Prof. Nicola Baldini, Head of the Laboratory for Orthopedic pathophysiology and regenerative medicine of the Rizzoli Institute, was awarded the "Marco Polo Prize for Italian Science" "for his major contribution to scientific and technological progress between Italy and Japan". The ceremony was held on April 23rd in Kyoto during the meeting "Italy meets Asia", with a numerous participation of Italian and Japanese representatives from the academic and corporative world.
The prestigious acknowledgement is awarded by the Italian Scientific Community in Japan with the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Tokyo, the Consulate General of Italy in Osaka and the Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka.
Prof. Baldini, for many years now, has carried out a continuous scientific collaboration in the field of orthopaedic research, particularly in oncology and regenerative medicine with some of the major universities in Japan.
The researches conducted in collaboration with Japan, have delineated an innovative approach towards the comprehension of mechanisms related to musculoskeletal tumour development, with an interesting use for both local and systemic control of the disease. The more aggressive tumours present a high capacity to adapt in using the necessary energy for basic functions of malignancy: proliferation, local invasion, drug resistance and immune tolerance. Metabolic alterations seen in these neoplasias can be efficaciously tackled both from the pharmacological standpoint and with photodynamic therapies used intra-operatively. Thanks to funding from the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) and the Italian Ministry of Instruction, University and Research (MIUR), the Rizzoli Institute laboratories have proven the efficacy of these therapies in experimental and clinical settings, presently limited to spontaneous tumours in animals.
During the meeting at the Italian Embassy in Tokyo, Prof. Baldini, who is visiting professor at the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, was greeted by the Italian Ambassador in Tokyo, His Excellency Domenico Giorgi and by the Director of the Italian Institute of Culture, Prof. Giorgio Amitrano.