography
Presentation of “Le trame della cura. Le narrazioni dei pazienti e l’esperienza di un medico per ripensare salute e malattia”, by Alfredo Zuppiroli, Maria Margherita Bulgarini Editore
With: Gilberto Corbellini, Giuseppe Di Pasquale, Alfredo Zuppiroli


Augusto Murri lecture. Telling the story of a Nobel prize discovery. Ion Channels: Their Discovery, their Function, and their Role in Diseases
Erwin Neher
Introduction by: Piergiorgio Strata
The concept of bioelectricity was introduced at the end of the 18th century, on the base of Galvani and Volta’s experiments. Sixty years ago, Hodgkin and Huxley demonstrated that the nerve impulse is the result of variations of permeability of the nervous membrane. In 1976, Bert Sakmann and Erwin Neher demonstrated that the so called ion channels mediate these answers. The research of the last thirty years has demonstrated how ion channels are present in every type of cell of our body, mediating different physiological functions, and that their dysfunction leads to a series of diseases.


Cerebral ageing and cognitive decline
Fiorenzo Conti
Lamberto Maffei
How does our brain change during our liftime? What are the characteristics of an old brain? Is it possible to delay the brain’s ageing with particular lifestyles? Two famous Italian neuroscientists show the most advanced neuroscientific knowledge related to the aged functioning of the brain and discuss about the advices that are suggested to keep our psychological functions healthy during old age.


«Io sgombero, io spazzo gli spedali!» Doctors in opera
By: Piero Mioli
It is in the comic genre that the figure of the doctor populated lyrics: some plays by Mozart’s (Così fan tutte) and Donizetti (L’elisir d’amore) talk about swindler doctors, but always very funny. But there were also dramatic cases: such as the doctor who persecuted Wozzeck di Berg using him like a test animal. Among the video clips, a nice surprise by the Verdi’s Traviata.

May 10th

Immagine mostra CURARE E GUARIRE - Jean Geoffroy, Giorno di visita in Ospedale, 1889


Regenerating the brain, from fantasy to reality
Elena Cattaneo
Gianvito Martino
Neurodegenerative diseases are triggered by a deterioration of neurons, because of genetic or environmental causes. These are illnesses like Alzheimer, Parkinson, Huntington, multiple sclerosis, etc. Hundreds of diseases can damage the nervous system, and other tens of million people in the world are affected by them: developing forms of dementia, cognitive problems, motoric coordination troubles etc. Stem cell research is starting to produce some promising results. Even if the road to developing therapies is still long.


Helicobacter pylori: the great history of the small bacterium
Franco Bazzoli
Peter Malfertheiner
Even if the presence of spiral-shaped bacteria in the stomach had already been described in the past by many researchers – the Italian Giulio Bizzozero was one of the first in 1893 – the seed of the modern history of Helicobacter pylori was planted in 1981, when Barry Marshall met Robin Warren at Perth (Australia). Today it is clear that the two scientists made a wonderful scientific travel that revolutionised the knowledge on the different disease of the superior digestive tract. A great History for which, in 2005, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren received the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

11.00 – ATTI HALL

Orthopaedic clinic. The orthopaedic and sports, the health and fitness doctor
Simulated hospital rounds with: Maurilio Marcacci
Staged by: Giulia Frezza


Personalized Medicine in oncology: dream or reality?
Stefano Aldo Pileri
Sponsored by: AIRC
“Tailored therapy” has been a popular term in oncology in last years, meaning a series of therapies cut on the characteristics of the pathological processes related to each patient. It comes from the experimental investigations that the mechanisms that are cause the onset, the progression and the possible resistance of a tumour to treatment are different in subjects suffering of the same pathology. The dream of the personalized oncologic therapy, where the therapy for the tumour becomes similar to the one for diabetes, is becoming a reality, for the benefit of the individual and the community.


