Sbarro Health Research Organization

Virtual Reality Study Reveals Link Between Sense of Presence and Cognitive Abilities

Virtual Reality Study Reveals Link Between Sense of Presence and Cognitive Abilities Post & News admin August 29, 2023 Innovative research explores the impact of sense of presence on cognitive performance in a virtual reality environment. Newswise — (24th of August 2023) – A groundbreaking study published in *Scientific Reports, a Nature portfolio scientific journal, has shed light on the intricate relationship between the sense of presence in virtual reality (VR) environments and cognitive abilities. The study, titled “The role of sense of presence in expressing cognitive abilities in a virtual reality task: an initial validation study,” was conducted by a team of researchers coordinated by Dr. Andrea Chirico and marks a significant advancement in our understanding of how immersive technologies can influence cognitive functions.The research team, which includes Prof. Antonio Giordano (, Prof. Fabio Lucidi (Sapienza University of Rome), Dr. Luigi De Pietro (CNR ICAR, Italy), and others, set out to investigate the extent to which the sense of presence – the feeling of being “inside” a virtual environment – impacts an individual’s cognitive performance. By employing advanced VR technology and designing a range of tasks to test cognitive abilities, the researchers were able to gather valuable insights.One of the key findings of the study is that a stronger sense of presence is positively correlated with enhanced cognitive abilities. Participants who reported a heightened feeling of presence in the virtual tasks demonstrated improved performance in various cognitive domains. These domains include memory, attention, problem-solving, and decision-making.Malignant mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer with a very poor survival and limited treatment options. Thus, a deeper knowledge of the mechanisms driving mesothelioma initiation and progression is critical for novel therapeutic strategies. In this study, the authors demonstrated that progranulin directly interacts with RYK and functionally modulates its intracellular trafficking in mesothelioma cells, thereby regulating RYK stability and action. They also showed that RYK complexes with the EGFR, which modulates RYK stability in mesothelioma cells, thereby indicating that progranulin-dependent downstream signaling depends on RYK and EGFR internalization and sorting.”This study opens up new avenues for understanding the relationship between virtual reality, cognitive function, and human perception,” said Dr. Tommaso Palombi, the first author of the study. “Our findings suggest that the sense of presence can play a pivotal role in shaping how individuals engage with cognitive tasks in virtual environments.” Dr. Giordano concluded.The study’s methodology involved a diverse group of participants engaging in carefully designed VR tasks while their sense of presence was measured and analyzed. The results provide initial validation for the hypothesis that the sense of presence significantly impacts cognitive expression in virtual reality settings.Dr. Giuseppe De Pietro, co-author of the study, noted, “Our research underscores the potential applications of VR technology in cognitive training and neurorehabilitation. As VR becomes more integrated into various fields, including healthcare and education, understanding its impact on cognitive abilities becomes increasingly important.”This study serves as a foundational exploration of the link between sense of presence and cognitive abilities in VR environments. The findings pave the way for further investigations into how immersive technologies can be harnessed to optimize cognitive performance, with implications across various domains.The research paper, “The role of sense of presence in expressing cognitive abilities in a virtual reality task: an initial validation study,” can be accessed in its entirety in the latest issue of *Scientific Reports* [DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-40510-0]( Previous PostNext Post

Genetic Oncology Conference Hosted by SHRO at Temple University Connecting Students and Researchers

