On 30th January 2018 this news went global:” Trentino university researchers have developed the world’s most advanced version of genomic editing”.
At CIBIO, part of the University of Trento, Professor Anna Cereseto’s research team have created a precision genomic scalpel that could make a crucial advance possible in the fight against genetic illnesses and tumours.
On this occasion the University of Trento launched a campaign to raise money specifically to involve inhabitants of the town. This crowdfunding action has given results way beyond expections.
Today in a press conference at the Rectorate the campaign was officially brought to an end and the total amount of donations received have been made public.
The aim of the year-long campaign was the financing of four research projects in particular, which needed investment in terms of personnel (young researchers) and laboratory materials.
The campaign raised donations of a total of 457 thousand euro. A considerable part of this came from the Trentino community, but a lot of donations were recorded as coming from other parts of Italy too and even from abroad.
A resounding success of people’s generosity , above all considering that the University were aiming to cover the outlay for personnel and equipment with the target of 160 thousand euro.
Of the 457 thousand euro raised, 112 thousand came from private and business donations. Analyzing the way amount were given tells us a lot: donations received from credit cards vary from 2 to 1000 euro, with a prevalence of figures from 100,200 or 300 euro. Donations using bank transfers, however, see amounts varying from 10 to 6 thousand euro.
Considering the fact that it is the first targeted campaign, the response from small benefactors was very encouraging.
Two associations made a bit difference in the amount of money raised from donations: The Ogni Giorno per Emma onlu Association, founded in 2010 after the initiiative of the Della Libera di Vascon di Carbonera family (Treviso) and the Association for Il sorriso di Ilaria Montebruno onlus in Montebruno (Genoa).
Both associations are active in inspiring research to find a cure for Friedrich’s Ataxia, a challenging and serious pathology. The associations donated 345 thousand euro to the “genome editing” campaign that will be used to finance a specific line of research on this illness.
In today’s press conference news also broke of a further maxi donation of 336 thousand euro, arriving through the Milanese entrepreneur Gino Del Bon. The amount, already partly distributed by the university, will be used to back another completely new line of research, dedicated to finding treatment for another rare pathology: Cornelia de Lange syndrome.
The line of research on this syndrome has already been started and foresees financing for three years for two new research positions (a senior and a junior position)
Knowledge gained through research activity on methods for improving the effectiveness of genomic correcting will be applied to these different rare genetic illnesses.
Statements in the press release (in italian) given by professor Quattrone, director of CIBIO department.