Foto del docente

Carlo Ventura

Full Professor

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences

Academic discipline: BIO/11 Molecular Biology

Curriculum vitae

Download Curriculum Vitae (. Carlo Ventura-2023.pdf 306KB )

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, Italy.

He is Chief of the National Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Stem Cell Engineering of the National Institute of Biostructures and Biosystems (NIBB - INBB: He is also the Chief of the Division of Bologna of NIBB, including the NIBB Research Units of Bologna, Firenze, and Siena, Italy.

He is the Editor-in-Chief of the World Journal of Stem Cells (2020 IF 5.326, Journal Citation Reports).

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 novel paradigms.

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 molecule.

- 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 chemistry.

- 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.

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