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Results: 26

Patrizia Azzi

STEM area: Physics

Competences: elementary particle physics, nuclear physics

Keywords: particle physics, top quark

Region: Veneto


Staff researcher for INFN(Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare), Italy, Section of Padua


Professional career

After completion of her Physics Diploma at the University of Padua in 1992, she pursued a PhD in Physics in 1996. Immediately after she wins a grant for continuing her studies as a post-doctoral scientist at the INFN Section in Padua. In 2008, 2012 and 2014 is awarded several grants for collaboration as a Scientific Associate at the CERN laboratory in Geneva(CH) and the Fermilab National Laboratory in Chicago (USA). Currently she is leading studies for the prospects physics measurements in the context of future projects for new particle colliders to be realised after the end of the LHC. 

Scientific results

In 1996, as a member of the CDF collaboration, observes for the first time the decay of the top quark (the heaviest fundamental particle in the Standard Model) and measures its production rate and and mass developing original analysis methods of background estimate from real data. In 2004 becomes a member of the CMS collaboration at the LHC of CERN laboratory in Geneva (CH). She has participated to the discovery of the Higgs boson in the role of responsabile of the data quality to be used for the analysis. Throughout her career Patrizia Azzi has focused her interest on particle physics and their properties to explain the fundamental law of physics. Azzi has been also coordinating several research projects: from 2002-2004 she has been leading the Top physics group for the CDF collaboration at Fermilab to plan and realise the measurements of the top quark properties during the Run 2 of the Tevatron collider, coordinating a group of about 200 physicist from all countries. As a member of the CMS experiment she has been coordinating various groups, among which the "Physics Performance and Dataset" that insured the data quality for physics in 2012/2013 and the physics group "B2G" that focuses on searches for new physics beyond the Standard Model in 2014/15. Currently she is leading the physics group that studies the future prospects for the project High Luminosity LHC that will start in 2024. 

Patrizia Azzi is also an active proponent of the Future Circular Collider project (FCC) where she studies in particular the potential for the most precise measurement of the top quark mass at a new lepton collider.


Editorial work and publications

She is author of vaste number of publication national and international, we quote here some of the most relevant: 

(2016) CMS Collaboration, Khachatryan S, [...] Azzi P, et al. Search for vectorlike charge 2/3 T quarks in pp collisions at √s=8 TeV.Physical Review D, 93:012003. 
(2014) CMS Collaboration. Search for top-quark partners with charge 5/3 in the same-sign dilepton final state.Physical Review Letters, 112:171801. 
(2014) Bicer M, [...] Azzi P, et al. First Look at the Physics Case of TLEP. The Journal of High Energy Physics, 01:164. 
(2012) The CMS Collaboration. Observation of a new boson at a mass of 125 GeV with the CMS experiment at the LHC.Physics Letters B, 716:30-61. 
(2009) CMS Tracker Collaboration, Adam W, [...] Azzi P, et al. Performance studies of the CMS Strip Tracker before installation.Journal of Instrumentation, 4. 
(1999) CDF Collaboration, Abe F, [...] Azzi P, et al. Measurement of the top quark mass with the Collider Detector at Fermilab.Physical Review Letters, 82:271-276. 
(1997) CDF Collaboration, Abe F, [...] Azzi P, et al. First observation of the all hadronic decay of t pairs. Physical Review Letters, 79:1992-1997. 
(1995) CDF Collaboration, Abe F, [...] Azzi P, et al. Observation of top quark production in p collisions. Physical Review Letters, 74:2626-2631. 
(1994) CDF Collaboration, Abe F, [...] Azzi P, et al. Evidence for top quark production in pcollisions at √s = 1.8 TeV.Physical Review Letters, 73:225-231. 
(1994) Amidei D, Azzi P, et al. The Silicon Vertex Detector of the Collider Detector at Fermilab. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A, 350:73-130.

Awards and prizes

2014-2015: Scientific Associate  at CERN(Switzerland)

2013 European Physical Society High Energy and Particle Physics Prize, for an outstanding contribution to High Energy Physics, awarded to the ATLAS and CMS collaborations, “for the discovery of a Higgs boson, as predicted by the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism” 

2012-2013     LHC Physics Center Fellow at Fermilab (USA)


2008-2009: Scientific Associateat CERN(Switzerland) 


Daniela Bortoletto

STEM area: Physics

Competences: experimental physics, quantum physics

Keywords: atlas, CERN, dark matter, fermilab, higgs boson, particle physics, top quark

Region: ABROAD


Head of Particle Physics at the University of Oxford (September 2018-to present)

Professional career

Daniela Bortoletto graduated in Physics from the University of Pavia, Italy in 1982. She earned her MA (1986) and PhD (1989) from Syracuse University. In 1989 she joined the Faculty of Purdue University as Postdoctoral Research Associate (1989-1992), Assistant Professor (1992-1995), Associate Professor (1995-2001), and Full Professor (2001). She became the Edward M. Purcell Distinguished Professor of Physics in 2010. In 2013 she joined the University of Oxford where she is now the Head of the sub department of particle physics. Daniela is passionate about increasing female participation in Physics and other sciences. She has enabled efforts aimed at giving young women the resources, motivation, and confidence to pursue careers in Physics. This includes the creation of the Purdue Women in Physics Organization, the development of Purdue Sciencescape, and leadership in the APS Conference Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP). She has taken CUWiP in the UK where the conference has been extraordinarily successful.

Scientific results

She has made important contributions to heavy flavour physics at CLEO (Cornell, USA) and CDF (Fermilab USA). She is a co-discoverer of the Higgs boson (CERN, 2012) and the top quark (CDF, Fermilab, 1995). She is currently studying the properties of the Higgs boson and searching for new physics at the LHC with the ATLAS experiment at CERN. She is also searching for new physics in very rare decays of muons with the mu3e experiment at the Paul Sherrer Institut. Daniela played an important role in the construction of the muon system for the CLEO detector, the SVX II silicon system for CDF, and the CMS Forward Pixel detector.  She was the US CMS Upgrade coordinator for over 7 years and led the activities of over 40 US Universities for the phase 1 and phase 2 upgrade of CMS. She is currently participating in the construction of the ATLAS ITK for the High Luminosity LHC, high voltage CMOS sensors, and ultra-radiation hard silicon sensors. She is the Deputy Scientific Coordinator of the Advanced European Infrastructures for Detectors at Accelerators (AIDA 2020)

Editorial work and publications

Editor of Nuclear Instrument and Methods. Author of over 1500 publications.


Awards and prizes

She is a fellow of the American Physical Society (2004), American Association for the Advancement of Science (2013) and the Institute of Physics (2015). She has received the Purdue University Ruth and Joel Spira for Excellence in Undergraduate Education (2004). She was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (1994), the Early Career Award of the US National Science Foundation (1997) and the US NSF Career Advancement Award (1994). She has been a member of the UK STFC grants panel (2018), the UK STFC Detectors Strategic Review Panel (2018), US Particle Physics Projects Prioritization Panel (P5, 2005-2007, 2008, 2010), the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP, 2005-2008) to the US DOE and NSF, and the Mathematical and Physical Science Advisory Committee (MPSAC, 2008-2014) to the NSF and the chair of the Fermilab Program Advisory Committee (2014-2017).

Maria Antonia Brovelli

STEM area: Physics

Competences: geomatics

Keywords: cartography, digital cartography, geographic information systems, gps, remote sensing, territory

Region: Lombardy


Full Professor and former Vice Rector of Politecnico di Milano for the Como Campus.

Professional career

After obtaining a degree in Physics at the University of Milan in 1986, she continued her education with a PhD in Geodetic and Topographical Sciences that she obtained in 1991 at the Interuniversity Consortium of Milan, Turin and Pavia. From 1992 to 1994, she was Researcher at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, where she helped create the International Geoid Service (IGeS) of the International Geodesy Association (IAG) and became part of the IGeS Bulletin committee, becoming its chief editor. In 1994, she became a researcher at the Politecnico di Milano, and four years later an associate professor. In 1997, she founded and coordinated the Geomatics Laboratory at the Como Campus of the Politecnico di Milano. From 2006 to 2011, she was a lecturer of GIS at the Federal Polytechnic of Zurich (ETH). Since 2010, she has been Full Professor of Digital Mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the Politecnico di Milano and from 2011 to 2016 she was Vice Rector of Politecnico for the Como Campus.

Scientific results

After obtaining a degree in Physics at the University of Milan in 1986, she continued her education with a PhD in Geodetic and Topographical Sciences that she obtained in 1991 at the Interuniversity Consortium of Milan, Turin and Pavia. From 1992 to 1994, she was Researcher at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, where she helped create the International Geoid Service (IGeS) of the International Geodesy Association (IAG) and became part of the IGeS Bulletin committee, becoming its chief editor. In 1994, she became a researcher at the Politecnico di Milano, and four years later an associate professor. In 1997, she founded and coordinated the Geomatics Laboratory at the Como Campus of the Politecnico di Milano. From 2006 to 2011, she was a lecturer of GIS at the Federal Polytechnic of Zurich (ETH). Since 2010, she has been Full Professor of Digital Mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the Politecnico di Milano and from 2011 to 2016 she was Vice Rector of Politecnico for the Como Campus.

Editorial work and publications

Maria Antonia Brovelli is editor of the Applied Geomatics journal published by Springer, co-author of three textbooks on the statistical processing of data, of a volume on orthophotos, i.e. geometrically correct and georeferenced aerial and satellite imagery, and digital terrain models, and author of over 150 scientific publications including:

(2018) Brovelli MA, Zamboni G, A new method for the assessment of spatial accuracy and completeness of OpenStreetMap building footprints, ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 7(8),289.


(2016) Brovelli MA, Minghini M, Zamboni G, Public Participation in GIS via Mobile Applications, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 114, pp. 306-315.


(2015) Brovelli MA, Molinari ME, Hussein E, Chen J, Li R. The First Comprehensive Accuracy Assessment of GlobeLand30 at a National Level: Methodology and Results. Remote Sensing, 7(4):4191-4212. 

(2008) Brovelli MA, Crespi M, Fratarcangeli F, Giannone F, Realini E. Accuracy assessment of high-resolution satellite imagery orientation by leave-one-out method. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 63(4):427-440. 

(2004) Brovelli MA, Cannata M, Longoni UM. LIDAR Data Filtering and DTM Interpolation Within GRASS. Transactions in GIS, 8(2), 155-174. 

Awards and prizes

In September 2015 she was awarded the Sol Katz Award 2015 for her contribution to Free Software and Open Source Geospatial during the FOSS4G 2015 conference in Seoul, South Korea. Maria Antonia Brovelli was one of the Directors of OSGeo (International GIS Open Foundation). She is  Chair of the working group IV / 4 "Collaborative Crowdsourced Cloud Mapping (C³M)" of the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), member of UN-GGIM Italy, Chair of the "Capacity Building" working group of the United Nations "UN OpenGIS", Deputy chair and member of the International Task Team (single woman) with the task of supporting the United Nations for the geospatial aspects (UN-GGIM). She was co-organizer of the annual "Europa NASA World Wind Challenge" event, which involved students and professionals in developing applications based on the virtual globe of NASA. Finally, she is a member of ACEO, the Advisory Committee for Earth Observation (ACEO), which is the main interpreter of the views and needs of the European scientific community on access to space experimentation and data exploitation in Earth science programs.