Stem cells, science and pseudoscience
Michele Baccarani
Michele De Luca
The research on stem cells represents one of the most fascinating commitments and perspectives for the development of Medical science. In laboratories of all over the world, thousands of researchers are working to clarify the diagnostic horizons and drawing possible future therapeutic solutions. But the “hope cells”, as they are called, also provide opportunities for people who pursue personal business strategies or carry out real fraud attempt. The attention and control of experimental science must watch also for the safeguard of the reasonable hopes of those who are suffering.


Crazy stuff…
Giovanni De Girolamo
Valentina Mantua
On March 31, 2015 the last Italian institutes of cure and detention of criminal psychiatric patients, i.e. the Forensic Psychiatric Hospitals, were definitely closed. Given that the detention conditions of some structures were indecent and could not reduce the social dangerousness of the inmates, the decision of eliminating every form of reclusive control on dangerous people – because of a diagnosed psychiatric disease – seems to reflect the persistence of attitudes that are more ideological rather than medical and scientific towards mental suffering. It is necessary to discuss whether prevention politics and the care of mental disease are led with scientific rigour.


Christ the healer: his role in the history of churches
Alberto Melloni
Introduction by: Antonio Guerci
With the opening of the Council, Pope John XXIII uses a metaphor and points out a choice: he said that the Church does not want to use anymore the “weapons of severity”, but the “medicine of charity”. Behind it, there is an idea not of Medicine, but of the Gospel and of Jesus: a healer is not evoked by those who make miracles on television, but by a Christianity that is able to care for the wounds of sin and unhappiness.


The consciousness of Physical sorrow
Arnaldo Benini
Pain is an unpleasant sensorial and emotive experience that goes with wounds and tissue damage and represents one of the main healthcare problems of all over the world. Sorrow is not only a symptom, but if it is not treated, it becomes a real disease. The impact of sorrow – in particular the chronic one, which is one of the most diffused diseases of the western world – is huge on the quality of life and has economic and social consequences. A recent European study evaluated that health care systems usually spend about 300 billion euros each year, to which one must add the economic loss of patients and the problems on the field on the social and familiar perspective caused by the chronic sorrow.


Immunity and cancer: a dream that comes true
Alberto Mantovani
Sponsored by: AIRC
In the last years, the weapons of the immune system joined with the traditional therapies in the struggle against cancer: antibodies molecules – on their own and/or combined to the chemotherapic drugs -, that remove from our cellular defences the “molecular brakes” that are activated by the tumour. Finally, vaccines: the preventive ones are a reality yet, the therapeutic ones a hope on which all the scientific world is working.


Homo senescens: evolution, development and ageing
Mark Hanson
We often think that brain ageing is the unavoidable consequence of damages caused by our everyday lives – what we eat, if we smoke, how much exercise we do etc. – and collected during the years, to which is probably joined the loss of our ability of fixing damages. Another theory says that ageing is part of a strategy which has evolved in million years. It is an idea that can be revised on the light of the plasticity of development and on the effect of this plasticity on the functionalities and elasticity of the various physiological systems during the course of life.


Maria Luisa Brandi
In the last two decades many epidemiological studies demonstrated that osteoporosis – for the fracture that it causes – is one of the greatest health problems of industrialized countries. Osteoporosis is often recognized as a female pathology, even if a third of the fractures due to bones fragility concerns men and the mortality after a femoral fracture is superior for men than for women. Theere are several reasons that can explain those differences.


The price of longevity: Medicine, research and politics
Elena Cattaneo
Walter Ricciardi
Longevity is a conquer, an opportunity but also a huge social responsibility: for Medicine, which is asked to answer to the needs of health also in the terms of “improvement” of the life quality; for the scientific research, which after the triumphs of the 20th century is facing new and very difficult challenges; for Politics, which has to rule the needs of a doubled life expectancy – from 40 to 80 years in some lucky areas of the world – in the last century.


Cinema sickness
Blob organized by Gian Luca Farinelli, in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna

May 26th



In conclusion…How can we multiply the life code?
Sergio Dompé
Michele Morgante
Kary Mullis