A-M Colao, University Federico II of Naples, Naples, Italy. Abstract
Dr Annamaria Colao has been involved in clinical laboratory research since 1980 as a student in Medicine. At that time, she entered into the study group of hypothalamus-pituitary tumours and was mentored by Dr Gaetano Lombardi. Since that time, her publications and research have focused on pituitary tumours, especially prolactinomas and acromegaly. Besides these topics, she also focused her interest on the differential diagnosis of Cushings disease by using inferior petrosal sinus sampling. Great efforts were made to characterize the secretion of CRH and AVP in the blood coming from the pituitary compared to the peripheral one, in order to give insights in the pathophysiology of Cushings disease. To accomplish this goal, Dr Colao spent two years at the experimental laboratory of the University Aix II-Marseille mentored by Dr Charles Oliver. Several publications in peer-reviewed high impact journals demonstrate the activity of that period.
More recently, she has focused her research in investigating the effects of growth hormone (GH) on the cardiovascular system, studying in particular acromegalic cardiomyopathy and the cardiovascular complications of GH deficient patients throughout their life span. Dosing of GH for adults deficient in these hormones has seen another focus. Besides these main topics, she has also provided clinical data on the short- and long-term effects of cabergoline therapy in patients with prolaclinomas. Dr Colaos current responsibilities include the Neuroendocrine Tumors Study Group at the University Federico II in Naples. The group involves PhD fellows, postdoctoral fellows and students in medicine as well as patients with pituitary disorders. It also enables collaboration with neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, ophthalmologists, pathologists and cardiologists. This multidisciplinary group allows Dr Colao to recruit patients with pituitary diseases and neuroendocrine tumors, which are rather rare, into important clinical-based research.