The International Medical School of the University of Milan has its first and second-year courses at LITA, Italy’s Laboratorio Interdisciplinare Tecnologie Avanzate (Advanced Technology Interdisciplinary Laboratory). The facility permits us to have direct contact with international-level researchers in biomedical sciences.
Italy, like many European countries, has a huge national scientific research agency. It is called the CNR, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (National Research Council). Its goal is to promote and organize scientific research, in cooperation with the greater European Union. The CNR is divided into about 100 institutes of scientific specialty, among them, the IBT, Institute of Biomedical Technology, whose home is in LITA. The IBT’s promotes cross-disciplinary biomedical research, among fields as diverse as stem cells, oncology, neurodegenerative disorders, immunodeficiency and bone-related diseases, and developmental biology.
To that end, dozens of researchers are housed in the seven-storey LITA building. We, the medical students, along with biotechnology undergraduates, have our classes on the ground floor. Above and below us, however, are laboratories and offices which support a number of research projects, in subjects ranging from autism to bronchitis to breast cancer. Some LITA researchers collaborate with colleagues at the huge San Raffaele research hospital, right next door. A number of our professors also have offices at LITA.
There is also a brand-new laboratory classroom downstairs in LITA, which we used today, for the first time, to observe human tissues through light microscopes.
Here, now, is a picture tour of LITA.
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