Dr Carla Tortorella MD
Direttore UOSD Malattie Degenerative del Sistema Nervoso
Responsabile del Centro Sclerosi Multipla
Ospedale San Camillo Forlanini
Rome, Italy

Research and Professional Experience

• Since 1990 she attended, at first as student then as resident and finally as PhD, Multiple Sclerosis research group of the University of Bari directed by Prof M. Trojano. She took part actively in the management of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) using standardised protocols for diagnosis and treatment. In particular, she has been involved involved in many clinical phase II, phase III trials and post-marketing studies aimed to evaluate therapeutical strategies in people with MS.

• Since 1990 she focused her research on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging biomarkers in MS. First works concerned the analysis of CSF by 1H-MRS in vitro in collaboration with the Pharmacy Faculty of the University of Bari. This work resulted in the experimental degree thesis entitled: “Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in vitro: preliminary data on cerebrospinal fluid of Multiple Sclerosis patients”

• Since 1992 she took part to the optimisation, at the University of Bari, of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy technique in vivo in order to obtain brain biochemical characterisation of central nervous system lesions of different aetiology. This research was performed in collaboration with Institute of Radiology of the University of Bari. This work resulted in the experimental residency thesis, in PhD thesis and in many scientific publications.

• In 1998, she attended a one-year fellowship at Neuroimaging Research Unit of San Raffaele Hospital dealing with “Quantitative magnetic resonance techniques in MS” under the supervision of Prof Massimo Filippi. This work resulted in the PhD thesis and in many scientific publications.

• Since 2001 she worked as clinical neurologist.

• From 2006 to 2017 she worked as clinician at the Department of Neurology of the University of Bari (Italy) where she participated also to the research activity of the MS centre.

• In 2015, she reached the National Academic Qualification as Associate Professor

• On July 2017, she moved, as clinical neurologist, from the University of Bari to San Camillo Forlanini Hospital in Rome. Here she is committed both to the clinical activity of the Neurology Department and to the activity of the MS Centre. San Camillo Forlanini MS Centre is one of the biggest MS Center in Rome, it is a Regional HUB for the administration and control of Disease Modifying Treatment (DMDs) in MS and follows about 2500 people with MS. At San Camillo MS Centre she is also committed to clinical research and participate as principal investigator to several Phase II and phase III clinical trials and to real-life studies. The research activity takes the advantage of important collaborations: National MS Registry, MAGNIMS network, Clinical Italian network (i.e RIREMS group), IRCSS S. Lucia in Rome and IRCSS IMNI Spallanzani in Rome.

Her Research activity mainly deal with:

o MRI aspect of MS

o Real-life observational studies in MS using multicenter shared databases

o Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders and MOG associated disorders

o Biomarkers in MS and Neuromyelitis Optica Specrum Disorders (NMOSD)

o Serum and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in MS (neurofilament, urate, homocysteine)

o Shared-decision making process in MS and patient empowerment in diagnostic and therapeutical processes.

• The scientific activity is evidenced by over 110 publications published in print in international journals in high-impact journals (H-Index: 31).

• In 2019 she received the Excellence Award in Clinical Research from the San Camillo Foundation.

• From 2018 to 2021 member of the management board of the Italian Society of Neurology

• From 2019 she is a Member of the National Neurological table for Diagnostic and Therapeutic guidelines of MS in collaboration with the GIMBE Foundation.

• From 2021 she participates to the Regional Table for the definition of diagnostic, therapeutic and assistance pathway (PDTA) of MS patients.


• Grant of Health Ministry Grant for residency in Neurology (1992-1996);

• Grant of Farmades Schering for a specialisation course on quantitative magnetic resonance techniques in Multiple Sclerosis (Milan, 1998)

• Grant of Italian League of Epilepsy for young neurologists (Bergamo, 1998);

• Grant of Federazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla (FISM). “MS 360°” PI: Prof. ssa Maria Trojano (2001-2002)

• Grant of Federazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla (FISM) “SIMS Study: “Effectiveness of a structured information interview in people with newly-diagnosed MS” PI: dott. A. Solari (Istituto Neurologico C. Besta Milano) (2007)

• Grant of Federazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla (FISM) “Sims-qual: “participants’ perspective on information aid for newly-diagnosed ms patients: a qualitative study within the sims-trial”. PI: dott. A. Solari, Istituto Neurologico C. Besta Milano) (2009)

• Grant for “Progetto strategico regionale Regione Puglia (ps124 neurobiotech) (PI: prof M. Svelto, University of Bari) (2009)

• Grant of National MS Society’s Research Programs. “Proteomic profiling of cerebrospinal fluid in clinically isolated syndrome: identification of biomarkers predictive of multiple sclerosis conversion”. PI: dott.ssa M. Liguori, CNR Catanzaro) (2012)

• Grant of Federazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla (FISM). “Cognitive impairment in Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis: searching for biomarkers predictive of progression.” PI: dott.ssa M. Liguori, (CNR Bari) (2014-2016)

• Grant of Federazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla (FISM) [collaborator] “Affrontare la transizione (Mantra): una risorsa per le persone con la Sclerosi Multipla secondariamente progressiva”. PI: Dott,ssa Alessandra Solari (Istituto Neurologico C Besta Milano) (2015- 2017)


• Italian Society of Neurology (since1995) and Multiple Sclerosis Study Group.

• Member of the Scientific Committee of the Italian MS and MS related disease Registry