Giorgia Girotto - Italy

Giorgia Girotto, PhD, is a Researcher at the Medical Genetics unit at the University of Trieste and Biologist manager at the Medical Genetics unit - Dipartimento dei Servizi e di Diagnostica avanzata -Children Hospital IRCCS-Burlo Garofolo. She has been involved in mapping disease genes for underlying complex and quantitative traits and she has contributed to the identification of some novel mutations/genes for inherited and complex forms of hearing loss. Together with her team is responsible for the project on inherited and complex forms of hearing loss (leading the International consortium G-EAR) in families and populations coming from Italy, Caucasus, Central Asia, and Gulf region (the last one in collaboration with Hamad Medical Corporation and Sidra Medical Hospital). During her career she spent some time working at the National Institute for Medical Research (London), at the Welcome trust Sanger Institute (Cambridge-UK), at the CRG (Barcelona, Spain) at the MRC (Harwell, Oxford) and at the Sidra Medical Research (Doha, Qatar). During 2010 and 2012 she participated to the “Marcopolo scientific expedition” where she collected samples and she performed audiometric test along the Silk Road. She already gave several speeches to National and International meetings in the field of Human and Medical Genetics. Together with her team, she received four International awards, and published more than 50 manuscripts on peer reviewed journals of the field. In 2015 and 2016, she was awarded of two grants on Hereditary hearing loss (JSREP from Qatar and Beneficentia Stiftung from Liechtenstein) and one on age-related hearing loss (SIR from Italy).

Session in deph

This is a voluntary based and completely free project, designed as a continuation of the project “Genetic Park of Friuli Venezia Giulia” involving people of Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) origin migrated to other areas of the world.

The “Genetic Park of Friuli Venezia Giulia” aimed at studying quantitative traits and complex diseases (due to a combination of genetic+environmental factors) in genetically isolated populations located in the FVG region.

As regards to the communities of “Friulani” living in Brazil, despite a completely different environment compared to their Italian ancestors, they preserve the genetic heritage of the founders who emigrated at the end of the 19th century from the FVG region. Thus, the availability of a source of individuals sharing a similar genomic background but living in a different environment, can improve our understanding on the role of environmental factors and their interplay with genes involved in complex disease.

The main aim of the project is to collect data from these specific “Friulani” communities living in Brazil and to compare them with those already available for the inhabitants of FVG. Through this comparison it would be possible to identify new environmental and genetic risk factors as well as to develop a unique resource of clinical, instrumental and biological data. Results will allow to increase our knowledge in the biomedical field, moving forward to a personalized medicine, that will allow to prevent and treat illnesses in a more effective way and with less side effects for the wellbeing of the people and society.