This work was also made possible thanks to the collaboration and involvement of scientists prepared to share their knowledge in order to help me in this marvelous journey into our DNA, the alphabet of life.
Art searches for and displays the invisible, and science does the same, which is why I believe scientists are similar to artists, one seeking beauty and the other good. True scientists dedicate their lives to finding whatever will improve health and the human condition. So, I would like to thank all those who have helped me, and continue to do so. In particular, geneticist Doctor Gianni Soldati, who was the first to believe in this project and help me develop it, for their contribution in developing up-coming works.
Doctor Gianni Soldati
Gianni Soldati made his studies in Lugano, where he obtained the "Teaching Diploma". In 1981 he started a biological curriculum in Geneva, Faculty of Sciences, obtaining the Diploma in Biology in 1985 at the Centre Médical Universitaire (CMU). He then reached Locarno for his Ph.D studies, at the"Centro di Endocrinologia per la Riproduzione" headed by Dr. M. Balerna and Prof. A. Campana. In 1991 he got his Ph.D in pharmacology at the University of Basel. In 1991 he left for a post-doctoral period in Basel at both the "Friedrich Miescher Institut" and the "Zentrum fur Lehre und Forschung", followed by a 6months period in London at the Institute of Child Health. After this period he returned to Locarno to work at the "Servizio Oncologico Cantonale" with Prof. F. Cavalli for five years on the molecular diagnosis of tumours. In 1998 he founded the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory that is now operative since then. In August 2004 the LDM performed the first swiss stem cell transplant in a patient with acute myocardial infarct. In 2005 he founded the Swiss Stem Cells Bank in
Lugano, where he was scientific Director till the end of 2011. In parallel in 2009 he founded the Swiss Stem Cell Foundation dedicated to applied research for human cell therapies and in 2013 the Foundation started the building of the Swiss Stem Cell Institute in Lugano. He is currently Head of the research of the Swiss Stem Cell Foundation and CEO of the Molecular diagnostic Laboratory.
Artisan of the DNA
by Gianni Soldati
(Head of the research of the Swiss Stem Cell Foundation and CEO of the Molecular diagnostic Laboratory)
As a scientist I’m involved in many different aspects of the scientific research but, since many years, the main focus of my research is applied research, where the development of clinically useful products is the centre of my work. Historically the molecular biology of cells has been my first interest and job, because in 1998 I founded the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory in Lugano, Switzerland, where the application of molecular biology to the mutations involved in human pathology has been the idea around which has turned my activity since. Briefly, we look for single nucleotide polymorphisms involved in pathologies. DNA is a very long chain of single small units called nucleotides and each one has billions of these nucleotides chained together in a long spiral molecule called DNA. So, every individual of the human species is similar because of its DNA. Arms, legs, brain, heart, lungs, kidneys: everyone of us has one or a couple of these organs constituting the architecture of the human body, which is exactly written in genes. But if we look a little bit closer to the human being we start to see small variations, like the eye’s colour, the pigmentation of the skin, the hair’s colour which are due to variations in the sequence of our DNA. More than 4 millions of such small single variations are reported in every DNA molecule of every human being. This indeed represents the source of our biological variability. We are thus similar but also deeply different, all human beings are similar and different and this paradox is the central aim of the work of Daniela Papadia. We are all different but still humans, all men and women, all part of the same world and for a man of science like me this is an extraordinary message to be given to the world, where we easily forget what we are and from where we’re coming. This is not a religious message, it is just a scientific evidence, an observation that everybody can make, uniformity in difference.