The Centro interdipartimentale di Farmacologia marina (MARinePHARMA Center), promoted by the Department of Pharmacy and the Department of Biology of the University of Pisa, has opened.
The Center will deal mainly with research on new molecules in marine organisms which could prove to be useful in the field of therapeutics, but also of nutraceuticals and cosmetics. The Center, directed by associate professor Paola Nieri, includes 55 members of teaching staff who come from the two departments, but it is also open to researchers and academics from other fields.
The range of marine biodiversity is greater than the range of land biodiversity and there is more diversity in the conditions of life of aquatic organisms. All of this leads to a higher chemodiversity with enormous potential for the discovery of new natural bioactive molecules, from which to select compounds with possible uses in the fields of human and animal health.
With its broad coastal heritage, Italy is an important starting point for this type of research, which could even begin with ecological problems such as the presence of invasive species in the Mediterranean Sea.
Companies operating in the health care sector could benefit greatly from studies dealing with the extraction and recognition of the biomolecules present in marine organisms. This strategy could also represent a good investment for the university through the possibility of creating public-private synergy with companies operating in the national territory and through the creation of new ‘bio-based’ enterprises.