Genetic Oncology Conference Hosted by SHRO at Temple University Connecting Students and Researchers Post & News admin July 3, 2023 Newswise — Scientific discoveries on Hereditary Cancer Syndromes have evolved in recent years, with advances in understanding the genetic basis of various tumors and the biological underpinnings of inherited cancer syndromes. This progress has also led to the development of new oncological treatments for sporadic tumors with similar pathological mechanisms.The recent conference, “From biologic mechanisms to theragnostic paths in the Hereditary Cancer Syndromes: germline mutations as a therapeutic target,” held at Temple University last month and co-directed by Prof. Antonio Giordano together with Prof. Viviana Bazan, presented an interactive, comprehensive program dedicated to genetic oncology, including basic and translational research results in the field of genetic study. More than one hundred biomedical students attended the conference in Philadelphia, as well as remote attendees from around the world.“Our Congress has been a real celebration,” says Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Founder and Director of the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO). “A celebration of genetic science along with the academic community with the same goal: to promote the exchange of specialist medical knowledge and the experience of young scientists not just from the city of Philadelphia but from all over the world.”.Among the main topics covered were the homologous recombination repair (HRR) pathway and the BRCA-associated tumors, the role of germline mutations in HRR and PARP-inhibitors, the Syndromic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), such as the Carney triad syndrome, Carney-Stratakis syndrome, and Type 1 neurofibromatosis (NF1), and the gut microbiome as potential biomarker for colorectal cancer prevention and management.Among the Speakers present were Viviana Bazan, University of Palermo, Italy; Lorena Incorvaia, MD, Ph.D. University of Palermo, Italy; Demet Sag, Ph.D., Functional Transgenomics, Newtown, Massachusetts, the U.S.A.; David Orchid-Webb, Ph.D., University of Leeds, U.K.; Steve Williams, Ph.D. Temple University, the U.S.A.; Massimo Caruso – M.Sc., Ph.D., University of Catania, Italy; Wen-Ming Chu, Ph.D. University of Hawaii, Sbarro Health Research Organization; Gianfranco Bellipanni, Ph.D. Temple University, the U.S.A.; Elisa Ventura, Ph.D. Temple University, the U.S.A.; Andrea Morrione, Ph.D. Temple University, the U.S.A., Ang Sun – Ph.D., Temple University, the U.S.A., Valerio Gristina, MD, Ph.D., University of Palermo, Italy.“The most important thing about this congress has been the active participation of young scientists,” Giordano concludes. “This is the greatest pleasure and reward for us – the opportunity to see and hear researchers not only from our Institute but also from European countries.”In his concluding remarks to the conference, Giordano announced that he intends to arrange the next International Congress of Genetics soon. Previous PostNext Post

Here comes SHRO Italia: At the technological hub of 12,000 Square Meters in the province of Turin


Here comes SHRO Italia: At the technological hub of 12,000 Square Meters in the province of Turin Post & News admin June 27, 2023 Sbarro Health Research Organization Italia (SHRO Italia) is finally here after its grand opening at Vico Equense and now in Piedmont after the agreement signed by the Notary Gallo Orsi. SHRO Italia, a Piedmont region Technological Hub, will be established in Candiolo, in the province of Turin, and will be a massive 12,000 square meters facility. This facility has been coordinated by Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) with the company Rigenera HBW.In addition, there are other biotech companies and research activities within the area. The initiative to extend the Philadelphia’s scientific research legacy — which has grown to be a global excellence — to Italy is currently taking shape under the direction of President Antonio Giordano, Vice President Giancarlo Arra of Sbarro Health Research Oragnization, and Director Antonio Graziano of Rigenera HBW.In addition to giving young researchers a place to call home, Arra and Giordano hope to also attract many talented people who have recently been leaving the country. The Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci, who was present at the June 15th SHRO Gala, sees this new entity as a great Italian reality taking shape. Previous PostNext Post