Marta Burgay

STEM area: Physics

Competences: astrophysics

Keywords: neutron stars, pulsar, relativity, space, stars

Region: Sardinia


Researcher at the Cagliari Astronomical Observatory of the Italian National Intitute for Astrophysics (INAF)

Professional career

After graduating in Astronomy at the University of Bologna in 2000, Marta Burgay continued her studies at the same university where she obtained her PhD in 2004. A few months later she became a researcher at the INAF - Cagliari Astronomical Observatory, where she works on compact objects (studying ultra-dense stars). In particular she is an expert in observations and studies of radio pulsars (one of the manifestations of the compact neutron stars, so called because they are observed through pulses of radiation appearing at short regular intervals). Since 2012 she is part of the scientific  team operating the new 64-m Sardinia Radio Telescope. She is also a member of the European and the International Pulsar Timing Array experiments for the detection of gravitational waves from supermassive black holes, and of the GRAWITA (GRAvitational Wave Inaf TeAm) collaboration to search for the electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational wave events.

Scientific results

The scientific activity of Marta Burgay is focused mainly on neutron star studies and in particular on observations and investigations of pulsars. Her name is linked to the important discovery of the binary system J0737-3039A / B, the first and, to date, the only system formed by two pulsars. Thanks to its many peculiarities, thisdouble pulsar represents a unique laboratory in several fields (nuclear physics, plasma physics, relativistic gravity...): in the field of general relativity, for example, the study of the times of arrival of the pulses of the two stars allowed her team to test the validity of the theory of general relativity with a precision of 99.95%. Continued observations of this system, still underway, will allow to further improve this limit and to test alternative theories of gravity.
Since 2008 Marta Burgay has been part of the High Time Resolution Universe Survey project for pulsars and transients searches, and since 2013 of the SUPERB survey (Survey for Pulsars and Extragalactic Radio Bursts). Thanks to these projects almost 200 new pulsars have been discovered, including more than 30 extremely fast rotating millisecond pulsars, a magnetar (a different type of neutron star with a huge magnetic field) emitting radio waves, a pulsar with a "diamond" planet, and a new class of transient sources, the Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), of yet unknown origin.

Editorial work and publications

Marta Burgay is (co-)author of 140 refereed articles published in international journals (including 4 in Nature and 5 in Science) that have received a total of more than 9000 citations. She is (co-)author of 22 telematic scientific communications (Astronomer's Telegram, GCN Circulars) and (co-)author of 58 conference proceedings. She is editor in chief of a volume of conference proceedings.

[2016] Keane E F, Johnston S, Bhandari S, Barr E, Bhat NDR, Burgay M, Caleb M, Flynn C, Jameson A, Kramer M, Petroff E, Possenti A, van Straten W, Bailes M, Burke-Spolaor S, Eatough RP, Stappers BW, Totani T, Honma M, Furusawa H, Hattori T, Morokuma T, Niino Y, Sugai H, Terai T, Tominaga N, Yamasaki S, Yasuda N, Allen R, Cooke J, Jencson J, Kasliwal MM, Kaplan DL, Tingay SJ, Williams A, Wayth R, Chandra P, Perrodin D, Berezina M, Mickaliger M, Bassa C. The host galaxy of a fast radio burst, Nature, 530:453. [2013] Papitto A, Ferrigno C, Bozzo E, Rea N, Pavan L, Burderi L, Burgay M, Campana S, di Salvo T, Falanga M, Filipovic MD, Freire PCC, Hessels JWT, Possenti A, Ransom SM, Riggio A, Romano P, Sarkissian JM, Stairs I H, Stella L, Torres DF, Wieringa MH, Wong G F. Swings between rotation and accretion power in a binary millisecond pulsar, Nature, 501:517.
[2013] Thornton D, Stappers B, Bailes M, Barsdell B, Bates S, Bhat N D R, Burgay M, Burke-Spolaor S, Champion D J, Coster P, D'Amico N, Jameson A, Johnston S, Keith M, Kramer M, Levin L, Milia S, Ng C, Possenti A, van Straten W. A Population of Fast Radio Bursts at Cosmological Distances, Science, 341:53.
[2011] Bailes M, Bates SD, Bhalerao V, Bhat NDR, Burgay M, Burke-Spolaor S, D'Amico N, Johnston S, Keith MJ, Kramer M, Kulkarni SR, Levin L, Lyne AG, Milia S, Possenti A, Spitler L, Stappers B, van Straten, W. Transformation of a Star into a Planet in a Millisecond Pulsar Binary, Science, 333:1717.
[2006] Kramer M, Stairs IH, Manchester RN, McLaughlin MA, Lyne AG, Ferdman RD, Burgay M, Lorimer DR, Possenti A, D'Amico N, Sarkissian J M, Hobbs G B, Reynolds J E, Freire PCC, Camilo F. Tests of General Relativity from Timing the Double Pulsar, Science, 314:97.
[2003] Burgay M, D'Amico N, Possenti A, Manchester RN, Lyne AG, Joshi BC, McLaughlin MA, Kramer M, Sarkissian JM, Camilo F, Kalogera V, Kim C, Lorimer DR. An increased estimate of the merger rate of double neutron stars from observations of a highly relativistic system, Nature, 426:531.

Awards and prizes

Marta Burgay has received several awards, from the beginning of her career, in addition to covering important scientific and institutional roles. Her PhD thesis "The Parkes High-Latitude Pulsar Survey and the Discovery of the First Double Pulsar" received the 2005 Tacchini Prize of the Italian Astronomical Society (SAIt). In 2005 she also received the Descartes Prize for excellence in scientific collaborative research, as a member of the  group PulSE (Pulsar Science in Europe). In 2006 she was awarded with two important prizes, the Italian Society of General Relativity and Gravity Physics (SIGrav) Award for young researchers, and the International Union  for Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Award for young physicists. In 2010 she won the Marsden Prize of the European Astrosky Network and the Vainu Bappu Award of the Astronomical Society of India. In 2011, the XXIII edition of the Marisa Bellisario Award dedicated to Women, Innovation and Human Capital assigned her a prize in the special awards section for young talents in research fields. In 2014 she was named "Chevalier de l'autonomie" of the Valle d'Aosta region and in 2015 she was designated "Sardinian woman of the year" by the Lyones Club of Cagliari. In 2017 the International Astronomical Union attributed to the asteroid n. 198634 the name Burgaymarta.


Laura Cadonati

STEM area: Physics

Competences: astrophysics, gravity waves

Keywords: birth of the universe, Einstein, gravity waves, universe

Region: ABROAD


Associate professor at theGeorgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, United States.

Professional career

After graduating in Physics at the University of Milan, she continued her studies at the Princeton University, earning first a master's degree in 1998 and then a PhD in Physics in 2001. In the same year she became a post doc member at Princeton University, while, from 2002 to 2004 she held the same position at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

In 2005 she was a research scientist at MIT, a role she held until 2007, when she became assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. At the same university she worked as associate professor from 2012 until 2015. In 2014 she has been visiting scholar of Cardiff University for about six months. Since 2015 she is associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Scientific results

Her scientific research concerns gravitational waves, specifically it deals with identifying, characterizing and interpreting those of short duration produced by huge astrophysical events such as the collapse of the supernova core or the collisions of black holes. In February 2016 a press conference was held to present the discovery (which took place in September 2015) which changed the way astrophysics is understood: Laura Cadonati and her international research team showed the existence of gravitational waves theorized by Albert Einsten in the Theory of General Relativity. The discovery was carried out by the LIGO gravitational observatory in the United States, in collaboration with an international team of a thousand scientists, including those responsible for the Italian experiment Virgo, in Cascina. Thanks to this result there will be new applications in the field of theoretical physics and applied physics: indeed the discovery is not limited to providing a better understanding of the theory of relativity, but it offers new possibilities for scientific research in the field of the birth of the universe, and of the understanding of the forces that surround us. Laura Cadonati’s previous research activity included the detection of solar neutrinos with the Borexino experiment and participation in the DarkSide project for the research of Dark Matter, both experiments took place in the Gran Sasso National Laboratories.


Editorial work and publications

Laura Cadonati is the author of numerous presentations of international conferences and workshops, as well as seminars and parts of university books such as:


“Listening to Space with LIGO.” L. Cadonati. State of the Universe 2007 - New Images, Discoveries, and Events, 2006 Springer Praxis Books, Popular Astronomy Series. Ratcliffe Editor.


Moreover, she is author of numerous scientific publications, including:


(2016) LIGO-Virgo Collaboration. GW151226: Observation of Gravitational Waves from a 22 Solar-mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence. Physical Review Letters ,116, 241103.

(2016) LIGO-Virgo Collaboration. Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger. Physical Review Letters, 116, 061102.

(2016) LIGO-Virgo Collaboration. Characterization of transient noise in Advanced LIGO relevant to gravitational wave signal GW150914. Classical & Quantum Gravity, 33, 134001.

(2016) LIGO-Virgo Collaboration. Observing gravitational-wave transient GW150914 with minimal assumptions. Physical Review D, 93, 122004.

(2016) LIGO-Virgo Collaboration. Prospects for Observing and Localizing Gravitational-Wave Transients with Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. Living Reviews in Relativity, 19, 1.

(2014) Clark J, Bauswein A, Cadonati L, Janka HT, Pankow C, Stergioulas N. Prospects For High Frequency Burst Searches Following Binary Neutron Star Coalescence With Advanced Gravitational Wave Detectors. Physical Review D, 90, 062004.

(2014) LIGO-Virgo Collaboration. Methods and results of a search for gravitational waves associated with gamma-ray bursts using the GEO600, LIGO, and Virgo detectors. Physical Review D, 89,122004.

(2014) LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Virgo Collaboration, NINJA Collaboration. The NINJA-2 project: Detecting and characterizing gravitational waveforms modelled using numerical binary black hole simulations. Classical & Quantum Gravity, 31, 115004.

(2014) Borexino Collaboration. Neutrinos from the primary proton–proton fusion process in the Sun. Nature, 512, 383–386.

(2008) Borexino Collaboration. Direct Measurement of the Be 7 Solar Neutrino Flux with 192 Days of Borexino Data. Physical Review Letters, 101, 091302.


Awards and prizes

She has been working for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration since 2002. In 2010 she received the Career Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), in the same year she was elected to the executive committee of the Topical Group on Gravitation of the American Physical Society. In 2014 she was chosen in the Chair-line of the APS Topical Group on Gravitation (currently called “Division of Gravity”). The following year she joined the Fellow of the American Physical Society. In 2016 she became a member of the Advisory Board of the Classical and Quantum Gravity Journal.





Patrizia Caraveo

STEM area: Physics

Competences: astrophysics

Keywords: astrophysics, cherencov telescope array, geminga, high energy astrophysics, neutron stars, pulsar, radio emissions, space, stars

Region: Lombardy


She has the rank of Research Director  and works at the Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica (INAF)  in Milano. She is also Professor of “Introduction to Astronomy” at the University of Pavia.

Professional career

PATRIZIA CARAVEO got her degree in physics in 1977 at the Milano University. Since 2002 she has the rank of Research Director  and works atthe Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica (INAF)  in Milano. She is also Professor of “Introduction to Astronomy” at the University of Pavia

She took part in several international space missions dedicated to high energy astrophysics, starting from the European mission COS-B. Currently, she is involved in the exploitation of ESA’s Integral, of NASA’s Swift, of the Italian Agile and of the NASA Fermi missions, all fully operational in orbit. She also represents INAF within the CTA (Cherenkov Telescope Array) Collaboration Board.

Scientific results

She is a recognized leader in the study of neutron stars behavior at different wevelengths. Her work lead to the discovery (and to the understanding) of Geminga, the first radio quiet neutron star. Indeed, her career in astronomy was based in an interdisciplinary approach, using data from space and ground instruments.

Editorial work and publications

Her list of publication can be seen  at .   It features:

Ø  432  papers published on international referee journals

Ø  150 conference papers (several invited papers)

Ø  Hundreds of  papers for the general public

Ø  2 books

However measured, her impact factor is very high. ADS, the system widely used by the astronomical community, quotes an h index >110, with more than 47,300 citations.

