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Prof. Paolo Cavallari

Full professor of Human Physiology
Dept. of Human Physiology - Università degli Studi di Milano
Via Mangiagalli 32

Brief Biography:

Paolo Cavallari Born November 19th, 1955 in Milano, Italy Married with Laura Arnoletti, since 1991 He has two sons, Pietro ana Francesca Hobbyes: deep sea fishing, photography, collecing ancient art, gardening Paolo Cavallari achieved his MD (magna cum laude) in 1982, at the Università degli Studi of Milan; the “Diplome d’Etudes Appofondies in Neurophysiology” in 1984, at the Pierre et Marie Curie University of Paris; the “Doctorat de l'Université” in 1988, at the same university and the PhD in Nurological Science in 1990, at the Università degli Studi of Milan. He received fellowships from the European Neuroscience Association (1984) and from the IBRO-Wenner-Gren Foundation (1986). He had non-tenure track positions from the INSERM (France, 1985) and the Göteborg University (Sweden, 1987).

Academic positions:

Tenured as Associate Professor of Human Physiology in 1992. As associate professor he worked at the Università degli Studi of L'Aquila (1992-1997) and at the Università degli Studi of Milano (1997-2001). He is full professor of Human Physiology (2001) at the Medical School of the “Università degli Studi” in Milan, Italy.

Research interests:

Paolo Cavallari's research is focused on the sensory-motor integration and the control of voluntary movement. In particular, he investigated the role of proprioception on motor control and described several properties which characterize the spinal circuits fed by group II muscle afferents in the cat (localization and morphological description of Group II interneurones, peripheral and descending input, distribution of their effect to lumbar motoneurones). Still in the animal, he also analyzed the role of motoneurone dynamic sensitivity in the development of muscle tension and proposed a possible rehabilitation of the diaphragmatic paralysis by reinnervating the diaphragm with motor axons of the recurrent laryngeal nerve. However, his work has been mainly devoted to human neurophysiology. In this field his principal interests were the description and the functional analysis of various spinal circuits (Ia reciprocal inhibition, mutual inhibition of Ia interneurones, cutaneous and Ib reflex pathways, pattern of distribution of Ia afferents to interneurones and motoneurones of the cervical enlargement, vestibulo- and cortico-spinal projections to spinal motoneurones, excitatory and inhibitory effects of the cortico-spinal tract, activated by trans-cortical magnetic stimulation), the description of biomechanichal and neural components involved in the coordination of associated movements of plural body segments (analysis of the coordination in healthy and pathological subjects, role of the kinesthetic afferents in the control of coordination, modeling of the oscillatory coupled movements of the hand and foot) and, recently, the contribution of tactile afferents during exploratory movements and the role origin of anticipatory postural adjustments during movements of small amplitude. Prof. Cavallari has also studied the changes occurring in the spinal excitability during observation of actions performed by others and the interactions occurring between the autonomic and the motor systems in man. Moreover he described the role of the motoneuronal “bi-stability” in the pathogenesis of muscle cramps and fasciculations and the origin of fatigue in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis. A recent research line is devoted to the bionic rehabilitation of acute and chronic facial paralysis.

Any other information:

Revision activity: he was or is referee for the following international journals: Journal of Physiology, Experimental Brain Research, European Journal of Applied Physiology, Neuroscience Letter, Clinical Neurophysiology, Human Movement Science, Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He is, as qualified expert, reviewer for the Ministry of University and Scientific Research and he has been appointed, as qualified expert, in the reviewer list of the Ministry of University and Scientific Research and of the European Community for the Grant Programme “Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources - Neurosciences programme (area 9.3 and 9.4 of the Generic Activities)”. Istitutional activity: - member of the “Commission for the Scientific Research and the Technological Transfer (CARSTT)” of the Università degli Studi di Milano (2004-today). - member of the Field Committee 05, Biological Science,(2004-today). - delegate of the Dean for the Public Relations of the Medical School (2005-today). - head of the “Istituto di Fisiologia Umana II” (2007-2009). - past-member of the Scientific Committee of the “ Lino Rossi Research Centre for the study and prevention of the perinatal sudden death (fetal and new-born) e of the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)”.

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