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Professor Luigi Maiuri

Professor Luigi Maiuri passed away in February 2019. A few days earlier, he had sent a commentary to the Italian Journal of Pediatrics which has been published here.

On behalf of all his friends and colleagues who have had the great opportunity to share his enthusiasm for scientific research, let us write this brief reminder.
                                                                                          - Sergio Bernasconi, Gianni Bona

Luigi Maiuri graduated cum laude at La Sapienza University in Rome and did his residency at Federico II University in Naples. From 2006 to 2014 he was associate Professor in Pediatrics at the University of Foggia. From 2014 we moved to the University of Piemonte Orientale in Novara, where, starting from 2017, he became full Professor in Pediatrics, chief of the Pediatric Unit in Maggiore della Carità University Hospital and Director of the pediatric residency in Novara.

He was Research Fellow at Copenhagen University, Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University College of London, and Visiting Professor at the Southhampton University. From 2004 to 2007 he was the President of the Italian Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. From 2007, he was the Scientific Director of the European Institute for Research in Cystic Fibrosis (IERFC  Onlus), at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan.

His research activity was mainly focused on the comprehension of disease pathways and their modulation, by the mean of a drug discovery approach. In the field of autoimmune diseases, he was the first to identify the role of innate immune response and IL-15 in celiac disease (Lancet, 2003). In the field of cellular biology, he discovered the role of autophagy in cystic fibrosis (Nature Cell Biology,  2010), and showed that a combination of proteostasis regulators is able to restore autophagy and replace CFTR defect. More recently, this preclinical results have been tested in two clinical trials, confirming the CFTR restoring and the improvement of pulmonary inflammation in patients with cystic fibrosis. His last discovery was CFTR as a new molecular actor in the scene of gluten intolerance (PNAS 2018).

The restless scientific activity of Luigi Maiuri, started in Naples, continued in Foggia and strengthened in Milan, made a significant contribution to basic sciences and translational medicine. His sudden and untimely passing has left all of us consternated and it has created a hard-to-fill vacuum both in Italian and international pediatric research.

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