Awards and prizes

Owing to the Geminga success story, she won the Premio Nazionale Presidente della Repubblica in 2009. Moreover, she shared with her Swift, Fermi and Agile colleagues the Bruno Rossi prizeof the American Astronomical Society in 2007, 2011 and 2012

In 2014 she received the Outstanding Achievement Awardfrom the Women in Aerospace European Society and was included by Thomson Reuters in the list of Highly Cited Researchers for Space Science

In 2017 she was awarded the title of Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana


Isabella Castiglioni

STEM area: Physics

Competences: applied physics

Keywords: artificial intelligence, computer technology, diagnostic imaging, image processing, molecular diagnostics

Region: Lombardy


Researcher at the IBFM-CNR (Institute of Molecular Bio-images and Physiology - National Research Council) in Milan.

Professional career

After graduating in Physics at the University of Milan in 1993, she received a scientific education in the field of physics applied to medicine, (more recently to cultural heritage and the environment), in particular in applications of imaging diagnostics combined with advanced computational techniques. Since 1997 she is Researcher at the Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology of the National Research Council (IBFM-CNR), where, since 2011, she is also a member of the Council of the Institute. From 2010 to 2016 she was professor on contract at the University of Milano-Bicocca. She gained experience in research responsibility through the creation and management of her own research group at the IBFM-CNR, which was consolidated in 2011 in a research laboratory (Integration & Innovation Laboratory in Molecular Imaging, INLAB, which currently hosts 10 researchers with expertise in the field of bioimaging, computer science, biology and biotechnology.


Scientific results

She obtained important scientific results in: 1) physical characterization of diagnostic imaging systems, in particular positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission tomography (SPECT), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MRI), fluorescence imaging/bioluminescence and near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS),                                  2) development of methods of acquisition and processing of diagnostic images for medical and cultural applications, 3) development of methods and models for the correction of physical effects, noise sources in diagnostic imaging studies (eg attenuation, dispersion, partial volume effect), 4) development of methods of quantification and extraction of characteristics from diagnostic images (for example analysis of statistical parametric mapping, radiomics, analysis of main components, machine learning), 5) creation of databases of synthetic medical images for the validation of processing methods and quantification of medical images. Since 2010 she has coordinated 13 scientific research projects financed on competitive tenders or through contracts, for a total non-repayable net grant of 2M €, and 12 research projects in agreement with IRCCS and Hospitals. She showed her research achievements in more than 50 seminars and lectures at national and international conferences, universities and research institutes. She is co-inventor of four softwares for the extraction and quantification of biomarker images and biomedical data in use at national and foreign health facilities. From 2012 to 2015 she was Mentor of two spin offs in the biomedical technology sector.


Editorial work and publications

She is credited with 112 scientific publications in ISI scientific journals, including:

Science, Nucleic Acids Research, Theranostics, European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Medicine, Cerebral Cortex; she is in pole position (with the role of first, corresponding or last author) in more than 70% of her publications.

[2005] Berti A, Bottini G, Gandola M, Pia L, Smania N, Stracciari A, Castiglioni I, Vallar G. Shared cortical anatomy for motor awareness and motor control. Science, 309(5733):488-91.

[2014]Picchio M, Kirienko M, Mapelli P, Dell'Oca I, Villa E, Gallivanone F, Gianolli L, Messa C, Castiglioni I. Predictive value of pre-therapy (18)F-FDG PET/CT for the outcome of (18)F-FDG PET-guided radiotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer.Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging, 41(1):21-31.

[2015] Bertoli G, Cava C, Castiglioni I. MicroRNAs: New Biomarkers for Diagnosis, Prognosis, Therapy Prediction and Therapeutic Tools for Breast Cancer. Theranostics, 5(10):1122-43.

[2015] Salvatore C, Cerasa A, Battista P, Gilardi MC, Quattrone A, Castiglioni I; Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Magnetic resonance imaging biomarkers for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease: a machine learning approach. Front Neurosci, 9:307. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2015.00307. eCollection 2015.

[2016] Colaprico A, Silva TC, Olsen C, Garofano L, Cava C, Garolini D, Sabedot TS, Malta TM, Pagnotta SM, Castiglioni I, Ceccarelli M, Bontempi G, Noushmehr H. TCGAbiolinks: an R/Bioconductor package for integrative analysis of TCGA data. Nucleic Acids Res, 44(8):e71. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv1507.

[2017] Antunovic L, Gallivanone F, Sollini M, Sagona A, Invento A, Manfrinato G, Kirienko M, Tinterri C, Chiti A, Castiglioni I. [18F]FDG PET/CT features for the molecular characterization of primary breast tumors. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging, 44(12):1945-1954.

[2017] Berti A, Della-Torre E, Gallivanone F, Canevari C, Milani R, Lanzillotta M, Campochiaro C, Ramirez GA, Bozzalla Cassione E, Bozzolo E, Pedica F, Castiglioni I, Arcidiacono PG, Balzano G, Falconi M, Gianolli L, Dagna L. Quantitative measurement of 18F-FDG PET/CT uptake reflects the expansion of circulating plasmablasts in IgG4-related disease. Rheumatology,56(12):2084-2092. 

[2018] Gargano M, Galli A, Bonizzoni L, Alberti R, Aresi N, Caccia M, Castiglioni I, Interlenghi M, Salvatore C, Ludwig N, Martini M. The Giotto's workshop in the XXI century: looking inside the “God the Father with Angels” gable. Journal of cultural heritage:

[2019] Cantini L, Bertoli G, Cava C, Dubois T, Zinovyev A, Caselle M, Castiglioni I, Barillot E, Martignetti L. Identification of microRNA clusters cooperatively acting on Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in Triple Negative Breast Cancer. NAR, in press (Published on-line).

[2019] Musazzi L, Sala N, Tornese P, Gallivanone F, Belloli S, Conte A, Di Grigoli G, Fenghua C, Treccani G, Bazzini C, Castiglioni I, Nyengaard JR, Wegener G, Moresco RM, Popoli P. Acute inescapable stress rapidly increases synaptic energy metabolism in prefrontal cortex and alters working memory performance. Cerebral Cortex, in press.

Awards and prizes

From 2007 to 2009 she was Foreign Scientific Visitors Tutor for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). She is a scientific evaluator of research projects for International Institutions (Engineering in the Medical and Biology Society, Fundacao para a Cienca and in Technology FCT – Portugal, French Institute National du Cancer, Poland National Science Center, Horizon2020). She is a scientific reviewer in international scientific journals in the field of bioimaging and molecular diagnostics and carries out publishing activities, as Associate Editor and Guest Editor. In particular she was Lead Guest Editor of the Special Issue "Frontiers in Biomarkers for Theranostics" in Frontiers in Bioscience - Landmark, of the Special Issue "Frontiers from Radiomics in Molecular Imaging" in Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging, and of the Special Issue "Imaging biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of neurodegenerative diseases” in Frontiers in Neuroscience.




Maria Luisa Chiofalo

STEM area: Physics

Competences: physics education, quantum physics, responsible research and innovation, science and society

Keywords: gender equality, high-temperature superconductivity, quantum technologies, women and science

Region: Tuscany


Associate Professor at University of Pisa

Professional career

After obtaining the MD in Physics at the University of Pisa in1992 and the PhD at the Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS) in 1996, both cum laude, at the SNS she has been postdoc and then researcher (1998-2002, 2004-2007), working in 2002-2004 with Professor Anna Nobili. Since 2007 she is associate Professor at the University of Pisa (habilitated as full professor). She teaches two elementary-physics courses for BSD and MD in Pharmacy, one specialized course for MD and PhD in Physics, and Physics of everyday life to teach physics teaching. She contributes to the Interdisciplinary Center Sciences for Peace, Interdepartmental Center for Education Research, and the Responsible Research&Innovation group of the University of Pisa.
She has coordinated disciplinary or physics education research projects funded by CINECA, SNS, ASI, INFN, MIT-UNIPI, KITP, Erasmus+, and CISIA.
Part of her research activity has been carried out at international scientific Institutions, such as: IRC Cambridge, TU-Eindhoven, Institut Poincaré (Paris), CNRS (Grenoble), University of Auckland, Strathclyde University (UK), ICTP, ECT e CRS-BEC (Trento), and Los Alamos National Labs, Aspen Center for Physics, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, Stanford, Harvard e MIT (US). Long and strong ties are with JILA (Boulder, US), where she has investigated quantum fluids for 1-2 months almost every year since 1995 in the groups of Murray Holland or Debbie Jin, around the pioneering experiments of the Nobel laureates Carl Wiemann and Eric Cornell.

Scientific results

She has developed the bipolaronic theory for high-temperature superconductivity, published in a monography, while contributing to the study of strongly correlated charged bosons. Since the observation in 1995 at JILA and MIT of Bose-Einstein condensation in ultracold (i.e. at billionths Kelvin above absolute zero) atoms, she has focused on the study of these systems as a platform to engineer quantum technologies under the accurate control of temperature, interactions, and spatial dimensions.  To this aim, she has also developed simulational and theoretical methods, among the latter the time-dependent density functional theory for superfluids. The most relevant and recognized work has been conceiving with Murray Holland the theory of resonant fermionic superfluidity, later observed by Debbie Jin at JILA.  
During the happy research parenthesis in the group of Anna Nobili, she has developed the simulational environment for the Galileo Galilei on the Ground test of the equivalence principle, with macroscopic bodies. Such cross-disciplinary approach keeps characterizing the research activity, nowadays along two directions: quantum technologies for fundamental physics with atomic interferometry (she is coauthor of a number of proposals, among which Atomic Experiments for Dark Matter and Gravity Exploration in Space submitted to the ESA call Voyage2050); developing a “quantum black box” to solve quantum problems which, by means of on-purpose conceived videogames, modelling human behavior, and using machine learning, integrates the power of human-mind creativity and intuition with the power of machines (classical or quantum). In fact, she coordinates with Sabrina Maniscalco (Turku University) the cross-disciplinary proposal Integrating Human&Machine Minds for Quantum Technologies (IQHuMinds) crossing quantum physics, neuroscience, computer science, gamification, with European and US partners from Universities (Pisa and Turku, ICFO, JILA) and sectoral companies (VIS, MiTale, QuSide, IBM-Zurich, Unity).

She parallels the disciplinary research with physics education research and outreach. She has created a number of formats and events for radio (e.g. Hallo, Science! with Sara Maggi), videos, and art&science shows. She has collaborated on science&society with Rai-Radio3, Repubblica, Focus Junior, Scienzainrete, Ingenere, Corriere della Sera, DireDonne.

Editorial work and publications

[2019] Lucchesi L and Chiofalo ML, Many-body Entanglement of Fermi Gases with Short-Range Interactions. Phys. Rev. Lett. 123: 60406.
[2018] Colella E, Citro R, Barsanti M, Rossini D, and Chiofalo ML, Quantum Phases of Spinful Fermi Gases in Optical Cavities. Phys. Rev. B 97: 134502.
[2014] Iadonisi G, Cantele G, Chiofalo ML, Introduction to Solid State Physics and Crystalline Nanostructures, SPRINGER VERLAG- Italia (2014) 685 pp.
[2008] Ivanov V, Alberti A, Schioppo M, Ferrari G, Artoni M, Chiofalo ML and Tino G, Coherent delocalization of atomic wavepackets in driven lattice potentials. Phys. Rev. Lett. 100: 43601.
[2007] Citro R, Orignac E, de Palo S, and Chiofalo ML, Evidence of Luttinger liquid behavior in one-dimensional dipolar quantum gases, Phys. Rev. A Rapid Comm. 75: 51602.
[2006] Chiofalo ML, Giorgini S, and Holland MJ, Released Momentum Distribution of a Fermi Gas in the BCS-BEC Crossover. Phys. Rev. Lett. 97: 070404.
[2003] Nobili AM, Bramanti D, Comandi GL, Toncelli R, Polacco E, and Chiofalo ML, GALILEO GALILEI-GG: design, requirements, error budget and significance of the ground prototype. Phys. Lett. A.318: 172.
[2001] Holland MJ, Kokkelmans SJJMF, Chiofalo ML and Walser R, Resonance superfluidity in a quantum degenerate Fermi gas. Phys. Rev. Lett. 87: 120406.
[2001] Chiofalo ML and Tosi MP, Time-dependent density-functional theory for superfluids. Europhys. Lett. 53:162.
[2001] Burger S, Cataliotti FS, Fort C, Minardi F, Inguscio M, Chiofalo ML and Tosi MP, Superfluid and Dissipative Dynamics of a Bose-Einstein Condensate in a Periodic Optical Potential. Phys. Rev. Lett. 86: 4447.
[1998] Iadonisi G, Schrieffer RJ and Chiofalo ML Eds., Models and Phenomenology for conventional and high-Tcsuperconductivity, Proceedings del CXXXVI Corso della Scuola Internazionale di Fisica "Enrico Fermi", IOS.
[1997] Holland M, Jin J, Chiofalo ML and Cooper J, Emergence of interaction effects in Bose--Einstein condensation. Phys. Rev. Lett. 78: 3801.

