Dr. Vincenzo Di Marzo is the Canada Excellence Research Chair on the Microbiome-Endocannabinoidome Axis in Metabolic Health (MEND) at Laval University, in Quebec, Canada, and Associate Research Director at the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry of the National Research Council (ICB-CNR) in Naples, Italy.
He is also the coordinator of the Endocannabinoid Research Group and the director of the Joint International Research Unit between the Italian National Research Council and the Université Laval, for Chemical and Biomolecular Research on the Microbiome and its impact on Metabolic Health and Nutrition.
He holds a ChemD from the University of Naples in 1983, and a PhD in Biochemistry from the Imperial College in London in 1988. He is co-author of over 720 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and has been listed for 6 consecutive years among the Highly Cited Researchers (top 1% in the world) in all scientific disciplines.
He has been the recipient of numerous research grants and awards, including a Human Frontier Science Program research grant to study the biosynthesis, metabolism, and structure-activity relationships of anandamide; a Merkator Fellowship for Foreign Scientists by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinshaft; the Mechoulam Award for “his outstanding contributions to cannabinoid research”; the Luigi Tartufari award for Chemistry from the Italian Academy of Sciences (Accademia dei Lincei); the “Ester Fride Award for Basic Science” from the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines. In October 2014 he was awarded the International Award “Guido Dorso” for
Research, and in May 2016 the Medal of the Italian Accademia delle Scienze, or of the XL, for Physical and Natural Sciences. In November 2018 he was elected member of the Italian “Accademia dei Lincei”, the oldest academy of the sciences in the world.
Ranked 492 in a new citation index covering almost 7 million researchers in the whole world and 100.000 highly cited authors.
Among his achievements in research:
- a) Discovery of the biosynthetic and metabolic pathways of the endocannabinoids and of some endocannabinoid-like molecules
- b) Development of selective inhibitors of endocannabinoid inactivation and biosynthesis
- c) Studies of the regulation of endocannabinoid levels in tissues under physiological and pathological conditions and development of profiling techniques for endocannabinoid and endocannabinoid-like molecules
- d) First studies on the role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of food intake and metabolism
- e) first studied on the effects of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids on endocannabinoid signaling
- f) Discovery of the anti-tumor actions of endocannabinoids
- g) Discovery of the first endovanilloids
- h) Discovery of the relationships between endocannabinoids and endovanilloids
- i) Discovery of the role of TRPV1 channels in the brain in the control of pain, anxiety and synaptic plasticity
- j) Invention of the names “endocannabinoids” and “endovanilloids”
- k) Development of dual target drugs with high efficacy and safety in experimental models of chronic pain and anxiety
- l) Discovery of the role of the endocannabinoid system in skeletal muscle differentiation