Italy (SISM) - Pisa
LC GENERAL INFORMATION
90305
46000
Internal Medicine - Rheumatology, Internal Medicine - Pneumology, Hepatology
September
3 SCOPE STUDENTS
3 SCORE STUDENTS
One meal a day at University Canteens.
Student Dormitory
Substitutions must be made for the same sex and period.
Vaccination required: HBV, morbillo, parotite (mumps), rubella, varicella, tetanus, meningococcus C.
http://pisa.sism.org/
LEOs
Jessica Pugliese
OVERVIEW

Pisa is a city located in the Italian region of Tuscany in central Italy. According to a legend Pisa was founded by some mythical Trojan refugees grown on the Greek city of Pisa, once placed in the valley of the river Alpheus, in the Peloponnese. The Italian Pisa is located a few kilometers from the mouth of the river Arno, in a flat area called the Lower Valdarno, close to the north by the Monti Pisani.
Pisa contains more than 20 other historic churches, several medieval palaces and various bridges across the River Arno. Much of the city's architecture was financed from its history as one of the Italian Maritime Republics

The climate of the city of Pisa is influenced by two factors: the proximity of the sea, which tends to mitigate the rigors of both winter and summer heat, and the continentality of the Valdarno.

The city is also home of the University of Pisa, which has a history going back to the 12th century and also has the Napoleonic Scuola Normale Superiore and Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies as the best sanctioned Superior Graduate Schools in Italy.

UNIVERSITY AND HOSPITALS

The faculty of Medicine is located in the city center, in the building called Scuola Medica.

The hospital of Pisa (AOUP - Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Pisana) is divided in two part, one in the city center, close to the Leaning Tower (Hospital Santa Chiara, address: via Roma 67) and one the outskirts of the city (Hospital Cisanello, address: via Paradisa 2).
RESEARCH PROJECTS AND LABS

Non invasive markers of airway inflammation in the assessment of the efficacy of pharmacological treatment in asthma (Internal Medicine – Pneumology, Dipartimento Cardiotoracico at Ospedale di Cisanello)
AIRWAY INFLAMMATION REPRESENTS THE PATHOPHYSIOLOGICAL BACKGROUND OF BRONCHIAL ASTHMA. RECENTLY, INDUCTION AND PROCESSING OF INDUCED SPUTUM, AND MEASUREMENT OF EXHALED NITRIC OXIDE (ENO) HAVE BEEN WIDELY USED AS NON INVASIVE METHODS FOR ASSESSING THE LEVEL AND THE SEVERITY OF AIRWAY INFLAMMATION IN ASTHMA. THESE MEASUREMENTS CAN PROVE TO BE RELEVANT FOR THE DIAGNOSIS AND PROGNOSIS OF ASTHMA. ASTHMATIC PATIENTS THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN TREATED WITH STEROIDS USUALLY SHOW HIGH LEVELS OF SPUTUM EOSINOPHILS AND HIGH CONCENTRATION OF ENO. THE LEVELS OF THESE MARKERS ARE USUALLY REDUCED BY STEROIDS, BUT THEY CAN PERSIST DESPITE REGULAR TREATMENT, OFTEN SUGGESTING A LIKELY EARLY RECURRENCE OF SYMPTOMS. THE EFFICACY OF THE THERAPY IS USUALLY ASSESSED BY CLINICAL OBSERVATION AND FUNCTIONAL TESTS (PULMONARY FUNCTION TESTS, BRONCHIAL HYPERRESPONSIVENESS). RECENTLY, NON INVASIVE METHODS OF ASSESSING AIRWAY INFLAMMATION HAVE BEEN PROPOSED TO EVALUATE THE EFFICACY OF ANTI-ASTHMA TREATMENT, AND TO ASSESS OF THE OPTIMAL TREATMENT DOSES.The aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between non-invasive markers of airway inflammation and clinical and functional findings of asthma. Specifically, the ability to predict the response to anti-inflammatory treatment by non-invasive markers, and the possibility to modify the dose of anti-asthma drugs according to the level of airway inflammation will be evaluated. To this aim, asthmatic patients that have not been previously treated with steroids will be selected according to the level of baseline airway inflammation and they will be treated with steroids. The response to the treatment will be evaluated monitoring the level of airway inflammation.The student will be requested to participate in patients