Barriers to Breast Cancer-Screening in Vulnerable Populations


Barriers to Breast Cancer-Screening in Vulnerable Populations Post & News admin June 7, 2023 Newswise— Philadelphia, PA – Women of racial and ethnic minorities experience challenges that hinder adherence to regular mammography screenings.Researchers have identified the barriers that affect adherence to breast cancer–screening programs in an ethnically diverse group of women in order to propose public health measures to increase adherence. Their analysis was published recently in the journal Cancers.Breast cancer remains the leading cause of death among women globally, with 2.2 million cases reported in 2020 alone. Early detection through regular mammography screenings has proven to be effective in reducing mortality rates. As the World Health Organization (WHO) strives to achieve a 2.5% annual reduction in breast cancer deaths and prevent 25% of deaths by 2030, the success of screening programs becomes paramount. Unfortunately, adherence to these programs falls short of expectations within certain population groups, emphasizing the urgent need for targeted interventions.“Dissemination of breast cancer–screening programs is still lacking in most of the vulnerable populations,” says Fátima Morales, Affiliate Assistant Professor at the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) at Temple University. “But, we observed important favorable changes in those cases in which the population undergoes health education sessions, they are informed about cancer-screening programs, or they seek medical attention.”The research was conducted by Morales in collaboration with coauthors including Dr. Palmira Immordino, Professor at the University of Palermo, Italy, and Dr.  Antonio Giordano, Founder and President of SHRO.“Particularly concerning is the lowest adherence among women who are Black, Asian, Hispanic, and immigrants,” Morales says. Awareness programs aimed at migrant and nonwhite women, utilizing familiar settings such as schools, media outlets, and supermarkets, as well as education programs have shown promise in increasing knowledge and participation.“By emphasizing the importance of breast cancer screening and fostering a sense of empowerment,” says Giordano, “these campaigns can effectively increase participation rates.”Addressing the identified barriers will not only contribute to reducing breast cancer mortality rates but also ensure equitable access to life-saving screenings for all women.About the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) The Sbarro Health Research Organization is a non-profit charity committed to funding excellence in basic genetic research to cure and diagnose cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and related chronic illnesses and to foster the training of young doctors in a spirit of professionalism and humanism ( Previous PostNext Post

The ‘Research Gala’ for the fight against cancer returns

The ‘Research Gala’ for the fight against cancer returns Post & News admin June 1, 2023 The Sbarro Health Research Organisation (SHRO), a centre of excellence for cancer research with headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has brought back its annual research gala. On June 15th at 8 p.m., the event is planned to take place at Le Axidie Resort in Marina Equa, Vico Equense. The evening will be devoted to raising money to support scholarships for recent Italian graduates and the battle against oncological diseases. After last year’s success, this is the second edition. The event’s goals are stated by SHRO President Professor Antonio Giordano: “A winning team doesn’t change: in light of the outstanding outcomes of the first edition, we decided to suggest a framework that this year sets even greater goals. Over 600 young people—mostly of Italian descent—now have significant jobs in the field of health or have benefited from scholarships that enable them to enter the American research settings, thanks to the efforts of SHRO, a rare chance to get knowledgeable about contemporary methods and utilise state-of-the-art equipment for cancer research.The event The research gala’s organiser and driving force is Giancarlo Arra, Vice President of SHRO. “For the second year in a row, SHRO has chosen to honour personalities with diverse talents and areas of expertise, but united in spirit and values, daily committed to helping others and thinking about the greater good,” he says. The success of the inaugural event has raised interest in this meeting of the business sector, scientific community, and governmental decision-makers even more. We appreciate the institutions’ interest, especially that of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who has always been a strong supporter of science as the source of all life. A rare and unmissable chance to boost the skills that come out of our universities. Thanks in part to the founding of SHRO Italy, a promise met, this devotion doesn’t end with the research gala but lasts the entire year. Today, we have a presence in the Piedmont as well as Campania.The program Five eminent individuals from the academic, business, and institutional spheres who have significantly improved society will receive awards at the occasion: Enrico Gherlone, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University; Giorgia Meloni, Prime Minister; Orazio Schilaci, Minister of Health; Paolo Scudieri, Adler HP Pelzer Group; Vincenzo De Clemente, De Clemente SpA. Additionally, the medals will bear the autographs of Maestro Lello Esposito and Ugo Cilento, two illustrious individuals.The artists Following the award presentation, there will be a social gathering with performances by the ACSI Ballet, which is led artistically by Dino Carano and tenor Maestro Cristian Ricci. The acclaimed chef Peppe Guida will prepare the cuisine. For their vital support, we especially appreciate Ble & Associates, the SHRO event agency, presenter Leonardo Metalli, and all the sponsors.For Tickets enquiry mail to: Previous PostNext Post The review, “Human-Animal Interaction in Animal-Assisted Interventions  (AAI)s: Zoonosis Risks, Benefits, and Future Directions—A One Health Approach,” was recently published in the MDPI journal Animals. The discussion points to possible future perspectives according to a One Health approach in light of the health and safety in AAIs.