Awards and prizes

She has been awarded the Prize for MD students by the Italian Physical Society (1997). The work on Time-dependent density functional theory for superfluids has been selected among the INFM Highlights (1998). She has been awarded the Prizes Culture of Solidarity (Pistoia, 2014) and Successful Women (Sportello Donna, Pavia, and Fondazione Gaia, Milan, 2016, event Beijin+20). According to Ladynomics, she is among the 150 most influential feminists 2019.
She has organized a number of events as component of scientific board, among which the CXXXVI International School of Physics Enrico Fermi (Varenna 1997, on high-temperature superconductivity) with the directors R. J. Schrieffer (Nobel laureate) and G. Iadonisi.  She has created and directed the Festival MusicalMente for the Arts Campus in Sangemini, and chairs the Conferences series Quantum gases, Fundamental interactions, and Cosmology (2017-). She is part of the scientific boards of the CISP Magazine, the series Culture and training (D. Pardini and M. Agujari eds.), and the Cosmos Award for popular science, chaired by Gianfranco Bertone. She has served as peer reviewer for VQR 2011-2014, ERC Starting Grant 2019, and academic Institutions (Stanford, Harvard, LKB Paris). She is in the board of Photonics.  She is reviewer for Physical Review (Letters, A, B, E, X), Nature, NJP, EPJ, Europhysics Letters.

Paola Corradi

STEM area: Physics

Competences: ICT (Informazioni and Communications Techology), telecomunications

Keywords: cloud, environment, management, smart city, startup, women

Region: Lombardy


Full professor of pharmacology at the University of Bari

Professional career

After graduating in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Bari in 1979, she specialized in Neurology at the same university. She then obtained a scholarship from the Mario Negri Institute in Milan and, in 1984, moved as a researcher to Duke University Medical Center, Durham in the United States, in the group of Dr. R.J. Lefkowitz, Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2012. Her academic career continued as Research Assistant Professor at the same Duke University and, since 1992, as professor of Pharmacology at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. In 2007 she returned to Italy definitively and became professor of Pharmacology at the University of Bari.

Scientific results

Susanna Cotecchia has always been committed to basic research as an indispensable tool for understanding the mechanisms of disease and drug action. Her research focuses on the study of membrane receptors and site-directed mutagenesis, a particular technique used in molecular biology to study the structure-function relationship of proteins. This line of research aims to address the fundamental questions of molecular pharmacology, providing rapid screening methods and useful information to understand the mechanism of action of medicines. The goal is to build new molecules with selective and targeted pharmacological properties, the so-called drug design, which avoids side effects in the treatment of numerous diseases.

Editorial work and publications

She is the author of more than 100 national and international scientific papers, including:


(2006) Stanasila L, Abuin L, Diviani D, Cotecchia S. Direct interaction of ezrin with the alpha1b-adrenergic receptor regulates recycling of the internalized receptors. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 281:4354-63.

(2005) Hosoda C, Koshimizu TA, Tanoue A, Nasa Y, Oikawa R, Tomabechi T, Fukuda S, Shinoura H, Oshikawa S, Takeo S, Kitamura T, Cotecchia S, Tsujimoto G. Two alpha1-adrenergic receptor subtypes regulating the vasopressor response have differential roles in blood pressure regulation. Molecular Pharmacology, 67:912-22.

(2005) Novi F, Stanasila L, Giorgi F, Corsini GU, Cotecchia S, Maggio R. Paired activation of two components within muscarinic M3 receptor dimers is required for recruitment of beta-arrestin-1 to the plasma membrane. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 280:19768-76.

(2005) Costa T and Cotecchia S. Historical Perspective: The discovery of inverse efficacy and the constitutive activity of GPCRs. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences.

(2005) Hosoda C, Tanoue A, Shibano M, Tanaka Y, Hiroyama M, Koshimizu TA, Cotecchia S, Kitamura T, Tsujimoto G, Koike K. Correlation between vasoconstrictor roles and mRNA expression of alpha(1) adrenoceptor subtypes in blood vessels of genetically engineered mice. British Journal of Pharmacology 146:456-66.

(2005) Sarang Z, Molnar P, Nemeth T, Gomba S, Kardon T, Melino G, Cotecchia S, Fesus L, Szondy Z. Tissue transglutaminase (TG2) acting as G protein protects hepatocytes against Fas-mediated cell death in mice. Hepatology 42:578-87.

(2004) Diviani D, Abuin L, Cotecchia S and Pansier L. Anchoring of both PKA and 14-3-3 inhibits the Rho-GEF activity of the AKAP-Lbc signaling complex, EMBO Journal 23:2811-20.

(2004) Cotecchia S, Stanasila L, Diviani D, Bjorklof K, Rossier O and Fanelli F. Structural determinants involved in the activation and regulation of G protein-coupled receptors: lessons from the alpha1-adrenegic receptor subtypes. Biology of the Cell, 96:327-33.

(2005) Zhang H, Cotecchia S, Thomas SA, Tanoue A, Tsujimoto G and Faber JE. Gene deletion of dopamine beta-hydroxylase and alpha1-adrenoceptors demonstrates involvement of catecholamines in vascular remodeling. American Physiological Society Journals, Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 287:H2106-H2114.

(2004) Townsend SA, Jung AS, Gillian Hoe YS, Lefkowitz RY, Khan SA, Lemmon CA, Harrison RW, Lee K, Barouch LA, Cotecchia S, Shoukas AA, Nyhan D, Hare JM and Berkowitz DE. Critical role for the alpha-1B adrenergic receptor at the sympathetic neuroeffector junction. Hypertension, 44:776-82.


Awards and prizes

Susanna Cotecchia received the award of the European Federation of Biochemical Societies (FEBS) in 1995. In 2001 she obtained the "Receptor Research Prize" of Perk.



Maria Cristina De Sanctis

STEM area: Physics

Competences: astronomy, astrophysics

Keywords: asteroids, comets, dawn, ESA (European Space Agency), exomars, ISA (Italian Space Agency), NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), planetology, rosette, solar system, space missions

Region: Lazio


Senior researcher of the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) section of Rome

Professional career

After obtaining a degree in Physics at the University La Sapienza of Rome in 1992, he continued his education obtaining in 1997 a Ph.D. in Astronomy. In 1996, thanks to a grant from the CNR, he spent a year at their Institute of Space Astrophysics. Since 1998, she is a researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of the CNR, now  called  Institute of Astrophysics and Space Planetology of INAF.

Scientific results

The research interests of Maria Cristina De Sanctis mainly include three fields of study: the minor bodies of the solar system and planetary surfaces, the thermal evolution of solar system bodies, the instrumentation for space missions. She analyzed data from telescope, space and laboratory observations to investigate the composition of comets and asteroids, of the surface of the Moon and  Mercury. She has experience in the study of  composition of  asteroids by ground and space observations, as well of cometary gases through high-resolution spectral observations.

She has studied the thermal evolution of icy bodies of the solar system, developing a complex numerical code that allows to simulate the processes of differentiation and evolution of such objects (comets, KBOs, Centauri, asteroids). She has  a laboratory for spectral measurements of metorites and planetary analogues. She has also developed instrumentation for space missions, image spectrometers and multi-spectral cameras, to study of the compositions of planetary surface and minor bodies of the solar system. She has followed the development of entire projects, as a Principal Investigator (PI), dealing with the scientific and technical coordination of the team's activities, and with the ESA or NASA teams. She is the PI of VIR spectrometer onboard of Dawn NASA mission of Ma_MISS on ExoMars ESA mission. She is also involved in several other instruments on Bepi-Colombo, Rosetta, Juice Missions.


Editorial work and publications

Author of more than 220 publications in international journals including:


De Sanctis et al. Localized aliphatic organic material on the surface of Ceres, Science,355, 719-722, 2017.

De Sanctis et al.Bright carbonate deposits as evidence of aqueous alteration on Ceres, Nature,536, 54-57,2016

De Sanctis et al.Ammoniated phyllosilicates with a likely outer Solar System origin on Ceres, Nature,528, 241-244, 2015

De Sanctis, et al. The diurnal cycle of water ice on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Nature,525,500-503, 2015

De Sanctis  et al., Spectroscopic Characterization of Mineralogy and Its Diversity Across Vesta. Science, 336(6082), 697, 2012



Awards and prizes

·         2017- NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal


·         2008-NASA Achievement  Award  -“ Dawn Science Payload” ce Payload"

·         2009-NASA Achievement  Award  - “DAWN post-lunch payload characterization and calibration activities”.

·         2013- NASA Achievement  Award  -" Dawn science data analysis at Vesta”

·         2012-NASA Achievement  Award “ Exceptional and Succesful execution of the DAWN  at  Vesta”

·         2004-ESA Scientific Award - “Outstanding contribution to  Rosetta Mission”

·         2016-ESA Scientific Award - “Outstanding scientific contribution to  Rosetta Mission”

·         2015-ESA Scientific Award - “Outstanding scientific contribution to  VEX Mission”


Asteroid  17899 Mariacristina is called in her honor






Anna Di Ciaccio

STEM area: Physics

Competences: elementary particle physics, particles detectors, subnuclear physics

Keywords: accelerators, atlas experiment, boson w, boson z, calorimeters, CERN, higgs boson, high energy physics, infn, lhc, proton-proton collisions, standard model

Region: Lazio


She is full professor at the University of Roma Tor Vergata and Director of the INFN group at Roma Tor Vergata. Her research field is the experimental Particle Physics.  She leads a group of researchers of the University of Roma Tor Vergata working on the ATLAS experiment at the CERN laboratory (Geneva, Switzerland). 

Professional career

She graduated at the University of Roma La Sapienza on the UA1 experiment at CERN. In 1984 she won a position as assistant professor at the University of Roma Tor Vergata and in 1999 she becme aassociate professor.  From 1981-1983 she was research associate at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA. In 1984 and 1985 she was visitor at the Physics Department of the Harvard University (USA) and at the Oak-Ridge American Laboratory (USA). From 1987-1988 she was fellow at CERN. In 1994 she won an “Alexander von Humboldt” fellowship for a research program in particle physics at the Albert-Ludwig-University in Freiburg, Germany.

Scientific results

 She participated in several high energy experiments at CERN to study proton-proton collisions at 63 GeV (experiment R807 at the ISR), proton-antiproton collisions at 540 and 630 GeV (UA1 experiment at the ppbar Collider, discovery of the W and Z bosons, Nobel Prize to Prof. C. Rubbia), pion-nucleon interactions at 26 GeV in the center of mass (WA92 at the SPS proto-synchrotron) and proton-proton collisions at 7, 8, 13 TeV (ATLAS experiment at LHC, discovery of the Higgs Boson, Nobel Prize to Prof. F. Englert and Prof. P. Higgs). She was contributing to the development of a high time resolution detector,RPC, employed for the barrel muon trigger in the ATLAS spectrometer. From 2013-2015 she led the Italian participation to the ATLAS experiment. She is currently involved in the upgrade project of the ATLAS spectrometer for the high luminosity LHC program.

