CC&B steering committee member Elisabetta Dejana wins the Grand Prix Scientifique 2016
Elisabetta Dejana won the Grand Prix scientifique 2016 for her studies on the treatment of cerebral cavernomas. The prize, awarded by the Institut de France and the Fondation Lefoulon Delalande, is the most prestigious award in cardiovascular biology and medicine, and is assigned by an international jury of 14 scientists for relevant contributions in various fields related to cardiovascular research, from genetics to imaging, from physiology to epidemiology.
Cerebral cavernomas are a kind of blood vessel malformations that can remain asymptomatic, but in some cases may lead to serious issues, such as intracranial haemorrhage, neurological deficits, seizures and recurrent headaches. The only treatment available so far is their physical removal, but the research carried out by Elisabetta Dejana and her team seems to have opened a way to a pharmacological alternative to surgical intervention.
The Italian scientist is full professor of general pathology at the Universities of Milan and Uppsala, director of a research unit at the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) and member of the steering committee of the Center for Complexity and Biosystems. Her research is dedicated to vascular cell biology, with the main aim of understanding angiogenesis, the process through which new blood vessels form, both in the embryo and during tumoral growth.
The other recipient of the 2016 edition of the prize, together with Elisabetta Dejana, was Elisabeth Tournier-Lasserve, from University Paris Diderot, for the clinical and molecular characterisation of cerebral cardiovascular diseases.