ERC Starting Grant


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Project Details

SymPAtHY is a multidisciplinary project aimed at discovering how nervous and immune systems couple in hypertension, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Several advances have been done in this field, but clear mechanistic explanations of how the immune system gets activated under hypertensive challenges is still unknown. The concept of this project is to dissect the neuro-immune pathway responsible for blood pressure rising and endorgan damage, affording the mechanistic insights from different perspectives. Based on the emerging view of HTN as an “immune disorder”, we believe that this strategy will add decisive knowledge in this field that could pave the way for developing immunotherapies for the treatment of resistant hypertension.

The research environment where the activity are carried out is characterized by a high level of expertise and by outstanding results. Sapienza University of Rome is amongst the leading universities in Europe. In 2018 the Department of Molecular Medicine has been awarded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) as “Department of Excellence”. The Neuro and Cardiovascular Immunology Laboratory is placed in a separate branch of Sapienza University, at the IRCCS Neuromed of Pozzilli (IS), an Excellence Institute for Health and Research.

Host institution
Sapienza University of Rome
Project Start
September 2017

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Principal InvestigatorProf. Daniela Carnevale

Daniela Carnevale graduated in 2005 in Biological Sciences at Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), and completed her training in Neuroimmunology at the Department of Cellular Biology and Neuroscience of the Italian Institute of Health in Rome, receiving her PhD degree in Neuroscience in 2010. She was recruited at the Department of Angiocardioneurology and Translational Medicine of IRCCS Neuromed and Sapienza University of Rome to complete her postdoctoral studies in the investigation of neuroinflammatory processes involved in vascular dementia. In 2012 she joined the faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine of Sapienza University of Rome at IRCCS Neuromed as Assistant Professor, focusing on the investigation of immune mechanisms involved in hypertension and its related target organ damage. Associate Professor and Head of the Research Unit of Neuro and Cardiovascular Immunology in 2018, she was appointed Full Professor in 2020 through direct call by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) for having won a high-level research programme such as an ERC grant.

Author of about 50 peer-reviewed papers, published in highly qualified journals, Prof. Carnevale has been invited to give several national and international lectures and participated with presentations to various meetings. Member and fellow of the AHA, she serves as reviewer for various international scientific journals and is Associate Editor of Cardiovascular Research from 2018. Prof. Carnevale has been appointed as expert of the Italian Ministry of Health for Health Research and member of the Health Research National Committee. Funded by various granting agencies, she received a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant in 2017. Her research focuses on elucidating how the nervous system modulates the immune response involved in hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases.


Full Professor

in Applied Medical and Technical Sciences
Sapienza University


Associate Professor

in Applied Medical and Technical Sciences
Sapienza University


ERC Starting Grant

Start of the project

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