Awardees of Egon and Ann Diczfalusy Foundation
Salvatore MANCUSO MD
/ ˈsal.vaˈto.re ˈmanˈkuːˈsoː /
THE DICZFALUSY AWARD
WINNER IN 2007
- Rome, Italy
- Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
professor, head of the Department of Obs/Gyn
Honorary Lecture of the Awardee (2007)
The Developmental Biology of a Scientist and of a Friendship in Stockholm
During the sixties a series of investigations on the foeto-placental unit were conducted by an international group of Scientists guided by Professor Diczfalusy demonstrated that the placenta is an important, although transient, steroidogenetic organ. The increasing production and excretion of steroids during pregnancy, a production reaching peak values at different times of gestation depending on the steroid, is caused by the placental metabolism of steroid precursor originating from the maternal and the foetal compartments.
Over the last 40 years, this theory has been confirmed and consolidated through a large body of observations by different groups of scientists. In addition, all placental enzymes involved in placental steroidogenesis have been identified and isolated.
According to the most recent vision of prenatal relationships between the mother and her foetus, a vast array of enzymes, steroids, proteins, cytokines and even stem cells function as instruments of communication between the foetal and maternal compartment.
The Stockholm experience enriched and matured the entire group of dozens of scientists who worked with Professor Diczfalusy over almost three decades; in a few instances this relationship grew into a solid friendship not limited to joint scientific work that continued for some 4 decades being strengthened through all kind of positive interactions that showed the extent of affinity and familial linkage.
Both these accomplishments in science and humanity represent the most gratifying success in our life.