The role of leukocyte derived microparticles in airway inflammation
(Internal Medicine – Pneumology, Dipartimento Cardiotoracico at Ospedale di Cisanello)
It has been known for several years that eukariotic cells are capable of shedding membrane fragments, commonly referred to as ectosomes or microparticles (mp). Originally considered in vitro artifact devoid of physiologic significance, mp are rapidly gaining attention as modulators in numerous processes, including, among others, inflammation and blood coagulation. It has been demonstrated, for example, that mp carry integral membrane proteins like the initiator of blood coagulation, tissue factor, and the cell-cell adhesion molecule icam-1. Leukocyte derived mp are capable of promoting inflammation by activating vascular endothelial cells but little is known about their potential activity on other cell types. The project involves the culture of epithelial cells, the isolation of blood monocytes and their culture, the generation of MP from monocytes, the stimulation of epithelial cells with monocyte-derived MP and the evaluation of the epithelial cell response with immuno-enzymatic assays and molecular biology techniques. The student will be trained to perform all these steps first hand, and will be able to analyze and discuss the data with the tutor.Non invasive markers of airway inflammation in the assessment of the efficacy of pharmacological treatment in asthma (Internal Medicine – Pneumology, Dipartimento Cardiotoracico at Ospedale di Cisanello)Airway inflammation represents the pathophysiological background of bronchial asthma. Recently, induction and processing of induced sputum, and measurement of exhaled nitric oxide (eno) have been widely used as non invasive methods for assessing the level and the severity of airway inflammation in asthma. These measurements can prove to be relevant for the diagnosis and prognosis of asthma. Asthmatic patients that have never been treated with steroids usually show high levels of sputum eosinophils and high concentration of eno. The levels of these markers are usually reduced by steroids, but they can persist despite regular treatment, often suggesting a likely early recurrence of symptoms. The efficacy of the therapy is usually assessed by clinical observation and functional tests (pulmonary function tests, bronchial hyperresponsiveness). Recently, non invasive methods of assessing airway inflammation have been proposed to evaluate the efficacy of anti-asthma treatment, and to assess of the optimal treatment doses.The aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between non-invasive markers of airway inflammation and clinical and functional findings of asthma. Specifically, the ability to predict the response to anti-inflammatory treatment by non-invasive markers, and the possibility to modify the dose of anti-asthma drugs according to the level of airway inflammation will be evaluated. To this aim, asthmatic patients that have not been previously treated with steroids will be selected according to the level of baseline airway inflammation and they will be treated with steroids. The response to the treatment will be evaluated monitoring the level of airway inflammation.the student will be requested to participate in patients’ selection and care and in data collection and analysis.

BOARDING
We give to incomings a student card to have access at University Canteens with enough credit to buy one meal per day.
TRANSPORTATION

The city is served by two railway stations: Pisa Centrale and Pisa San Rossore.

Pisa Centrale is the main railway station and is located along the Tyrrhenic railway line. It connects Pisa directly with several other important Italian cities such as Rome, Milan, Turin, Genoa, Naples and Florence.

Pisa San Rossore links the city with Lucca (20 minutes from Pisa) and Viareggio and is also reachable from Pisa Centrale. It is a minor railway station located near the Leaning Tower zone.

Pisa has an international airport known as Pisa International Airport located in San Giusto neighborhood in Pisa.
http://www.pisa-airport.com/

The airport is located just 1 km from Pisa Central Railway Station.
From Pisa Central Station you can reach any destination of the Italian railway network. An excellent bus network also provides an easy access from/to Pisa Airport and the main Tuscan cities such as Firenze, Siena , Lucca, Viareggio and to Pisa centre as well.

The PisaMover connects the Airport to Pisa’s train station.

Going down the main streets, the Red LAM Line (Linea Alta Mobilità) crosses the Arno over the Ponte Solferino and arrives at the Field of Miracles (5 minutes from the Santa Chiara Hospital - “Ospedale S. Chiara”  - stop), with the world-famous Leaning Tower. 
From the Central Station, the main stops of the Red LAM Line are: Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, Riversides (4 stops), Santa Chiara Hospital. 

The city is connected by bus http://www.pisa.cttnord.it/

Many people move by bike and it’s possible to rent a bike with CICLOPI bike sharing service http://www.ciclopi.eu/

A member of the LC will pick the student up on the arrival day at the airport, train stations or bus stations.

SOCIAL PROGRAM

We organize a welcoming dinner and some tour/lunch/night in the city.
Every year we try organize some all-day-long trip  and at least some trip per week in worthy place in Tuscany (e.g. in Florence) or in Liguria (Cinque Terre).

MUST SEE
Without doubt the most famous monument to see is the Leaning Tower, but Pisa is not only that!
The astonishing beauty of Piazza dei Miracolil (with and without the Tower), the Nature Reserve of San Rossore with its trees, beaches, pricket and dromedaries (yes, dromedaris!), the peace and the sun of Giardino Scotto, hundreds of ancient churches and buildings covering the History of the city from the Middle Age to the present are for sure a perfect frame for the must-be-seen Leaning Tower.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION