St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA)

International Clinical Research Center (ICRC),
Center for Translational Medicine (CTM)


Giancarlo Forte
Manlio Vinciguerra

The Center for Translational Medicine (CTM) is the Department in International Clinical Research Center (FNUSA-ICRC) dedicated to gain mechanistic insights of aging-related pathologies at the cellular and molecular levels. In particular, CTM is focused on exploring and modeling the molecular processes behind the onset and progression of cardiovascular pathologies, neurodegenerative tauopathies and early stages of diseases of aging. CTM has a special interest on investigating the possibility that the derangement or the malfunctioning of the mechanosensor apparatus in tissue-specific cells is involved in the onset or progression of such diseases.

The sensitivity of different cell types to extracellular matrix (ECM) mechanics and nanotopography has been compellingly demonstrated in vitro. In particular, the possibility to trigger stem cell specification as well as to control somatic cell function, by modifying substrate elasticity has been confirmed. This evidence led to the speculation that the sudden perturbation in the mechanics and nanotopography occurring at the onset of given pathologies (i.e.: muscle fibrosis, myocardial infarction, neurodegenerative pathologies). Together with the inflammation burst that usually parallels the process, and which is likely to turn into chronic activation of the immune system, this event can induce a change in tissue-resident cell signaling and phenotype and thus impair their function. The detrimental effects of the modification in local ECM composition and ultrastructure on organ function have been highlighted in basically all the tissues.

The Center for Translational medicine (CTM) is a highly interdisciplinary research platform in the International Clinical Research Center (ICRC), a EU-funded project of the St. Anne’s University Hospital, Brno, to build its own translational medical research premises. The research center, previously known as Integrated Center for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine (ICCT) currently hosts young promising researchers and students from all over the world (9 nationalities represented) and aims at unveiling the molecular mechanisms involved in the onset and progression of the diseases of aging. For this purpose, CTM adopts original and interdisciplinary approaches based on the use of smart materials, microfluidics systems, bioreactors, mechanically-assisted devices and multi-faceted molecular and cellular biology skills to investigate the molecular basis of complex diseases.


CTM is currently articulated in 4 independent but complementary research groups, for which Dr. Forte and Dr. Vinciguerra are leader and principal investigator, respectively, of two groups:

Cardiovascular System Mechanobiology Group (CSM). The group is active and internationally recognized for its studies on the impact of mechanosensor system in determining the onset and progression of cardiovascular pathologies (Dr. Giancarlo Forte).

Epigenetics in Metabolism and Aging (EMA). The group aims at unveiling the epigenetics mechanisms of liver cancer progression. Moreover, the group is interested in investigating the effects of short term fasting to treat gastrointestinal cancers (Dr. Manlio Vinciguerra).

Interested in collaborating on

Access to cardiac human biopsies, access to next generation sequencing (NGS) facilities and animal models of cardiac stress.

Selected publications on ncRNA and cardiovascular disease

Fibroblast growth factor 21 protects against cardiac hypertrophy in mice
Planavila A, Redondo I, Hondares E, Vinciguerra M, Munts C, Iglesias R, Gabrielli LA, Sitges M, Giralt M, van Bilsen M, Villarroya F. Nat Commun. 2013, 4:2019.

Dilated cardiomyopathy and mitochondrial dysfunction in Sirt1-deficient mice: a role for Sirt1-Mef2 in adult heart
Planavila A, Dominguez E, Navarro M, Vinciguerra M, Iglesias R, Giralt M, Lope-Piedrafita S, Ruberte J, Villarroya F. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2012, 53(4):521-31.

Anti-correlation between longevity gene SirT1 and Notch signaling in ascending aorta biopsies from patients with bicuspid aortic valve disease
Sciacca S, Pilato M, Mazzoccoli G, Pazienza V, Vinciguerra M. Heart Vessels. 2013, 28(2):268-75.

MicroRNA-30 mediates anti-inflammatory effects of shear stress and KLF2 via repression of angiopoietin 2
Demolli S, Doebele C, Doddaballapur A, Lang V, Fisslthaler B, Chavakis E, Vinciguerra M, Sciacca S, Henschler R, Hecker M, Savant S, Augustin HG, Kaluza D, Dimmeler S, Boon RA. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2015, 88:111-9.

MicroRNA-29 in aortic dilation: implications for aneurysm formation
Boon RA, Seeger T, Heydt S, Fischer A, Hergenreider E, Horrevoets AJ, Vinciguerra M, Rosenthal N, Sciacca S, Pilato M, van Heijningen P, Essers J, Brandes RP, Zeiher AM, Dimmeler S. Circ Res. 2011, 109(10):1115-9.

ResearchGate - Giancarlo Forte
ResearchGate - Manlio Vinciguerra

Pekarska 53
Brno 1656 91
Czech Republic