Editorial work and publications

She is author of more than 800 pubblication among which :

(2017) Atlas Collaboration. Evidence for the𝐻𝑏𝑏decay with the ATLAS detector, JHEP 1712 024

(2013) Atlas Collaboration. Measurements of Higgs boson production and couplings in diboson final states with the ATLAS detector at the LHC. Physics Letters B, 726:1-3, 88-119.
(2012) Atlas Collaboration. Observation of a new particle in the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector at the LHC. Physics Letters B, 716: 1, 1-29.

(1983) Arnison G, Astbury A, Aubert B, et al. Experimental-observation of isolated large transverse energy electrons with associated missing energy at square-root-s=540 GeV. Physics Letters B, 122:1, 103-116.
(1983) Arnison G, Astbury A, Aubert B, et al. Experimental-Observation of Lepton Pairs of Invariant Mass Around 95 GeV/c^2 at the CERN SpS Collider. Physics Letters B, 126:5, 398-410.

Awards and prizes

In 1987 she got a prize from the Italian Society of Physics  (SIF), in 2013 the European Society of Physics (EPS) was assigned to the ATLAS Collaboration a prize for the discovery of the Higgs Boson. In 2016 she got the prize “Cajeta 2016” assigned from the City of Gaeta (my home town) to women that distinguished in Science.

Simonetta Di Pippo

STEM area: Physics

Competences: astrophysics

Keywords: aerospatial physics, international collaboration, space, UN (United Nations), women and science

Region: ABROAD


Director of United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs in Vienna.

Professional career

After graduating in physics with a specialisation in astrophysics and space physics at the University La Sapienza in Rome in 1984, in 1986 she joined the National Space Plan of the National Research Council, which became the Italian Space Agency (ASI) in 1988. Her responsibilities ranged from Earth observation to automation and robotics, science and human spaceflight. In 2002, she was appointed Director of the ASI's Observation of the Universe, in charge of all the scientific programmes of ASI, including its contribution to ESA programmes, and of the exploration programmes, including the management of the Italian astronauts. From 2008 to 2011, Ms. Di Pippo served as Director of Human Spaceflight at the ESA, first woman appointed Director at ESA since its inception in 1975. After having served as the Head of the European Space Policy Observatory at Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) in Brussels, since 23 March 2014, she is the Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in Vienna.

In 2009, she co-founded the association Women in Aerospace – Europe, to expand the representation and leadership of women in the aerospace sector. Her leadership as President lasted until 2016, when she was appointed as Honorary President.  

She has been teaching at several universities, including GWU, NYUAD and LUISS.

Scientific results

Simonetta Di Pippo is considered one of the main experts in international cooperation in the aerospace sector globally. As Director of UNOOSA, she elaborates the strategies and supervises all activities of the Office, ensuring they conform to the mandate of the General Assembly and of the Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). Under her leadership, the Office strives to bring the benefits of space to everyone, everywhere, to leverage the potential of space for sustainable development and to reduce the space divide among nations, helping more countries to access space. She also advises the Secretary General of the United Nations on space-related issues such as the peaceful use of outer space and the use of space science and technology for sustainable development. UNOOSA also helps Member States use satellite technology to prevent and manage natural disasters and emergencies through the UN-SPIDER programme.

Editorial work and publications

She is the author of several books and publications, including:


(2018) Di Pippo S., Davidian K., Public/Private Human Access to Space, Vol. 2, Earth Orbit and beyond, International Academy of Astronautics, ISBN 978-2-917761-52-6

(2017) Preface to the book “Women spacefarers: sixty different paths to space” edited by U. Cavallaro. ISBN: 978-3319340470

(2017) Preface to the study “Global space governance: an international study” edited by J., Ram and J., Pelton, Jakhu, Ram, Pelton, Joseph. ISBN 978-3-319-54364-2

 (2016) Introduction to the book “YES WE_STEM", edited by L. d'Ambrosio Marri, F. Marzano and E. Pietrafesa, e-book version. ISBN: 9788894076936.

 (2015) Di Pippo S, Perozzi E. European Operational Initiative on NEONear Earth Object (NEO) Hazard Monitoring. Handbook of Cosmic Hazards and Planetary Defense, 615-635. ISBN 978-3-319-03951-0

(2009) Flamini E., Ori GG., Di Pippo S & Osinski G., Exploring Mars and its terrestrial analogues, Preface, Planetary and Space Science

(2007) Di Martino, Di Pippo et al. "Dai ghiacci della Terra ai ghiacci dell'Universo", Erga Edizioni. ISBN 978-88-8163-522-1

(2002) Di Pippo S., Astronauti, Mursia, ISBN 978-88-425-3005-3

Other publications:

(2013) Di Pippo S. An outline of the study group "Public/Private Human Access to Space". 8th IAA symposium in the future of space, Turin, Italy. 

(2012) Di Pippo S. Experience with collaborative space projects. 63rd International Astronautical Congress, Naples, Italy. 

(2009) Flamini E, Ori GG, Di Pippo S & Osinski G. Exploring Mars and its terrestrial analogues Preface.Planetary and Space Science, 57(5):509-509. 

(2008) Di Pippo S. Celebrating the accomplishment, preparing the future - New challenges in human spaceflight and exploration. ESA bulletin. Bulletin ASE. European Space Agency, (135):10-17. 

(2007) Foing BH, Espinasse S, Wargo M, Di Pippo S. Sorrento Lunar Declaration 2007. Advances in Space Research, 42(2):246-247. 

(2001) Coradini A, Campbell J, De Sanctis MC, [...] Di Pippo S, et al. Italian participation in the Mars exploration program. Advances in Space Research, 28(8):1197-1202. 

Awards and prizes

During her career, she received numerous national and international awards. In 2006, she was knighted by the President of the Italian Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. In 2008, the International Astronautical Union named asteroid 21887 "dipippo" as a recognition of her contribution to space exploration. In 2010 she won the international prize Sebetia-Ter Silver Award of the President of the Italian Republic Luigi Napolitano for her contributions to the space sector. In 2012 she received the Women in Aerospace Leadership Award recognising her roles managing complex space projects and inspiring women in the aerospace sector. In 2016 she received the prize for International Cooperation of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) for significant contributions to international cooperation in space activities. In 2018, she received the Hubert Curien Award, which recognises outstanding efforts to help society benefit from space.

She received an Honoris Causa Degree in Environmental Studies from St. John University, and an Honoris Causa Degree in International Relations from John Cabot University.


Roberta Fantoni

STEM area: Physics

Competences: atomic spectroscopy, molecular spectroscopy

Keywords: laser diagnostics, laser induced processes, laser remote sensing

Region: Lazio


Head, Technology Application for Security and Heath Division (FSN-TECFIS) at ENEA since July 2015.


Professional career

Degree in Chemistry at Roma University “La Sapienza” in 1978 discussing a thesis on electron spectroscopy in the gas phase. After a period of fellowships, permanent position at ENEA in 1982 initially addressed to the participation to laser assisted uranium isotope enrichment project. At the end of the project she spent some periods of specialization abroad (Catholic University of Nijmegen - NL, ETH Ecole Polytechnique Zurich - CH). Due to her professional expertise on laser diagnostics and photochemistry,  in 1998 she became the head of the Molecular Spectroscopy Laboratory of ENEA at Frascati (FIS-SPET), keeping the charge until  2010. In 2010 she was appointed as director of the large Technical Unit “Applications of radiations” (UTAPRAD) of ENEA at Frascati. Following the last structural changes in ENEA, since 2015 to now, she became head of  Technology Application for Security and Heath Division (FSN-TECFIS) of ENEA at Frascati.

Scientific results

Scientific  activity. From the beginning of her career Dr. R. Fantoni was involved in multidisciplinary research activities and projects implying knowledge relevant to both chemistry and physics (spectroscopy and material processing). Successively, within the field of radiation-matter interactions, she carried out researches on processes with a broader applicative range,  from biology and medicine to cultural heritage. Her well consolidated scientific and technological background was time to time utilized and reshaped for  specific tasks, such as: laser applications in physical chemistry, starting from researches relevant to the laser isotope enrichment project  basically dealing with multi-photon and high resolution IR spectroscopy; laser spectroscopies and diagnostics, including infrared diode laser spectroscopy, laser Raman spectroscopy, emission spectroscopy in visible7ultriaviolet range, multiphoton-ionization spectrometry, Laser Induced  Fluorescence (LIF), Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), Coherent AntiStokes Raman Scattering (CARS), Degenerate Four Wave Mixing (DFWM) e Laser Induced Grating Spectroscopy (LIGS); different multidisciplinary laser application relevant to microelectronics  (thin film deposition), to material science (nano-structures synthesis), to the environment (laser decomposition of liquid and gaseous pollutants) and in situ and remote characterization of cultural heritage surfaces; Organization and participation to monitoring campaigns on sea waters and cultural heritage surfaces.

Along her career Dr R. Fantoni personally established and kept contacts with scientist in European laboratory of excellence (in the Netherlands, Suisse, Romania, Slovenia and Spain) and in other countries (Russia, Egypt).



Editorial work and publications

She is the co-author of about 165 peer reviewed scientific publications, we report only 5 significant recent titles:

 (2013)  R. Fantoni, S. Almaviva, L. Caneve, F.. Colao, A. M. Popov, G. Maddaluno “Development of Calibration-Free Laser-Induced-Breakdown-Spectroscopy based techniques for deposited layers diagnostics on ITER-like tiles” Spectrochim. Acta B87, 153-160.

(2013 )L. Caneve, F. Colao, R. Fantoni, L. Fiorani "Scanning lidar fluorosensor for remote diagnostic of surfaces" Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 720, 164–167.      

(2014)   S. Almaviva, S. Botti, L. Cantarini,R. Fantoni, S. Lecci, A. Palucci, A. Puiu and A. Rufoloni "Ultrasensitive RDX detection with commercial SERS substrates” J. Raman Spectrosc, 45, 41–46.

(2014) V. Spizzichino, R. Fantoni “Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy in Archeometry: a review of its application and future perspectives” Spectrochim. Acta B 99, 201-209.

(2018) V. Lazic, M. Vadrucci, R. Fantoni, M. Chiari, A. Mazzinghi, A. Gorghinian, Applications of laser induced breakdown spectroscopy for cultural heritage: A comparison with XRF and PIXE techniques, Spectrochim. Acta Part B 149, 1–14.



Awards and prizes

Co-winner (together with R. Barbini, F. Colao, A. Palucci, S. Ribezzo) of the Prize “Carnia Alpe Verde” for the best project aimed at protection of green areas in 1992, issued by region Friuli Venezia-Giulia.

Winner of the prize “G. Stampacchia” fort he best first work in chemistry in 1980, issued by University of Rome “La Sapienza”.


Simonetta Gentile

STEM area: Physics

Competences: experimental physics

Keywords: atlas project, CERN, higgs boson, neutrinos, nucleons, particle physics

Region: Lazio


Full Professor of Experimental Physics at the La SapienzaUniversity of Rome

Professional career

After obtaining a degree in Physics at the University La Sapienza of Rome in 1974, she received a training grant at the same University from 1975 to 1981. In 1978 she graduated from the School of Specialization in Physics (Nuclear Physics)(corresponding to a nowadays PhD). From 1980 to 1982 she was a two-year research  fellow at the Division of Experimental Physics of CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). In 1981 she worked as researcher at the La SapienzaUniversity of Rome until 1988 when she became an associate professor at the University of Calabria. In 1992  and 1993 and in1999 and 2000 she returned to CERN as Visiting Scientist. In 1992 she moved as associate professor at University La Sapienza. Since 2011 she is  Full Professor of Experimental Physics at La Sapienza in Rome.

