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Luisa Campagnolo


Dr Luisa Campagnolo

Luisa Campagnolo is an IT Research Scientist and Assistant Professor in Histology and Embryology, at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy. She is also a visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA, as well as being a Research Associate for the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.

Ms Campagnolo completed her PhD in Medical Embryology at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” in 1999. She has a broad background in reproductive and developmental biology, histology, and vascular and stem cell biology. The main research focus in Ms Campagnolo’s laboratory is the examination of the molecular mechanisms regulating mammalian embryo implantation and placental development. Research in her laboratory has been supported by grants from the European Community, the Italian Ministry of Health and the March of Dimes Foundation. Over the last 5 years, Ms Campagnolo has developed a new research focus on toxicological aspects of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) and placental/foetal susceptibility, which is strictly related to her main interests. Altogether, these studies have allowed her to establish strong collaborations with national and international research groups.

In 2001, Ms Campagnolo received the Servier New Investigator Award at the Second Conference on Artheriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, in Washington DC, USA. She was also awarded the National Scientific Habilitation for the position of Associate Professor at the University of Rome, in 2017. Ms Campagnolo has written more than 40 scientific publications and is a reviewer for numerous journals in the area of fertility.

Ms Campagnolo has been awarded a GFI for her project, ‘Endometrial Notch pathway as a novel target for improving implantation efficiency’.

Project: Endometrial Notch pathway as a novel target for improving implantation efficiency

Factors responsible for the well-documented, poor reproductive efficiency of humans remain largely unknown. Precise regulation of endometrial receptivity has long been recognised as a key determinant of normal implantation and embryonic development, and inadequate implantation and consequent inefficient placentation are major determinants of human infertility.

To date, information on the role of the endometrium in these processes is still scant. Several studies have reported expression of Notch receptors and ligands (including epidermal growth factor-like 7 [EGFL7]) in the endometrium, blastocyst and placenta; in addition dysregulation of Notch signalling has been associated with pregnancy complications.

The overall goal of the proposed project is to investigate whether EGFL7-Notch crosstalk is involved in implantation, explore whether its dysregulation is responsible for recurrent implantation failure (RIF) and unexplained recurrent miscarriages (uRM), and assess whether the EGFL7-Notch signalling pathway may be a novel therapeutic target to improve endometrial receptivity in women experiencing RIF and uRM. This will be investigated by using in vitro approaches based on the development of endometrial cell cultures derived from fertile women and from women experiencing RIF and uRM. By means of genome-wide expression analysis (RNA-Seq), the project also aims to identify, in an unbiased manner, pathways differentially modulated by EGFL7 in controls and women with RIF and uRM. This approach may identify additional therapeutic targets to ameliorate reproductive dysfunction.