Prof. Carlo Ventura was born on May 29, 1958. He received both
his MD and Specialization in Cardiology from the School of Medicine
of the University of Bologna, Italy. He obtained his Ph.D. in
Biochemistry in 1990 from the University of Bologna. He was
Researcher at the “Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science (L.C.S.)”,
National Institute on Aging (N.I.A.) - National Institutes of
Health (N.I.H.), Baltimore, MD, U.S.A. from 1988 to 1992. In the
same laboratory he continued to perform repeated periods of
research up to 1994. He has been Researcher (1990-2000), Associate
Professor (2000) and then Full Professor of Biochemistry
(2000-2003) at the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the
University of Sassari, Italy.
Since November 28, 2003, he is Full Professor of Molecular
Biology at the School of Medicine of the University of Bologna,
He is Chief of the National Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Stem Cell Engineering of the National Institute of Biostructures and Biosystems (NIBB - INBB: www.inbb.it), recently established at the Innovation Accelerators of CNR (National Research Council). He is also the Chief of the Division of Bologna of NIBB,
including the NIBB Research Units of Bologna, Firenze, and Siena,
He is the Editor-in-Chief of the World Journal of Stem Cells (IF 4.376, 2017; WOS).
In 2010, he founded VID art|science, a transdisciplinary movement of Artists and Scientists exploring the avant-garde of scientific innovation to unravel how Arts may talk to the innermost dynamics of our biology. VID art|science is also dedicated to pursuing and promoting
the evolving of a “Third Culture” by facilitating the infinite
potential of collaborations between (media) Arts and Sciences. VID art|science is working to help usher in a new culture that is overdue – a
culture of creative thinkers from the Arts and Sciences who join
together combining their knowledge and skills to come up with
innovations, collaborations and most of all the development of
Carlo Ventura is member of the American Society of Biochemistry
and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), and of the Cell Transplant Society.
He devoted his studies to the molecular dissection of mechanisms
underlying the cell growth and differentiation of the cardiac
myocytes, discovering nuclear endorphin receptors and small peptide
signaling responsible for cardiogenesis in mouse embryonic stem
cells. He synthesized and developed new moelcules harboring
differentiating and paracrine logics for human mesenchymal stem
cells, affording new strategies in cardiovascular Regenerative
Medicine. He also discovered the ability of “extremely low
frequency magnetic fileds” and radioelectric fields conveyed with a
“Radio Electric Asymmetric Conveyer (REAC)”, to enhance stem cell
expression of pluripotency, and afford a direct reprogramming of
human dermal skin fibroblasts to a highthroughput commitment
towards myocardial, neuronal and skeletal muscle lineages. He has
also discovered that cells can be sensitive to acoustic vibrations
and patented the ability of cells to express “vibrational”
signatures of their health and differentiating potential. These
findings paved the way to the use of physical energy in stem cell
Science. He published more than 150 full papers in the top level
Journals of cellular and molecular biology.
- Discovery of opioid receptors in myocardial cells.
- Identification of cellular mechanisms regulating cytosolic
Ca2+/pH homeostasis, and contractility in isolated myocardial cells
following opioid receptor activation.
- Identification of an opioid gene in cardiac myocytes.
- Characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying opioid
peptide gene expression in myocytes from an experimental model of
primary hereditary cardiomyopathy.
- Discovery of opioid receptors in the nucleus of myocardial
cells and identification of nuclear receptor-regulated pathways
controlling transcriptional homemostasis.
- Identification of an opioid gene orchestrating cardiogenic
transcription and the establishment of a myocardial phenotype in
embryonal carcinoma cells.
- Discovery of nuclear endorphin receptors and signaling coupled
with “intracrine” mechanisms for cardiogenesis in mouse embryonic
stem (ES) cells.
- Synthesis and development of novel molecules harboring
differentiating “logics” for cardiovascular repair with human adult
stem cells. One of these molecules, a hyaluronan mixed ester of
butyric and retinoic acids (HBR) remarkably enhanced the process of
cardiogenesis in mouse embryonic stem cells, demonstrating the
potential for chemically modifying the gene program of stem cell
differentiation without the aid of gene transfer technologies.
Transplantaion of HBR-preconditioned human mesenchymal stem cells
preconditioned led to successful repair of rat and pig hearts,
subjected to experimental myocardial infarction. Recently, HBR
afforded significant cardiovascular repair in infarcted rat heart,
without the needs of stem cell transplantation. Such a response was
mediated by direct angiogenic, antiapoptotic and antifibrotic
responses, and also encompassed the local recruitment of endogenous
stro-1 positive cells that acquired a number of morphological and
immunocytochemical features characteristic of pericyte identity.
Thus HBR provided a rapid and persistent rescue of the infarcted
heart, maximizing the change for further cell therapy by cardiac
transplantation of stem cells pretreated with the same
- Discovery of physical forces controlling stem cell growth and
differntiation. These studies led to the finding that extremely low
frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) were abe to turn on
cardiogenesis in mouse ES cells. More recently, a remarkable
increase in the gene xpression of cardiogenic, neurogenic and
skeletal-myogenic genes was achieved following ES cell exposure to
radiofrequency energy (RF). These responses were elicited by a
Radio Electric Asimmetric Conveyer (REAC), an innovative device
generating RF loops within the Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz band through an array
of emitting antennas and a receiving conveyer probe immersed in the
bathing medium. REAC exposure ultimately ensued into a high-yield
of terminally differentiated myocardial, neuronal and skeletal
muscle cells. For decades stem cell commitment has been triggered
in vitro by chemistry: the current findings provided
evidence for the first time that a “physical milieu” can be
generated to orchestrate and optimize stem cell expression of
pluripotentiality. Very recently, Carlo Ventura succeeded in the
use of radioelectric fields for the direct reprogramming of human
dermal skin fibroblasts into cardiac, neuronal and skeletal muscle
lineages. For the first time, a human non-stem somatic adult cell
was reprogrammed to a pluripotent state without being freezed in
such a condition, but rather being rapidly committed to a
high-throughput yield of fates that have long been pursued as major
target lineages in Regenerative Medicine. These results were
achieved without the use of potentially risky viral vector-mediated
gene delivery, and without the needs of cumbersome and expensive
- Described the possibility to perform a nanomechanical
characterization of cellular activity ( Gimzewski JK, Pelling A,
and Ventura C., International Publication Number WO 2008/105919 A2,
International Publication Date 4 September 2008. Title:
Nanomechanical Characterization of Cellular Activity ). These findings provided new insights into the field of "Mechanobiology", leading to the development of a Regenerative Medicine based upon the reprogramming of stem cells in situ, where they already are, resident in all the tissues of the human body. This novel approach is leading to an unprecedented form of precision medicine without the needs for cell or tissue transplantation, boosting our inherent ability for self-healing.