University of L’Aquila

UnivaqLogoUNIVAQ ( is a Higher Education public institution with about 26000 students and more than 500 researchers, created in 1952. Its annual turnover is ~ €190 m. UNIVAQ is globally significant for its research expertise in Architecture, Biology, Chemistry, Philosophy, Physics, Informatics, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine and Biotechnology. UNIVAQ has a technology transfer office for management of IPR and a communication office for relationship with the public. The International Relations Office supports visiting students and researchers from other countries, including Italian language courses.

The Bone Biopathology Laboratory headed by Prof Anna Maria Teti, and the Skeletal Disease Laboratory headed by Dr Nadia Rucci together investigate the mechanisms of bone diseases including osteoporosis, mechanical failures, inflammatory bone diseases, bone metastasis and rare genetic conditions. In vitro, ex vivo and in vivo studies have a special emphasis on the mechanisms of bone remodelling. Antiresorptive agents are tested to prevent or cure bone metastases and osteoporosis in experimental animals. The two labs are developing a siRNA therapy of autosomal dominant osteopetrosis in vivo, and have recently obtained the first mouse model of this disease. They are presently developing studies to understand the mechanism involved in the impairment of bone mass due to biomechanical failures. The two labs together currently include 2 post docs, 2 PhD students, 3 master’s students and several bachelors’ students.

Participating staff
Anna Maria Teti PhD, Full professor of Histology
Nadia Rucci PhD, Assistant professor of Histology
Mattia Capulli PhD, Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Histology
Alfredo Cappariello PhD, Post doctoral fellow
Vimal Veeriah PhD
Riccardo Paone, PhD student
Antonio Maurizi, PhD student
Argia Ucci, PhD student
Marco Ponzetti, PhD student, website designer
Isabella Baldini, graduate student
Rita Di Massimo, research administrator
Michael Baldwin, project manager

Relevant publications
1. Rucci N, Capulli M, Piperni SG, Cappariello A, Lau P, Frings-Meuthen P, Heer M, Teti A. Lipocalin 2: a new mechanoresponding gene regulating bone homeostasis. J Bone Miner Res. 2015 Feb;30(2):357-68.
2. Cappariello A, Paone R, Maurizi A, Capulli M, Rucci N, Muraca M, Teti A. Biotechnological approach for systemic delivery of membrane Receptor Activator of NF-κB Ligand (RANKL) active domain into the circulation. Biomaterials. 2015 46:58-69.
3. Rucci N, Capulli M, Olstad OK, Önnerfjord P, Tillgren V, Gautvik KM, Heinegård D, Teti A. The α2β1 binding domain of chondroadherin inhibits breast cancer-induced bone metastases and impairs primary tumour growth: a preclinical study. Cancer Lett. 2015 358(1):67-75.
4. Capulli M, Olstad OK, Onnerfjord P, Tillgren V, Muraca M, Gautvik KM, Heinegård D, Rucci N, Teti A. The C-terminal domain of chondroadherin: a new regulator of osteoclast motility counteracting bone loss. J Bone Miner Res. 2014 29(8):1833-46.
5. Peruzzi B, Cappariello A, Del Fattore A, Rucci N, De Benedetti F, Teti A. c-Src and IL-6 inhibit osteoblast differentiation and integrate IGFBP5 signalling. Nat Commun. 2012 Jan 17;3:630.