Photo by Zefe Wu on Pixabay

Research with hospital on pesticides and plant protection products

Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and the Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Monastier (province of Treviso) have announced a collaboration in the field of scientific research. The collaboration involves the Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, the PhD in Environmental Sciences and the Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, as well as the Hospital’s laboratory of Molecular Biology and the Medical Administration Office.

The project, “Tecniche di Screening integrate per il monitoraggio di prodotti Fitosanitari in matrice biologiche e ambientali (SCREEN-FIT)” (Integrated Screening Techniques for the Monitoring of Plant Protection and Environmental Products), coordinated by Andrea Gambaro in collaboration with Chiara Zanardi and Marco Bassanello MD, Substitute Medical Director of Giovanni XIII Hospital and co-tutor of the project. The research will study the substances that are used in agriculture, such as pesticides, by analysing biological fluids, such as urine and plasma. The research by professors Gambaro and Zanardi aims to develop new methods for analysis that will be faster and less expensive.

“We’re trying to understand whether it is possible to develop new electrochemical sensors to conduct the analysis of biological fluids and see if plant protection products are present, and in what quantity,” says professor Gambaro. “We will try to develop new, faster analysis techniques. Once we have developed these techniques, we need to test them, so we’ll take samples that will be offered to the Hospital and tested in order to understand how these pesticides spread within the human population — albeit at low concentration rates.”

The university aims to develop partnerships with private healthcare facilities such as the Giovanni XXIII Hospital. PhD candidates will be required to spend at least 6 months in a private facility and six months abroad.

“This study allows Ca’ Foscari and the Giovanni XXIII Hospital to collaborate on a scientific and healthcare-related activity that ultimately aims to improve the health of our citizens,” says Marco Bassanello MD. “In this project, human beings are studied in relation to their environment. The environment needs to be healthy to engender health and wellbeing for people, and also to cut the costs of pollution and pollution-related health conditions.”

The Giovanni XXIII Hospital is a private healthcare facility that operates within the national health service. It has achieved excellent results in Prosthetic Surgery and in Urological Surgery, as well as in Senology, mini invasive Robotic Surgery and Gastroenterology. Moreover, the Hospital has implemented a laboratory with new technology for Molecular Biology, with the aim to support public health and research.
“The collaboration between the Hospital and prestigious Italian universities such as Ca’ Foscari will provide young people with opportunities for cultural and professional growth,” says Gabriele Geretto, Managing Director of the Giovanni XXIII Hospital.

The programme is funded by PNRR (the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan) with the project “Ricerca e Innovazione” 2014-2020 of the the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, in the “PhDs on green issues” field.