Scientific results

The research sector, in which Simonetta Gentile is dedicated, concerns the Experimental Physics of Elementary Particles. Her lines of investigation follow the Standard Model (the theory that describes three of the four known fundamental forces: the strong, electromagnetic and weak interactions, and all the elementary particles connected to them) or the Neutrino Physics, the structure functions of the nucleons, the properties of the intermediate bosons Z and W and the search for the Higgs bosons. It is currently part of the ATLAS project (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS), one of six particle detectors built for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the particle accelerator at CERN, in Switzerland. Simonetta Gentile is also involved in research and development for particle detectors for future accelerators. During her career, she participates in experiments aimed at identifying triggers and detectors of mu-mesons (muons, sort of heavy electrons). She collaborated with the Fermi Laboratory of Batavia (Chicago) in the search for particles with charm and with NASA working  at AMS, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a detector used in particle physics installed since 19 May 2011 on the International Space Station. It is designed for the research of new types of particles (antimatter, dark matter, strange matter) through the high-precision measurement of the composition of cosmic rays. Its measures will help scientists understand the laws behind the formation of the universe.

Editorial work and publications

Publishing activities and publications she is the author of numerous international publications, including:


(2018) Gentile S. , ATLAS [ATLAS Collaboration, Authors: 2856], Observation of Higgs boson production in association with a top quark pair at the LHC with the ATLAS detector, Phys. Lett. B 784 (2018) 173.

(2018) Gentile S. , ATLAS [ATLAS Collaboration, Authors: 2856],  Evidence for the associated production of the Higgs boson and a top quark pair with the ATLAS detector,Phys.Rev. D97 (2018) no.7, 072003.

(2017) Gentile S. , ATLAS Search for the dimuon decay of the Higgs boson in pp collisions at √s = 13 TeV with the ATLAS detectorPhys. Rev. Lett. 119 (2017) 051802

(2016) Gentile S.,ATLAS & CMS Collaboration, Measurements of the Higgs boson production and decay rates and constraints on its couplings from a combined ATLAS and CMS analysis of the LHCppcollision data ats=7 and 8 TeV, JHEP 08 (2016) 045

(2015) Gentile S.,ATLAS Search for the associated production of the Higgs boson with a top quark pair in multilepton final states with the ATLAS detector, Physics Letters B 749 (2015) 519-541

(2013) Corcella G, Gentile S. Heavy Neutral Gauge Bosons at LHC in an Extended MSSM.Nuclear Physics B, 866:293-366.
(2012) Gentile S. Z 'production at LHC in an extended MSSM.Proceedings of Science, 36th International Conference on High Energy Physics, Melbourne, Australia.
(2012) Gentile S. Phenomenology of new heavy neutral gauge bosons in an extended MSSM. Nuovo Cimento C, 035:349-360.
(2012) Aad et al. [ATLAS Collaboration, Authors: 2932]. Observation of a new particle in the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector at the LHC"G. Physics Letters B 716, 1.
(2010) Gentile S. Systematics in charged Higgs search in ATLAS. Proceedings of Science, Third International Workshop on Prospects for charged Higgs Discovery at colliders-CHARGED2010, Uppsala, Sweden.
(2009) Gentile S. ATLAS search for MSSM Higgs bosons decaying into SUSY cascades. ATLAS Collaboration, ATL-PHYS-PUB-2009-079.
(2009) Gentile S. The ATLAS discovery potential for MSSM neutral Higgs bosons decaying into muon, tau. supersymmetric particle pairs. Balkan Physics Letters 16:109-113. Proceedings International Conference on Particle Physics in Memoriam Ergin Arik and Her collegues, Istanbul,Turkey.
(2008) Gentile S. ATLAS MSSM Higgs search in SUSY cascade. Proceedings of Science, Prospects for Charged Higgs Discovery at Collider, Uppsala, Sweden.
(2008) Fidecaro M, Gentile S. Il tassello mancante - la particella di Higgs. Giornale di Fisica, 49(2).
(2008) Gentile S. Detect MSSM neutral Higgs bosons at LHC. Proceedings Les Rencontres de physique de La Valle d'Aoste, La Thuile, 497-518.
(2007) Gentile S, Bilokon H, Chiarella V, Nicoletti G. The ATLAS discovery potential for MSSM neutral Higgs bosons decaying to a mu+mu- pair in the mass range up to 130 GeV. The European Physical Journal C, 229-245.


Sandra Leone

STEM area: Physics

Competences: experimental elementary particle physics

Keywords: antiproton, atlas experiment, boson w, CERN, collision, elementary particles, fermilab, higgs boson, proton, top quark

Region: Tuscany


Senior researcher at National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Pisa (Italy)

Professional career

Sandra Leone obtained a master degree in physics from Pisa University in 1990 and a PhD from the same University in 1994. After a 2 years post-doc position, in 1997 she enters INFN-Pisa as researcher in experimental high energy physics. Since 2009 she is senior researcher in the same institute. She has the full professor qualification  (required to cover full professor positions in Italy). Since 2005 she is responsible for the organization of the Pisa European Particle Physics Masterclass for high school students. She was in the local organizing committee of 6 international congresses and was in charge of the organization of INFN local scientific seminars since 2002 until 2008.

Scientific results

Sandra Leone’s field of research is experimental particle physics. In 1989 she starts studying proton-antiproton collisions in the CDF experiment at the Fermilab Tevatron Collider, in the US. In particular she studied the production mechanism of the W boson. In 1994-1995 she studied the top quark production and was part of the team which observed for the first time the top quark in the CDF experiment. From 1997 to 2001 she works with silicon detectors and studies their application in experiments at hadron colliders. In particular, she is responsible in this period of the construction and test of 161 elementary units of the ISL silicon detector for the CDF experiment. In the following years she commits herself to the study of associated production of WZ intermediate bosons and the search for the Higgs boson.

In 2013 she joins the ATLAS experiment at CERN. She takes part to the construction and test of the new laser calibration system for the ATLAS hadron calorimeter. Since 2015 she studies the robustness and longevity of photomultiplier tubes, in the context of the foreseen upgrades of the ATLAS detector. She was invited to present scientific results on behalf of her collaborations in plenary session in  15 international conferences and in several national conferences, physics schools, seminars and conference parallel sessions, like ‘ichep2016’, one of the most important conferences in the field of high energy physics, which was held in Chicago

Editorial work and publications

She is referee of international journals and co-author of more than 1000 international papers, among which:

(2016) CDF Collaboration. Measurement of the WW and WZ production cross section using final states with a charged lepton and heavy-flavor jets in the full CDF Run II data set. Physical Review D, 94, 032008.

(2012) CDF Collaboration. Evidence for a Particle Produced in Association with Weak Bosons and Decaying to a Bottom-Antibottom Quark Pair in Higgs Boson Searches at the Tevatron. Physical Review Letters, 109, 071804.

(2007) CDF Collaboration. First Measurement of the Ratio of Central-Electron to Forward-Electron W Partial Cross Sections in proton-antiproton collisions at center of mass energy of 1.96 TeV. Physical Review Letters, 98, 251801.

(1995) CDF Collaboration. Observation of Top Quark Production in proton-antiproton collisions with the Collider Detector at Fermilab. Physical Review Letters, 74, 2626.
(1992) Abe F, [...] Leone S, et al. Lepton Asymmetry in W-boson Decays from proton-antiproton Collisions at center of mass energy of 1.8 TeV. Physical Review Letters, 68, 1458.

Awards and prizes

Sandra Leone held several prominent roles in her field and was part of several committees. In 1995 she received an award for young researchers from the Italian Physics Society (SIF). Since 1998 she is referee of Physical Review Letters and Physical Review D journals. Since 2013 she is member of the editorial staff of “Scienza per tutti”, the official outreach web site of INFN. Since 2008 she acted in several occasions as independent expert  evaluator for the European Seventh Framework Program and Horizon2020. From 2006 to 2011 she was part of the INFN Equal Opportunity Committee.

Rita Lorenzini

STEM area: Physics

Competences: plasma physics

Keywords: energy, ITER, thermonuclear fusion

Region: Emilia-Romagna


Lead researcher at Agenzia nazionale per le nuove tecnologie, l'energia e lo sviluppo economico sostenibile (ENEA)

Professional career

I got the Master ‘s degree in Physics in 1992 from Università degli Studi di Pisa, defending a thesis in particle physics based on studies performed at CERN, in Geneva. I obtained a research fellowship from the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica della Materia (INFM) on a research program in thermonuclear fusion physics and I started my collaboration with Consorzio RFX in Padua. The collaboration was maintained also when, in1993, I obtained a permanent position at ENEA.

Between 2000 and 2002 I spent several months at Max Planck Institut für Plasmaphysik in Munich to work on the tokamak experiment ASDEX Upgrade in the framework of Mobility Program funded by EURATOM.

In 2005 I got the PhD in Energetics from Università degli Studi di Padova. From 2006 I am lead researcher, always in ENEA.

Scientific results

My activity research is in the area of thermonuclear plasma physics, which aims at producing clean energy reproducing the physics processes that occur in the stars, like the Sun, in earth laboratories.

I work mainly on the Reversed Field Pinch experiment RFX-mod, located in Padua and operated by Consorzio RFX, a consortium of CNR, ENEA, INFN, Università di Padova and Acciaierie Venete.

I participate in several international collaborations, for example with the research team of the Madison Symmetric Torus experiment (MST) in Madison, Wisconsin (USA) and with the team of Large Helical Device (LHD) located  in Toki, Japan. More recently I started a collaboration with the Joint European Torus (JET) tokamak located in Culham, in UK.

I investigate the problem of particle and energy transport in thermonuclear plasmas through data analysis and development of numerical codes. I also contribute to the organization and realization of the experiments for the collection of data.

In 2008 I partecipated to the first observation of Single Helical Axis states (SHAx), the enhanced confinement states that occur when a toroidal RFP plasma is heated by a high current.

I devoted many efforts to characterize the transport barriers  observed in SHAx states and to clarify the relationship between the transport and the magnetic turbulence.

My recent research aims at exploiting  the results of solar physics, in particular of solar flares, to advance the comprehension of SHAx states.

The other important item of research regards so called ‘isotope effect’, namely the differences between plasmas of different hydrogen isotopes. I studied the isotope effect in RFX-mod and I participate in the isotope effect studies of JET and LHD.

Recently I worked in collaboration with LHD colleagues to the development of a code able to model plasmas with multiple magnetic axes. With the help of such code, named MAxS (Multiple Axis Solver) we will be able to study energy and particle transport in presence of magnetic islands

Editorial work and publications

I act as referee for plasma and general physics journals (Nuclear Fusion, Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion and Physical Review Letters)

I was invited tom give a lecture titled  ‘Improvement of the magnetic configuration in the Reversed Field Pinch through successive bifurcations’ to the  50th Annual Meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics, American Physical Society nel Novembre 2008 in Dallas, Texas (USA).

I have been member of the Scientific Committee of 41st European Physical Society Conference on Plasma Physics held in Belfast in 2017

Author and coauthor of 68 papers published in peer-reviewed journal.

