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Addio al farmacologo Pier Franco Spano: i suoi studi importanti per le neuroscienze

È morto il mio allievo Pier Franco Spano, professore emerito di Farmacologia dell′Università di Brescia, con cui ho condiviso tante esperienze a Cagliari, in Europa e negli Usa. Giovanissimo era destinato a dirigere la Farmacia Spano in via Roma, a Cagliari, ma durante la preparazione della sua tesi di laurea si innamorò tanto perdutamente della farmacologia e delle neuroscienze che, col disappunto del padre, lasciò ai fratelli la gestione della storica Farmacia.
Fu una scelta felice per Cicci, così era conosciuto, per la farmacologia italiana e per la “scuola sarda” di farmacologia e neuroscienze. È stato professore di Farmacologia nella facoltà di Farmacia di Cagliari e, dal 1983, professore di farmacologia dell′Università di Brescia, dove ha diretto la sezione di Farmacologia e Terapia sperimentale del Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche e Biotecnologie e la scuola di specializzazione in Farmacologia. È stato preside di Medicina.

Pier Franco Spano ha creato a Brescia una scuola tra le più prestigiose: i suoi numerosi allievi occupano posizioni di rilievo nella ricerca biomedica in Italia, in Europa e negli Usa. Nel 1994 ha fondato la European School of Molecular of Medicine di cui era direttore scientifico. Nel 2006 è stato nominato Presidente onorario della Lega Italiana per la lotta contro la malattia di Parkinson e le Sindromi Extrapiramidali.
A quel “ragazzo” di via Porcell la Società Italiana di Farmacologia ha conferito nel 2017 il premio alla carriera “SIF Lifetime Achievement Award” e l′università di Brescia il prestigioso “Camillo Golgi Medal Award 2017”. Delle trecento pubblicazioni su riviste qualificate, quella sulla scoperta dei recettori multipli per la dopamina, “i recettori D1 e D2”, è entrata nella storia delle neuroscienze. Per i profani quei recettori sono i siti nel cervello sui quali operano i farmaci usati nel trattamento della schizofrenia, tossicodipendenze e disturbi dell′umore.

Il ricordo della simpatia, intelligenza, vivacità intellettuale, ottimismo di Cicci Spano rimarrà nella memoria di chi l′ha conosciuto, ma il ricordo delle sue ricerche rimarrà, più a lungo, nella storia delle neuroscienze.

Gian Luigi Gessa
Professore Emerito di Farmacologia
dell′Università di Cagliari

 

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