Sapienza

La Sapienza University of Rome is one of the largest universities in Europe, and one of the oldest worldwide, having been founded in 1303. It comprises 11 faculties and 58 academic and research Departments. Sapienza is involved actively in high quality national and international projects with 123 collaborative projects, 67 MSCA actions and 35 ERC grants funded under Horizon 2020 and even more successful projects funded through national calls such as PRIN, National Technological Cluster, Competence Centers.

The radiology units of two of the primary academic hospitals of La Sapienza University, Policlinico Umberto I and Sant’Andrea Hospital, are headed by Professor Carlo Catalano and Professor Andrea Laghi, of the Department of Radiological Sciences, Oncology and Pathology, and the Department of Medical Surgical Sciences and Translational Medicine, both participating in the EUCAIM project.

Both departments are highly involved in oncological research leveraging Artificial Intelligence, Computational Medicine and Network Medicine approaches for precision medicine, empowered by the extensive collaborations with other departments such as Computer Science and Engineering.

The Department of Radiological Sciences, Oncology and Pathology is part of the interdisciplinary Research centre named STITCH (Sapienza information-based Technology InnovaTion Center), that has a long-lasting collaboration with international networks such as the Network Medicine Institute Corp., the Foundation European Institute of Network Medicine and Harvard Medical School.

The Radiology Unit of Policlinico Umberto I is a high-volume referral imaging center with a long-standing experience in oncological imaging and a renowned research pedigree on advanced imaging techniques for precision medicine in oncology, radiomics, artificial intelligence, quantitative imaging, and Network Medicine.

The Radiology Unit at Sant’Andrea Hospital of La Sapienza University of Rome, headed by Prof Andrea Laghi, comprised world renown professionals on oncological imaging, with a particular expertise in rectal cancer and the development and use of MRI biomarkers in the assessment of response to therapy in rectal cancer. Through the combination of clinical, teaching and research, Sant’Andrea is a reference hospital for the study, diagnosis and care on clinical oncology among others clinical specialties. Three last generation CT scanner are available for in and out patients. Radiomic and texture software are available in the department for the data analysis and feature extraction.

Role of institution in the project

Sapienza contributes to the project’s Work Package 7, Task 7.1b: Data incorporation use cases from consortium partners.

Sapienza brings its expertise in advanced oncological imaging and computational and precision medicine to contribute as a data provider, by defining a set of use cases for the project’s digital platform, including: identification of imaging biomarkers from CT or MRI studies of the liver in patients with  HCC predicting response to interventional procedures, using texture analysis and iFlow as a benchmark; identification of image biomarker for identification of cardiac comorbidities in Patients affected by NAFLD/Cirrhosis; characterization of  MRI foci suspicious for prostate cancer.

Carlo Catalano

Carlo Catalano is full professor of Radiology and head of the Radiology Department at La Sapienza University of Rome since 2011. His research interests focus on AI and computational medicine applied to cancer imaging and cardiovascular imaging in the field of precision medicine. In the last decade, among others, he has been involved in testing and validating radiomics and network analysis solutions for complex diseases such as cancer and coronary artery disease. He has authored over 500 scientific papers, six books, and more than 50 book chapters, and he has delivered over 150 invited lectures at national and international conferences. He had pivotal roles in managing and coordinating several important national and European projects (i.e. PRIN, PON, POS, HORIZON). Prof. Catalano has dedicated much of his time to education initiatives. He served as the Italian delegate to the European Society of Radiology’s (ESR) Education Committee and as a member of the European School of Radiology’s faculty for its Teach the Teachers program in Italy. In addition, during his term of office as Chairperson of the Education Committee of the ESR he worked on the refinements of the European training curricula for radiology residents and undergraduate students.

Valeria Panebianco

Valeria Panebianco is Associate Professor of Radiology at La Sapienza University of Rome, head of the advanced MR & CT Imaging Division, and Coordinator of the Prostate Multidisciplinary Board. Valeria Panebianco has focused her research on precision medicine approaches applied to prostate cancer for more than 10 years. Her research centers on computational medicine for the identification of prostate cancer with MRI and molecular biomarkers and in the definition of decisional algorithms for prostate cancer early detection. Prof. Panebianco authored about 200 scientific papers on peer-reviewed journals, and participated as leader of the Italian research group to one of the largest randomized controlled trials on targeted prostate biopsy, the PRECISION trial. She organized the first Italian screening trial for the early detection of prostate cancer “Prostate Cancer Secondary Screening in Sapienza – “PROSA”. Also, she has been the leader of a position papers on MRI standardization for Bladder Cancer and on MRI standardization for Prostate Cancer Recurrence. She has been appointed by the World Health Organization to take part to the drafting of the WHO blue book on Urinary Tumors. In 2022, she contributed to the latest version of EAU Guidelines on Muscle-invasive and Metastatic Bladder Cancer.

Andrea Laghi

Andrea Laghi is full professor and chairman of Radiology, Department of Medical Surgical Sciences and Translational Medicine at La Sapienza University of Rome. Prof. Laghi has specific expertise in clinical research in diagnostic imaging. Much of his work has involved the implementation and evaluation of new techniques in Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging, with a particular focus on body imaging. He has made significant contributions in the areas of MRI of the bile ducts and CT diagnosis of HCC. He is also credited with playing a pivotal role in developing, refining, and validating CT colonography as a screening technique for colorectal cancer, even working on the political level to promote its use. More recently, he focused his research on oncologic imaging and on quantitative approaches to imaging data. His research group has several publications in radiomics, particularly in the field of tumor segmentation analysis and integration with Radiomic data of first and second order and Genomic data. In addition, he has worked on AI-based decision-support models for the treatment of rectal cancer.

Damiano Caruso

Damiano Caruso is Assistant Professor in Radiology at Sapienza University of Rome, PhD in Experimental Medicine at Sapienza University of Rome, Radiologist at the Unit of Radiology, Sant’Andrea Academic Hospital. He graduated in Medicine and Surgery in 2010 and he finished his residency program in Radiology in 2016 at Sapienza University of Rome. He spent one year as a visiting research fellow at the MUSC Medical University of South Carolina, USA. Dr. Damiano Caruso is Treasurer and Executive Committee member of the ESOI (European Society of Oncologic Imaging), member of the Education Committee of ESGAR (European Society of Gastrointestinal) and coordinator of Young ESGAR, member of the Research Committee of the ESCR (European Society of Cardiovascular Radiology), Resident’s delegate for Young Radiologists for the SIRM (Societa Italiana Radiologia Medica). He is member of Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), European Society of Radiology (ESR). He has published 106 papers in peer-reviewed journals with 3018 citations and 29 H-index.

Survey Invitation

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