Alma universitas studiorum parmensis A.D. 962 - Università di Parma

Funding details and duration of the project

Funder: Project funded under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), Mission 4 Component 2 Investment 1.3 - Call for tender No. 341 of 15/03/2022 of Italian Ministry of University and Research funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU

Award Number: Project code PE0000006, Concession Decree No. 1553 of 11/10/2022 adopted by the Italian Ministry of University and Research, CUP D93C22000930002, “A multiscale integrated approach to the study of the nervous system in health and disease” (MNESYS)

Start date: 1/11/2022

End date: 31/10/2025

Total NRRP funding for the whole project: € 114.700.000

Total NRRP funding for Unipr: € 5.877.550

Description of the project


In recent decades, neuroscience research has advanced our understanding of the nervous system. However, key processes remain poorly understood and current measurements only partially capture underlying physiological and pathological mechanisms, presenting challenges in caring for individuals with nervous system disorders, resulting in challenges in the care of individuals with nervous system disorders.

This program focuses on key topics relevant for understanding the nervous system in health and disease, with the objective of identifying major pathological drivers, allowing:

  • Assessment of biomarkers for early disease detection and individualized prevention
  • Identification of new cellular and molecular targets for neuropharmacological tools
  • Set-up of biology-inspired digital twins using multi-modal data and multi-scale computational techniques. A long-term goal may lead to genomically informed, individualized treatments based on the patient’s genetics, biology, environment, and habits



To achieve the above-mentioned objectives, the actors will use a multi-disciplinary and multi-scale approach, starting from the molecular level and reaching the population level, taking advantage of cutting-edge technologies and complementary multidisciplinary expertise. Overall, the project is organized into seven Spokes:

  • Spoke n. 1 Neurodevelopment, Social Cognition and Interaction
  • Spoke n. 2 Neuronal Plasticity and Connectivity
  • Spoke n. 3 – Neuronal Homeostasis and Brain-Environment Interaction
  • Spoke n. 4 – Perception and Brain-Body Interaction
  • Spoke n. 5 – Mood and Psychosis
  • Spoke n. 6 – Neurodegeneration, Trauma and Stroke
  • Spoke n. 7 – Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation

Role of University of Parma in the project

UNIPR is involved as leader and affiliated entity in the following Spokes:

Leader - Spoke n. 1 Neurodevelopment, Social Cognition and Interaction

  • Anatomo-functional mechanisms of neurodevelopment and social cognition
  • Identification of new biomarkers for NDDs
  • Environmental and social determinants of neurodevelopment, health and disease

Affiliate - Spoke N. 6 Neurodegeneration, Trauma and Stroke

  • Mechanisms of neuronal cell degeneration and drug dependent reversal
  • Multi-modal approaches to monitoring progression of neurodegenerative diseases and definition of novel rehabilitation methodologies
  • Multi-parametric imaging and neurophysiological approaches to monitor neurodegeneration in the central and peripheral nervous system

Departments of the University of Parma involved in the project

  • Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability
  • Department of Engineering and Architecture
  • Department of Food and Drug
  • Department of Mathematical, Physical and Computer Science
  • Department of Medicine and Surgery


MNESYS extended partnership consists of 12 public universities, 3 research centres, 6 IRCCS, and 4 companies:

  • Università degli Studi di Genova
  • Università degli Studi di Pavia
  • Università degli Studi di Verona
  • Università degli Studi di Ferrara
  • Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
  • Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata
  • Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
  • Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
  • Università degli Studi Magna Graecia di Catanzaro
  • Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro
  • Università degli Studi di Parma
  • Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Irccs Ospedale Policlinico San Martino
  • Rccs Istituto delle Scienze Neurologiche di Bologna
  • Irccs Synlab Sdn
  • Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi Onlus-Irccs
  • Irccs San Raffaele
  • Scuola Superiore Sant'anna di Pisa
  • European Brain Research Institute Rita Levi Montalcini
  • Fondazione Telethon Ets
  • Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu'
  • Dompe' Farmaceutici S.p.A.
  • Alfasigma S.p.A.
  • Asg Superconductors S.p.A.
  • Takis Srl Scm Group Spa (Scm) S.p.A.

Results of the project

The project aims to develop new approaches for experimental and clinical neuroscience in the perspective of precision, personalized, and predictive medicine, with a transformative impact on the treatment of nervous system and behavioral disorders.

The underlying paradigm of MNESYS involves the integration of medical, biological, technological, and computational expertise with the ultimate goal of comprehensively understanding key aspects of the functioning of the nervous system in both physiological conditions and within its epidemiologically relevant pathologies.

To achieve this goal, MNESYS adopts a multi-disciplinary approach that leverages complementary experimental approaches covering the phenome of the nervous system from the molecular level to the whole organism, including clinical evaluations, innovative pharmacological approaches, and computational techniques based on the creation of virtual models of individuals, known as "digital twins”.

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