Awards and prizes

F.  Auriemma, D. Lopez-Bruna, R.  Lorenzini, B. Momo, I. Predebon, Y. Suzuki, A. López-Fraguas, Y. Narushima, F. Sattin, D. Terranova ‘A novel approach to studying transport in plasmas with magnetic islands’ Nuclear Fusion 58, 096037 (2018)

C.F. Maggi, H.Weisen, J.C. Hillesheim, A. Chankin, E. Delabie, L. Horvath, F. Auriemma, I.S. Carvalho, G. Corrigan, J. Flanagan, L. Garzotti, D. Keeling, D. King, E. Lerche, R. Lorenzini et al  ‘Isotope effects on L-H threshold and confinement in tokamak plasmas,’ Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 60,125002(2018)

R. Lorenzini, F. Auriemma, A. Fassina, E. Martines, D. Terranova and F. Sattin, ‘Internal Transport Barrier Broadening through Subdominant Mode Stabilization in Reversed Field Pinch Plasmas’, Physical Review Letters  116, 185002 (2016)

R. Lorenzini, E. Martines, P. Piovesan, D. Terranova, P. Zanca, M. Zuin et al.’Self-organized helical equilibria as a new paradigm for ohmically heated fusion plasmas’, Nature Physics, 5, 570 (2009)

R. Lorenzini, D. Terranova, A. Alfier, P. Innocente, E. Martines, R. Pasqualotto, P. Zanca,'Single-Helical-Axis States in Reversed-Field-Pinch Plasmas', Physical Review Letters 101, 025005 (2008)


Giulia Manca

STEM area: Physics

Competences: nuclear physics, particle physics

Keywords: high energy physics, particle physics, quarkonia

Region: Sardinia


Associate professor at the University of Cagliari and at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics.

Professional career

After graduating in Physics at the University of Cagliari in 1999, she completed her training with a PhD in Physics at Oxford University which she obtained in 2003. In the same year she continued her studies with a post-doc in England again, first at Oxford and then at the University of Liverpool. From 2000 to 2006, she worked as a Scientific Associate with the Fermilab laboratory in Chicago, in the United States. In 2007, she returned to Italy, to Cagliari, as a researcher at the INFN (National Institute of Nuclear Physics) and, the following year, at the University. From 2012 to 2013 she collaborated with the CERN laboratory in Geneva. In 2015 she won an ERC Consolidator Grant with the CNRS (Center National de la Recherche Scientifique) and moved to Orsay, Paris, until the end of 2016. In 2016 she was also visiting professor at the University of Cambridge, UK. In 2017 she became associate professor at the University of Cagliari. She is currently involved in the study of heavy ion physics with the LHCb experiment at CERN and leads a research team of six post-docs, two students and two researchers divided between Orsay and Cagliari.

Scientific results

In 2002, together with her colleagues from the CDF experiment (Collider Detector at Fermilab) she observed the decay of the W and Z bosons (fundamental particles of the Standard Model) into electrons and measured the production cross section and the ratio for the first time to that energy, publishing the work in her PhD thesis. In 2003 she worked with a group of 14 people dedicated to the research of chargino and neutralino supersymmetric particles in their leptonic decay, coming to coordinate them and publishing the best world limit at that time on their mass and production cross section. In 2007 she became a member of the LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty) collaboration – the LHC accelerator experiment of the CERN, that aims to measure the parameters of the CP-violation and decays and rare phenomena related to hadrons in which the beauty quark can (b quark) can be found - at CERN in Geneva. She participated in several studies on the production of associated states of quark-antiquark (quarkonia) by publishing several works on the subject and collaborating with expert theorists of the field. From 2009 to 2013 she became the person responsible for that physics in the experiment. In 2015 she founded a new research group within LHCb opening the way to precision measurements of Quark Gluon Plasma at high speed, her current field of research.

Editorial work and publications

She is author of numerous national and international publications, including:

2017) Aaij R, Manca G et al. [LHCb Collaboration]. Study of prompt D0 meson production in pPb collisions at=5 TeV, Journal of High Energy Physics, 1710, 090.

(2014) Manca G. Review on quarkonia production at LHC, International Journal of Modern Physics A, 29, 1430014.

(2013) Aaij R, Manca G et al. [LHCb Collaboration]. Production of J/ and¡mesons inpp collisions at=8 TeV, Journal of High Energy Physics, 1306, 064.

(2013)A.A. Alves Jr., G. Manca et al. [LHCb Muon Collaboration]. Performance of the LHCb muon system, Journal of Instrumentation, 8, P02022.

(2012) Aaij R, Manca G et al. [LHCb Collaboration]. Measurement of¡production inpp collisions at=7 TeV, European Physical Journal C, 72, 2025.

(2011) Aaij R, Manca G et al. [LHCb Collaboration] Measurement of J/ production inpp collisions at=7 TeV. European Physical Journal C, 71, 1645.

(2010) Anelli M, Manca G et al. [LHCb Muon Collaboration]. Performance of the LHCb muon system with cosmic rays, Journal of Instrumentation ,5, P10003.

(2007) Aaltonen T, Manca G et al. [CDF Collaboration]. Search for chargino-neutralino production in pp collisions at=1.96 TeV,  Phys. Rev. Lett. 99 191806.

(2008) Aaltonen T, Manca G et al. [CDF Collaboration]. Search for supersymmetry in pp collisions at=1.96 TeV Using the tri-lepton signature of Chargino-Neutralino production, Physical Review Letters, 101, 251801.

(2005) D. Acosta, G. Manca et al. [CDF Collaboration]. First measurements of inclusive W and Z cross-sections from Run II of the Tevatron collider, Physical Review Letters, 94, 091803.

(2007) Abulencia A, Manca G et al. [CDF Collaboration]. Measurements of inclusive W and Z cross-sections in pp collisions at=1.96 TeV,Journal of Physicc G, 34,2457.

She is a reviewer of the journals Journal of High Energy Physics and European Physical Journal.

Awards and prizes

In 2005 she won the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council fellowship for two years. In 2015 she gained a 5 years ERC Consolidator Grant for a total of 1.9 million euros. Since 2016 she is part of the AcademyNet network.
She is on the list of Top Italian Scientists since 2012.


Giuseppina Micela

STEM area: Physics

Competences: astronomy

Keywords: ESA (European Space Agency), extrasolar planets, harps-n, ISA (Italian Space Agency), space missions, star crowns, star formation, star-planet interaction, young stars

Region: Sicily


Director of research at Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo

Professional career

Physics degree at the Palermo University (1983)

CNR fellowship (1985), to spend a period at Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics - Cambridge (MA).

Scholarship from the Institute for Interdisciplinary Applications of Physics of the CNR (1986-87).

PhD in Physics at the University of Palermo (1991) with a thesis on the background emission in the band 0.16-3.5 keV.

From 1991, astronomer at the Astronomical Observatory of Palermo. She spent a period at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Chicago thanks to a CNR / NATO Senior scholarship.

Today she is a Director of research and from 2012 to 2017 she was director of the Palermo Astronomical Observatory, a research facility of the National Institute of Astrophysics.

Giusi Micela has been member of several scientific teams for the study of the ESA space missions (Eddington, Plato, EChO, ARIEL) and of national and international projects from ground and from space. She has been the national responsible of the project funded by MIUR “A Way to Other Worlds – WOW”.  Moreover, she won a few EU programs, that allowed several European scientists to work at the Palermo Observatory. She is a member of the board of the Fundacion Galileo Galilei, of the board of the Gal Hassin, and of the International Advisory Committee of the Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC), in Barcelona. Finally, she is member of the board of the PhD  Physics course at the Palermo University.


Scientific results

Her scientific activity is focused on the study of the physics of the upper stellar atmosphere and related themes. In particular, she was among the first researchers to carry out researches on the coronae of young stars through observations of open clusters and star formation regions with space missions (Einstein, Rosat, Chandra, XMM/Newton), determining how the high energy radiation in these stars is much more intense than today in the Sun. She has then dealt with the young stars, including star-forming regions and physical processes that govern the formation of stars in various bands of energy, and young stars in the solar neighborhood, highlighting how the region around the Sun was the site of a star formation episode over the last billion years.

Today, she works on extra-solar planets, in particular on the search of rocky planets around stars smaller than the Sun and on the study of star-planet interactions. She is co-investigator of the HARPS-N spectrograph at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, today the best instrument for the search of exoplanets in the northern hemisphere.  Finally, she is co-principal Investigator and Italian responsable for the ARIEL mission, an ESA mission for the observations of exo-planetary atmospheres.

Editorial work and publications

Giuseppina Micela is author of more than 300 papers published on international journals. In addition, she carries out activities of dissemination of astronomy, and in particular has published the book "Birth and death of the stars" for the series "Farsi un’idea" of “Il Mulino”. Selected papers are:

1.       [2016]Affer L, Micela G, Damasso M, Perger M, Ribas I et al.,  HADES RV program with HARPS-N at the TNG. GJ 3998: An early M-dwarf hosting a system of super-Earths, Astronomy & Astrophysics,  593, 117..

2.       [2013] Pepe F, Cameron Collier A, Latham, DW, Molinari E, Udry S, Bonomo A, Buchhave LA, Charbonneau,D, Cosentino R, Dressing CD, Dumusque X, Figueira P, Fiorenzano AFM, Gettel S, Harutyunyan A, Haywood RD, Horne K, Lopez-Morales M, Lovis C, Malavolta L, Mayor M, Micela Get al,An Earth-sized planet with an Earth-like density,  Nature, 503, 7476, 377-380.

3.        [2008]Penz T, Micela G,Lammer H, Influence of the evolving stellar X-ray luminosity distribution on exoplanetary mass lossAstronomy and Astrophysics, 477, 309-314.

4.        [2003] Favata F, Micela, G, Stellar Coronal Astronomy, Space Science Reviews, 108, 577-708.

5.       [1993]Micela G,Sciortino S, Favata F, Stellar birthrate in the Galaxy – Constraints from X-ray flux-limited surveys,Astrophysical Journal, 412, 618-624.

Federica Migliardo

STEM area: Physics

Competences: biophysics, structure of matter

Keywords: bioprotection, disaccharides, infectious diseases, membranes, parkinson, proteins, spectroscopic techniques, stamina, vaccines

Region: Sicily


Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Messina and Visiting Professor at the Université Paris-Sud

Professional career

Since the degree in Physics in 1998 when she was 22, the Ph.D. in Physics and the European Doctorate for Users of Large Experimental Systems in Grenoble (France) in 2002, she carried out her research at several international laboratories. In 2003 she was an ATER researcher at the University of Lille (France), where from 2008 to 2010 she was a UNESCO-L'Oréal For Women in Science International Fellow. In 2011 she got the “qualification aux fonctions de professeur des universités” in section 28 and in 2016 in section 64 in France. In 2012 she was a European Molecular Biology Organization International Fellow at the Institut de Biochimie et Biophysique Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Université de Paris-Sud XI (France). In 2013 she got the national scientific qualification as a Full Professor in Experimental Physics, becoming in 2015 a Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Messina. Since July 2016 she is Visiting Scientist at the Université Paris Sud (France).

Scientific results

Federica Migliardo is a biophysicist carrying out her research in the domain of life sciences in the context of various international collaborations. Her research activity focuses mainly on the study of biological processes such as bioprotection, denaturation and stabilization of biomolecules, and more recently some infectious diseases (tuberculosis and schistosomiasis) and neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson), with the aim of determining their molecular mechanisms and to understand the role of natural bioprotectors.

The idea of the research moves from the observation that different “extremophiles” (organisms loving the extreme) show extraordinary survival abilities under harsh conditions thanks to a particular sugar, trehalose, which can be used as a natural and innovative agent to protect and stabilize systems of biomedical and pharmaceutical interest, such as proteins, stem cells, plasma, antibodies and vaccines. Experimental studies, carried out through the synergistic application of complementary techniques, such as neutron and light spectroscopy, have shown that the sugar deforms the structure of water by preventing the formation of ice, thus protecting living beings from freezing, and it is also able to cover biological molecules creating a rigid environment that protects them from adverse environmental conditions.

