Training and Career:
Prof. Silani coordinates the clinical activity of 12 inpatient beds and 4 Stroke Unit beds of the Neurology Department, taking care of the principal pathologies of the Central and Peripheral Nervous System with particular attention paid to the neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases:Motor Neuron Diseases (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), Extrapyramidal disorders (Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Parkinsonisms), Dementia (Frontotemporal Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease) and cerebrovascular pathologies are specifically studied. Large clinical databases provide support to an extended collection of DNA, liquor, serum, and skin fibroblasts (BioBank) transformed into stem cells (iPSCs).
Prof. Silani is responsible for various University Courses for both Students and Postgraduates of the University of Milan Medical School, as well as in the context of the European Neurological Society (ENS) and the European Federation of Neurological Societies (FENS) with Teaching Courses.??Prof. Silani contributed greatly to the study of neurodegenerative, and more recently, cerebrovascular diseases in the dual clinical and research responsabilities at the Neuroscience Laboratory of the IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano. He has trained new generations of neurologists and neuroscientists over the years based on broad collaborative exchanges with the most prestigious European and North American Institutions. He has also participated in the first MD and PhD training programme of the University of Milan.
Research Work and Publications:
As a Neuroscientist, Prof. Silani has studied Neurodegenerative Diseases and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), in particular, from 1977. His contribution to both clinical and basic research work has been significant: after an intensive study of neuronal cells in culture with development of a cryopreservation method for human cells, he then progressively developed an ALS Centre in Milan with a large database for both familial and sporadic cases, supported by a large collection of biological samples.??Prof. Silani was the Principal Investigator (PI) in various clinical trials.
As the Founder of “Consorzio Italiano SLAGEN” (Italian consortium for the genetics of ALS) he has been involved in various genetic research projects concerning ALS (2009 - to the present day), including a broad Genome-Wide Association (GWA) study designed to identify the genetic risk factors associated with susceptibility to the ALS in the sporadic form. He was also PI in an exome sequencing study on Italian pedigrees with familial ALS, sustained by “AriSLA” (ALS Research Agency) (ExomeFALS 2009 Project) and identified two genes of the familial forms of ALS. He is now engaged in identifying de novo mutations by sequencing the exome of patients suffering from ALS and of their parents (NOVALS 2012 Project – AriSLA).
Prof. Silani has also taken a broad interest in Parkinson's Disease, being the co-author of the first grafting in Italy of autologous medullary cells in the brain (1987). He is interested also in Huntington's Disease, contributing with the collaborators to study a large number of families. More recently, he is interested in defining the biological mechanism of neural degeneration in Frontotemporal Dementia (FTLD).?? ??Prof. Silani has recently taken an active part in an international collaborative project to define neuroimaging biomarkers in neurodegenerative pathologies (ALS and FTD) (NiSALS, 2011 - to the present) and collaborated to activate a vast Brain Computer Interface (BCI) project to facilitate the neuropsychological evaluation and the communication of patients suffering from mutation deficiencies, by developing a large Neuropsychology Unit.
Prof. Silani is the author of 220 papers published in international journals, including, Science, Nature, Neuron, Lancet, Lancet Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Neurology and New England Journal of Medicine.