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University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Country: Italy
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161 Projects, page 1 of 33
  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 101066322
    Funder Contribution: 368,072 EUR
    Partners: UNIMORE

    The quality of a written text is often described in figurative terms, such as clearness and smoothness. The explicit description of what makes a text clear and smoothly flowing is a challenging task, probably because the readers’ perception of a text is influenced by multiple variables, related to the way information is structured, and how the writer employs the lexical and morphosyntactic resources of a language. The difficulty in translating the readers’ perceptions of a text in measurable descriptors leads to challenges in literacy education. For instance, how can educators explain what makes a text clear and smoothly flowing? What are the crucial aspect to focus on when giving feedback or conducting formative assessment? Answering these questions is of fundamental importance, given that writing literacy may have a considerable impact on employability, social participation and lifelong learning. This project aims to explore the relationship between the holistic evaluation of texts, carried out by expert evaluators, and their linguistic characteristics, to understand to what extent it is possible to identify objective and measurable properties that distinguish texts perceived as well written, compared to those with less positive ratings. For this purpose, we will establish a corpus of argumentative and narrative texts, written by university students, who are L1, L2 (or L3) speakers of Italian, a language that has received little attention so far in international research on writing. The methods of analysis involve the use of linguistic indices identified by previous research, which focus on the lexical and morphosyntactic complexity of the texts, and their integration with new indices, based on the Basel model of text analysis. This model contributes to a deeper understanding of the architecture of a text, by analysing how information is structured and hierarchized, and how textual units are connected on different semantic-pragmatic levels.

  • Open Access mandate for Publications
    Funder: EC Project Code: 101032759
    Overall Budget: 269,003 EURFunder Contribution: 269,003 EUR
    Partners: UNIMORE

    In its latest action plan on digital education, the European Union underlined the ambition of ensuring that all citizens are prepared to live and work in the digital age. However, the current COVID-19 pandemic, with its widespread closure of schools and universities, has thrown into sharp relief how the introduction of digital technology fundamentally reshapes the organisation of education. Within a few months, it became evident that schooling without school or studying without campus prompts the influx of new, private actors on an unprecedented scale. This project focuses on such digital reorganisation of education, cut off from the classroom. In particular, I propose to investigate how the conversion towards digital learning platforms participates in a worldwide disruption of pedagogical valuation processes. While existing research has so far favoured questions of power and inequalities, the disruptive capacity of these learning platforms to radically redefine what education values as worth learning has hardly been studied. To fill this gap, MORPHOGENESIS proposes (1) to build a framework that formulates an ensemble of concepts with theoretical insights from three related (sub)disciplines (sociology of education, organisation studies and the study of regionalisation and globalisation processes). With the help of Luhmannian systems theory, the coherent formulation of such framework will make it possible to analyse how, through such digital platforms, the reorganisation and the differentiation of global education go hand in hand; (2) to develop an extended case ethnography of the start-up scene in New York, where this so-called EdTech is currently being imagined, coded and executed into the platforms that explicitly aspire to disrupt contemporary education. Together, the conceptual framework and methodology will enable a better grasp of the metamorphosis that education is currently undergoing and the unprecedented role that online learning platforms play within it.

  • Open Access mandate for Publications
    Funder: EC Project Code: 874503
    Funder Contribution: 60,000 EUR
    Partners: UNIMORE

    The Marie Sklodowska Curie actions pay particular attention to physical accessibility and inclusion and foresee financial support for the additional costs entailed by recruited or seconded researchers with disabilities.

  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 101068156
    Funder Contribution: 188,590 EUR
    Partners: UNIMORE

    Herein, kinetic-guided target synthesis (KTGS) will be used to discover novel boronic acids inhibitors of KPC-2, a clinically relevant serine beta-lactamase, with the aim to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and restore beta-lactams antibiotic activity. Boronic acids transition state inhibitors (BATSIs) have been extensively employed to inhibit beta-lactamases, a class of bacterial enzymes responsible for the most widespread mechanism of AMR against beta-lactam antibiotics. However, the structural variety characterizing the different types of beta-lactamases imposes the development of novel beta-lactamases inhibitors (BLIs). To fully exploit the potential of BATSIs as antibacterial agents and expedite the drug development process, KTGS will be used as a platform for drug discovery. KTGS is an innovative strategy where the biological target is employed to catalyze the synthesis of its own best effective inhibitors from a library of reagents. Triazole-based BATSIs, which have been reported to be potent and selective inhibitors of KPC-2, will be generated in a rapid and efficient way through KTGS (in situ click chemistry). Given the strong interaction between BATSIs and their targets, KPC-2 will be employed as scaffold for the formation of potent and selective 1,4-disubstitued triazole-based BATSIs, starting from azido boronic acid warheads and functionalized alkynes. In summary, this proposal seeks the development of novel BLIs drug candidates through the accomplishment of three objectives: 1) Investigation of KPC-2 as scaffold for in situ click chemistry and evaluation of the ability to generate triazole-based BATSI; 2) Discovery of novel inhibitors for KPC-2 using KTGS; 3) Identification of at least one highly active BATSI against clinically relevant beta-lactamases to be tested in vivo. To accomplish these specific objectives, the project will be divided in three main work packages, which will involve a combination of biological, chemical, and analytical skills

  • Open Access mandate for Publications
    Funder: EC Project Code: 798245
    Overall Budget: 168,277 EURFunder Contribution: 168,277 EUR
    Partners: UNIMORE

    Biocompatibility of medical implants and devices is of paramount importance for their safety, effectiveness, and utility. The release of medical devices that are not biocompatible and biodurable is still an issue (for instance, more than 100.000 European patients are implanted with Metal-on-Metal hip joints which have been found toxic under specific circumstances), which has recently resulted in a proposal of the European Commission for the amendment of the Medical Device Directive. Biocompatible materials should be assessed based on their chemical, physical and toxicological properties as well as on their interaction with body fluids. A rapid adsorption of proteins on the foreign material will favour the anchorage of the cells, leading to safer and more durable medical implants/devices. Proteins adsorption is influenced by chemical and molecular structure characteristics and by the distribution of electric charges at the interface between surface and proteins. The distribution of surface charge has been so far attributed to the chemical reactions of the surfaces with body fluids. However, other aspects such as contact conditions and relative motions of surfaces have been recently appointed as crucial factors in the distribution of charge on the surface and thus on protein adsorptions. The proposed project will focus on the analysis of tribologically induced surface charge distribution on different biocompatible materials and on its impact on protein adsorption. This research will be conducted using Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations and classical Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation methods and the models will be validated by experimental tests. The project’s main goal is the design of a multi-scale hybrid computation/experimental methodology that will allow to assess biocompatibility and pave the way to the future creation of novel biocompatible materials for both implant and nanomedical devices.