Ariela Benigni read Biological Science (Biol. Sci. D. Degree, at the University of Milan). She researched problems of anti-cancer and anti-thrombotic drugs in Milan and in Strasbourg before joining the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Bergamo, Italy, where she focused on mechanisms and mediators of progression of kidney diseases including endothelin-1 (Ph.D. Degree, University of Maastricht) and, more recently, on renal regeneration. She is currently the Head of Molecular Medicine Department and Scientific Secretary of Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Bergamo, Italy.
She has contributed to more than 250 research publications. Her recent work has looked at therapies to halt renal disease progression or even induce regression of kidney lesions by multidrug approach. While studying the effect of renoprotective drugs, her group found renal progenitor cells in the rat glomerulus that are possibly capable to replace podocytes lost during the disease. She is also deeply involved in research on mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of acute and chronic renal disease and in tissue engineering experiments to generate new nephrons in the lab starting from embryonic/stem cells and to regenerate kidney bio-scaffolds. Another research interest of Dr. Benigni is the application of gene therapy to prevent acute and chronic rejection of the graft without immunosuppressive therapy.
She acted as Associate Editor of Kidney International, Journal of Nephrology and International Journal of Artificial Organs; and as Academic Editor of Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents, PeerJ and Plos One. Actually she is Editor in Chief of Nephron. She was consultant of WHO for a multicentre observational study on the predictive ability of angiogenic factors for Pre-eclampsia. For this study she has been appointed as Senior Fellow by the University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. She was the Chairman of the 10th International Conference on Endothelin (ET-10), hold in Bergamo 2007.
She has recently been named to take part to the Visiting Committee of AERES – Agence d’Évaluation de la Recherche et de l’Enseignement Supèrieur – for the evaluation of scientists at the Hôpital Necker in Paris and she received the Merit Award of Bergamo City Hall for her contribution to science.