Université de Strasbourg

Luisa De Cola & Silvana Perretta

Biography - Luisa De Cola

Institute of Supramolecular Science and  Engineering (ISIS), University of Strasbourg

Luisa De Cola, USIAS Fellow 2017

Since September 2013 Luisa De Cola is Professor Exceptionnelle at the University of Strasbourg (ISIS) as chair of Supramolecular and Bio-Material Chemistry, and part time scientist at the l'INT-KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany. Since 2016 she is also Professor at the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF).

She was born in Messina, Italy, where she studied chemistry. After a post-doc at the Virginia Commonwealth University, USA, she was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Bologna (1990). In 1998 Luisa De Cola was appointed Full Professor at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In 2004, she moved to the University of Münster, Germany

She is recipient of several awards, the most recent being the IUPAC award as one of the Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering (2011), the international Prize for Chemistry “L. Tartufari” from the Accademia dei Lincei (2015) and the Spanish-French "Catalán-Sabatier" prize by the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry  (2015). She was elected in 2014 member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and, in the same year, nominated “Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur” by the President of the French Republic, François Hollande. In 2016 she was elected member of the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur of Mainz. She is also on the board of several institutes, universities and evaluation committees.

Her main interests are luminescent and electroluminescent complexes and their assemblies and nano-, porous and degradable structures for bio-applications. In the biomedical area in particular she has developed different types of stimulus responsive silica materials and hybrid hydrogels.

Luisa De Cola has published 330 articles in international peer reviewed journals and filed 36 patents (H index = 62).


Biography - Silvana Perretta

University Hospital Institute (IHU)/Research Institute Against Digestive Cancers (IRCAD), University of Strasbourg

Silvana Perretta, USIAS Fellows, 2017

Silvana Perretta is a consultant digestive, upper gastro-intestinal surgeon. She is chief of Foregut Surgery and Advanced Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Division, and director of the Esophageal Motility Laboratory at the NHC University Hospital in Strasbourg, France. She also serves as the director for education of the image-guided surgery institute-IHU, director of the Business Engineering and Surgical Technologies (B.E.S.T.) Innovation program and of the IHU Surgical Endoscopy fellowship.

Her fields of interest are upper gastro-intestinal surgery, gastro-intestinal physiology, bariatric surgery, interventional endoscopy, image guided therapy, surgical education and innovation. She has authored over 90 peer-reviewed publications.

Professor Perretta has been a pioneer in the development of Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (N.O.T.E.S), hybrid surgical endoscopy procedures, and MOOC-oriented medical education worldwide. She was the recipient of the SAGES career development award in 2011. She recently received a grant for 1.2m€ from the national French agency for research (ANR - IDEFI-N) for the development of e-learning based surgical education.

Project - Hybrid Materials for Fighting Obesity

April 2017 - March 2019

Obesity is a major health problem worldwide that carries with it enormous socio-economic costs and a high incidence of comorbidities including, among others, debilitating and highly expensive chronic conditions such as diabetes. New developments have shown that diabetic patients have a microbiotic gut different from normal people.

In this project the expertise of material chemists, biologists and medical doctors are combined to take the first step in the development of tailor-made composite materials able to encapsulate and release bacteria in the stomach of animals.

The aim is to create breakable capsules for bacteria entrapment and their release on demand. The capsules will be part of degradable hydrogels in order to create injectable composites that can be applied in vivo. In other words, we intend to create a kind of paint that can be sprayed in the stomach of large animals, e.g. pigs, through non- invasive surgery and deliver bacteria in the gut, aiming to treat obesity.

In particular the hybrid hydrogels containing the encapsulated bacteria will be positioned using endoscopic techniques on different tissues and in precise spots in the stomach of the animal models. The bacteria to modify the microbiotic gut will be released using an external stimulus.

France 2030