CROCI Simonetta

Professore di II fascia
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Simonetta Croci has been associate professor of Applied Physics since 2014 at the Department of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Parma. She graduated in physics at the University of Parma in 1998 and obtained a specialization diploma in Health Physics, at the University of Bologna in 2000. She received her PhD degree from the Technische Universität München (Germany). The teaching activity is carried out at the Department of Medicine and Surgery and concerns both the three-year degree courses and the single-cycle degree course in Medicine and Surgery, as well as specialization schools, in particular in the field of health physics and radiation protection. In 2019 she participated at the Erasmus + educational mobility Programme holding health physics lectures at Superior School of Health - University of Algarve- Portugal,
Her research interests have always been in the domain of biophysics and physics applied to biological systems with particular reference to the medical applications. Currently she is carrying on a research project, called BIOTARGET (supported by Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche Enrico Fermi), that aims to study innovative parameters to correlate membrane and cytoskeleton damages with the biological effect of different ionizing radiations (X-ray and Protons). After irradiation the cells are observed and analyzed using different techniques including atomic force microscopy (AFM). Recently, the use of STORM microscopy (STochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy) in collaboration with the Paris-based startup Abbelight, has allowed the identification of structural rearrangements of the cytoskeleton microtubules irradiated with both X-rays or protons. This line of research has opened a collaboration with the Clinical Radiology Group (Biophysics Department) of the GSI in Darmstad, Germany. This study is part of a larger project on the effect of different ionizing radiations on new cellular targets, in order to answer still open questions such as the induction of secondary tumors following radiotherapy therapies or phenomenon known as the radiation induced bystander effect (RIBE), which occurs in non-irradiated cells adjacent to the irradiated ones.
Connected with this project she is studying and developing a K+ biosensor using oligonucleotides sequences, folded in G-Quadruplex structures. In this project, recently new method to measure the potassium in extracellular medium using UV-VIS and CD spectroscopy with G-quadruplex structure (DNAzyme)as biosensor has been developed. Although other similar biosensor already exists, this type should work without any other probe. The use of this biosensor on extra-cellular medium of non-tumoral cancer cells Hs578Bst irradiated with 4Gy (X-ray) could check if the cell membrane damage leads to a K+ outflow.
In the biophysical field, but in connection with the previous project, a K+ biosensor was studied and developed using oligonucleotide sequences, folded in G-quadruplex structures. In this project, we want to develop a new method to measure the potassium concentration in the extracellular medium using UV-VIS and CD spectroscopy on the G-quadruplex structure. The use of this biosensor, without probe, on extracellular media of tumor and non-tumor cells irradiated with X-rays aims to verify whether the damage to the cell membrane leads to a K+ outflow. The K+ biosensor study was born with a project showing the anti-tumoural properties of potassium ascorbate, and of D-ribose solution with potassium bicarbonate, started from 2005.
Previously the research was focused on hemoglobin oxidation, using Mössbauer spectroscopy and UV-VIS techniques, and it was directed to develop a diagnostic tool to be used in patients with degenerative diseases. The research activity was forwarded to protein dynamics with particular respect to haemoglobin conformational changes to study a possible influence of the quaternary structure. Structure-dynamics-functionality relationship in proteins has been also object of research investigation with elastic and quasielastic incoherent neutron scattering experiments on trypsin, lysozyme and beta-lactoglobuline. Her research activity is also in the field of health physics and radio-protection, regarding: low radioactivity exposure during marble mining, monitoring nearby the Caorso nuclear power plan, induced current in personnel working in high magnetic field (NMR).

She has been a member of the Italian Physical Society (SIF) since 1999. She was elected council member of the Italian Physical Society from 2008 to 2019 and Treasurer from 2013 to 2019. From 2007 to 2013 she was elected as the Italian member of the Council of IBAME (International Board on the Application of the Mössbauer Effect). She has been a member of the INBB since 2008 (Istituto Nazionale Biostrutture e Biosistemi). She has been a member of EPS (European Physical Socielty) since 2012. She has been a member of SIBPA (Italian Society of Pure and Applied Biophysics) since 2019.
She participated as SIF appointed representative in all the round tables and activities that led to the drafting of the UNI Norma UNI 11683: 2017 (Attività professionali non regolamentate - Fisico professionista - Requisiti di conoscenza, abilità e competenza) and following those which led to the approval of the Federazione Nazionale degli Ordini dei Chimici e dei Fisici. She is involved in the Editorial Committee of the journal Il Nuovo Saggiatore and the PrimaPagina Newsletter of the SIF.

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2020/2021

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2019/2020

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2018/2019

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2017/2018

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2016/2017

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2015/2016

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2014/2015

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2013/2014

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