The overall goal of my present and future research consists of developing more effective strategies to treat limb and myocardial ischaemia. My research also addresses diabetes-related microvascular complications, in particular impaired angiogenesis and wound healing. To achieve these aims, our group is applying state of the art concepts in the new field of therapeutic angiogenesis, which postulates that local delivery of growth factors that can promote clinically valuable increase in blood flow. Such growth factors are either delivered as proteins or as gene therapy. My own contribution has been the identification of novel angiogenic factors, in particular human tissue kallikrein and nerve growth factor, and developing platforms for translational research to bring these discoveries from the bench to the bedside. More recently, the idea has emerged that therapeutic angiogenesis can also be achieved using stem cell transplantation. We are currently engaged in studies aimed at challenging the therapeutic potentiality of human stem cells (embryonic, foetal, and adult) for the regeneration of wounded tissues in murine models of myocardial infarction and ischaemic diabetic wounds. In particular, we have funded plans to bring human pericytes to a first in man clinical trial by 2015.
A recent biography is available in the AHA Journal Circulation "European perspectives" at the URL http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/126/7/f37.full.pdf?ijkey=QdK5BJZZAQMZzVQ&keytype=ref