Founders: Professor Giuliano Cerulli, H.E. Monsignor Sergio Pintor, Assisi Project S.p.A.
The Nicola’s Foundation, Onlus originated from an idea of Professor Giuliano Cerulli, Professor of Orthopaedics and Trauma of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Perugia, to create an institution in memory of his beloved son Nicola, who died at the age of 4 with a brain tumor. This non-profit organization has also been acclaimed a moral institution operating in the field of solidarity and above all in supporting research, building expertise and testing new approaches, focusing in particular on the field of Ortho- pedics and Traumatology. The feasibility study and an analysis to fulfill this dream project began in 2003 by a group of professionals and businessmen working in the field of health care. The decisive stage of the project occurred when Monsignor Sergio Pintor, then Pastoral Director for Health in the Italian Episcopal Conference embraced the initiative and agreed to serve as its leader. Currently, the aim of the foundation is to forge the ethical basis of research, treatment and scientific education.
The Foundation was founded officially on 21 November 2006 with the name Nicola’s Foundation, Onlus Onlus, its founders are Professor Giuliano Cerulli, H.E. Monsignor Sergio Pintor and the Assisi Project S.p.A., a company operating in the field of healthcare. The Foundation will disseminate scientific culture, develop research projects of significant scientific content that are attractive to scientists world-wide, contribute to scientific progress in the biomedical field and finally support medical-scientific education, develop research in third and fourth world countries and promote health protection campaigns. The Foundation will also promote and organize conferences in order to publicize the scientific results attained both by its own research and by other international research centres and universities. Particular attention will be given to orthopaedics, biomechanics, genetics, tissue engineering, bioengineering and oncology. Special emphasis will be given to projects for support and economic aid; to encourage the development of novel surgical and diagnostic procedures of diseases including stem cell transplants as well as other experimental techniques; encourage campaigns for scientific medical information both in schools and national and international university settings in addition to continuous education and updates for health personnel and the organization of courses in E.B.M. (Evidence Based Medicine).
The Nicola’s Foundation, Onlus Research and Teaching Centre has a permanent Cadaver Lab (St. Francis de Sales) for experi- mental and anatomical surgery; a Biomechanical Laboratory (Let People Move) for Motion and Sport Activities, as well as a Biology and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, a Facility for Experimental Surgery in small animal (in the future for large animals). The Biomechanics Laboratory is equipped with modern instruments for 3D Kinematics Motion Analysis, Isokinetic, and Arthrometic and Stabilometric Analyses so that complete Gait Analysis can be performed with electromyography and force plates. Other basic science laboratories have facilities to study regeneration and repair of damaged tissue (i.e. bio-mimetic and bioactive anterior cruciate ligament of the knee).
Currently, Italian and foreign experts, from the various fields, working in the Nicola Foundation in the capacity of supervisor/advisor include: Professor M. Lamontagne, University of Ottawa; Professor S.L-Y. Woo, University of Pittsburgh; Professor V. Migonney, University of Paris; P. Conti, New England Medical School, Tufts University; and Dr. S. Burchielli, Monasterio Foundation Pisa.