The in-depth knowledge of the unique properties of trehalose has paved the way for new studies on some diseases for which there is no definitive solution yet. Trehalose can be used in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, as it is able to inhibit the aggregation of proteins, such as the alpha-synuclein in Parkinson’s syndrome, which in these diseases show anomalous behaviors, improving motor functions and raising life expectancy . On the other hand, trehalose is linked to particular fatty acids in the outer membrane of the tuberculosis bacterium, a membrane that creates a sort of barrier between the bacterium and the antibiotics, increasing its resistance; the goal of this research is to make this barrier more fragile and therefore more permeable to drugs that will be much more effective. The same philosophy is used in the study of schistosomiasis, parasitosis that represents the second tropical disease, since the parasites protect themselves from the attacks of our immune system thanks to a very special external membrane that passes nutrients but not drugs.


Editorial work and publications

She is coauthor of more than 170 scientific articles published in international journals, including:

[2017] Migliardo F, Angell CA, Magazù S. Contrasting dynamics of fragile and non-fragile polyalcohols through the glass, and dynamical, transitions: A comparison of neutron scattering and dielectric relaxation data for sorbitol and glycerol, Biochimica Biophysica Acta - General Subjects, 1861, 3540.
[2015] Migliardo F, Salmeron C, Bayan N. Mobility and temperature resistance of trehalose mycolates as key-characteristics of the outer membrane of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics, 33, 447.
[2014] Bousset L, Brewee C, Melki R, Migliardo F. Dynamical Properties ofa-Synuclein in Soluble and Fibrillar Forms by Quasi Elastic Neutron Scattering, BBA - Proteins and Proteomics, 1844, 1307.
[2014] Migliardo F, Tallima H, El Ridi R. Is There a Sphingomyelin-Based Hydrogen Bond Barrier at the Mammalian Host-Schistosome Parasite Interface?, Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics, 68, 359.
[2013] Fenimore PW, Frauenfelder H, Magazù S, McMahon BH, Mezei F, Migliardo F, Young RD, Stroe I. Concepts and Problems in Protein Dynamics, Chemical Physics, 424, 2.
[2011] Magazù S, Migliardo F, Parker SF. Vibrational Properties of Bioprotectant Mixtures of Trehalose and Glycerol, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 115, 11004.
[2007] Lishchuk SV, Lokotosh TV, Magazù S, Malomuzh NP, Migliardo F. Role of the orientation disorder in the formation of fragility of glassy water and glycerol-like liquids, Physical Review E, 76, 061504.
[2007] Magazù S, Migliardo F, Ramirez-Cuesta AJ. Concentration Dependence of Vibrational Properties of Bioprotectant/Water Mixtures by Inelastic Neutron Scattering, Journal of Royal Society Interface, 4, 167.
[2005] Lerbret A, Bordat P, Affouard F, Descamps M, Migliardo F. How Homogeneous are the Trehalose, Maltose and Sucrose Water Solutions? An Insight from Molecular Dynamics Simulations, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 109, 11046.
[2003] Vertessy BG, Magazù S, Mangione A, Migliardo F, Brandt A. Structure of Escherichia coli dUTPase in Solution: A Small Angle Neutron Scattering Study, Macromolecular Bioscience, 3, 477.

Awards and prizes

Federica Migliardo has received several international and national awards and recognitions, such as the International BioVision for Life Sciences 2011 Prize, the UNESCO-L'Oréal For Women in Science 2008 International and 2005 National Fellowships, the International EUWIIN (European Union Women Inventors) and Innovators Network) Special Recognition Award 2007, the Sapio Award for Italian Research 2006, the Prize for the best PhD thesis in neutron spectroscopy of the National Institute of Physics of Matter 2003 and the Award for the best Italian graduate in Italy of the Italian Physical Society 2001.


Rosa Maria Montereali

STEM area: Physics

Competences: experimental physics

Keywords: laser, microtechnology, nanomaterials, optical spectroscopy, photonics, radiation detectors, structure of matter

Region: Lazio


Senior Researcher, Photonics Micro and Nanostructures Laboratory Head at the ENEA Research Center of Frascati (RM), Italy

Professional career

Senior research physicist (Physics Degree at University of Rome, La Sapienza, 1984). After three years of employment in the R&D Division of the Telespazio S.p.A., a spatial telecommunication company, in Rome, since 1988 she has worked as permanent researcher at the ENEA Research Center of Frascati (RM). Starting in 2010 she is responsible of the Photonics Photonics Micro and Nanostructures Laboratory. In August 2008 she was Visiting Researcher at the Federal Technological University of Paranà, in Brasil. In 2013 she got the National Scientific Qualification as University Full Professor for Experimental Physics of Matter.

Scientific results

She has more than 30 years of experience in the field of optical properties of point defects in insulating materials and light-emitting organic and inorganic thin films for photonic devices (laser, LED, OLED, optical waveguides and microcavities) and novel radiation detectors for imaging and dosimetry, applied in scientific, medical and nuclear fields. She was the coordinator of an ESPRIT European project (1996-97) and the scientific leader of several projects and tasks at national and internal level, performed in collaboration with Universities, research institutions and Italian and foreigner industries. The relevance of the results obtained on the study of point defects in thin films and their application in novel miniaturized optical devices and solid-state radiation detectors is attested by numerous communications to congresses, among them invited lectures in prestigious international symposia. She is coinventor of several national and international patents.

Editorial work and publications

She published more than 200 scientific articles on international journals with referees, among them:
[2017] Piccinini M, Nichelatti E, Ampollini A, Picardi L, Ronsivalle C, Bonfigli F, Libera S, Vincenti MA and Montereali RM. Proton beam dose-mapping via color centers in LiF thin film detectors by fluorescence microscopy, Europhysics Letters, 117:37004-1-5.  [2016] Montereali RM, Bonfigli F, Piccinini M, Nichelatti E, Vincenti MA. Photoluminescence of colour centres in lithium fluoride thin films: from solid-state miniaturised light sources to novel radiation imaging detectors, Journal of Luminescence, 170:761-769.
[2016] Fastampa R, Missori M, Braidotti MC, Conti C, Vincenti MA, Montereali RM. Temperature behaviour of optical absorption bands in colored LiF crystals, Results in Physics, 6:74-75. [2015] Piccinini M, Ambrosini F, Ampollini A, Picardi L, Ronsivalle C, Bonfigli F, Libera S, Nichelatti E, Vincenti MA and Montereali RM. Photoluminescence of radiation-induced color centers in lithium fluoride thin films for advanced diagnostics of proton beams, Applied Physics Letters, 106: 261108_1_4. [2014] Chiamenti I, Bonfigli F, Gomes ASL, Michelotti F, Montereali RM and Kalinowski HJ. Optical characterization of femtosecond laser induced active channel waveguides in lithium fluoride crystals, Journal of Applied Physics, 115, 2:023108-1-7. [2013] Francini R, Montereali RM, Nichelatti E, Vincenti MA, Canci N, Segreto E, Cavanna F, Di Pompeo F, Carbonara F, Fiorillo G, Perfetto F. Optical characterization at liquid Argon temperature of Tetraphenyl-butadiene films on glass and specular reflector substrates in the VUV-VIS range of wavelengths, Journal of Instrumentation, JINST 8:P09006. [2012] Montereali RM, Bonfigli F, Menchini F and Vincenti MA.Optical spectroscopy and microscopy of radiation-induced light-emitting point defects in lithium fluoride crystals and films, Low Temperature Physics 38, 8:779-785, doi: 10.1063/1.4740241; Fizika Nizkikh Temperatur 38, 8:976-984. [2010] Montereali RM, Almaviva S, Bonfigli F, Cricenti A, Faenov A, Flora F, Gaudio P, Lai A, Martellucci S, Nichelatti E, Pikuz T, Reale L, Richetta M, Vincenti MA. Lithium Fluoride Thin Films Detectors for Soft X-Ray Imaging at High Spatial Resolution, Nuclear Instruments and Methods, A, 623:758-762. [2007] Sekatskii SK, Dietler G, Bonfigli F, Loreti S, Marolo T, Montereali RM. Subwavelength-Size Local Fluorescent Sources based on Color Centers in LiF for Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscopy, Journal of Luminescence, 122-123:362-364. [2004] Montereali RM, Gambino S, Loreti S, Gagliardi S, Pace A, Baldacchini G, Michelotti F. Morphological, Electrical and Optical Properties of Organic Light-Emitting Diodes with a LiF/Al Cathode and an Al-Hydroxyquinoline/Diamine Junction, Synthetic Metals, 143: 171174.

Awards and prizes

She is permanent member on the International Advisory Committee of the DIM (Defects in Insulating Materials) conference series and of the technical and organizing committees of several national and international workshops and symposia.

Elisa Palazzi

STEM area: Physics

Competences: atmospheric science, climate change in high-altitude regions, climatology

Keywords: climate, mountains, water resources

Region: Piedmont


Researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the National Research Council of Italy (ISAC-CNR)

Professional career

Elisa Palazzi gets her Laurea degree in Physics in 2003 and a PhD in Physical Modelling for Environmental Protection in 2008, both from the University of Bologna and in collaboration with the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the Italian National Research Council (ISAC-CNR). During that period, she works mainly on the measurement of air pollutants in urban areas using remote sensing techniques and on the development of modelling tools to correctly analyse and interpret these measurements.  At ISAC-CNR she carries out a post-doctoral research that includes a contract founded by the European Space Agency (ESA) aimed at studying the atmospheric circulation and its changes by means of satellite measurements of long-lived atmospheric gases. These studies bring her closer to the later research activities, focused on climate and climate change, which Elisa Palazzi has been undertaking since 2011, when she becomes permanent staff researcher at ISAC-CNR, based in Turin. Since then, she has been studying climate change in mountain regions, focusing on elevation-dependent warming and high-altitude changes in precipitation, and analysing their impacts on water resources, which are very relevant for low-land regions too. She currently co-coordinates an international network of mountain studies called GEO-GNOME (Group on Earth Observations-Global Network for Observations and Information in Mountain Environments) and an Initiative of the European Climate Research Alliance (ECRA) on the changes in the hydrological cycle. She is currently author and co-author of 52 peer-reviewed papers (Scopus database).

Scientific results

Elisa Palazzi began her research activity at CNR, in Bologna, during the work performed for her Laurea degree and her PhD, working on the development and application of radiative transfer models, based on the Monte Carlo techniques, for the interpretation of remote sensing measurement of atmospheric trace gases performed with passive remote sensing (DOAS technique). Those years mark an approach which will characterize even later the research performed by Elisa Palazzi, that is, an integration between measurements and models. From 2009 to 2011, funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), she was principal investigator of a project included in the ESA "Changing Earth System Network" programme, in which she used satellite measurements of long-lived trace gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, CFC) to diagnose the characteristics of atmospheric transport through the subtropical and polar dynamical barriers. Since 2011, she works on the study of the climate system and in particular on climate change and variability in high altitude regions that are considered sentinels of the changing climate. Her research focuses on the so-called elevation-dependent warming mechanism, and on observed and projected changes in precipitation, both influencing the mountain cryosphere. She is author and co-author of several peer-reviewed papers and she co-coordinates an international research network for the retrieval of climate data in high-altitude regions.


Editorial work and publications

Editorial activity:

- Section Editor of the Section “Remote Sensing of the Water Cycle” in the Journal Remote Sensing – MPDI, since 2019.

- Editor of the book: The Fluid Dynamics of Climate, Antonello Provenzale, Elisa Palazzi, klaus Fraedrich Editors, CISM International Centre for Mechanical Sciences 564, Courses and Lectures, Springer, 2016.

12 Most relevant publications:

[2020] Rangwala I, Palazzi E, Miller JR. Projected Climate Change in the Himalayas during the Twenty-First Century.In: Dimri A., Bookhagen B., Stoffel M., Yasunari T. (eds) Himalayan Weather and Climate and their Impact on the Environment. Springer, Cham

[2019] Regine H, Golam R, [...], Palazzi E et al. High Mountain Areas. In: IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

[2019] Palazzi E, Mortarini L, Terzago S, von Hardenberg J. Elevation-dependent warming in global climate model simulations at high spatial resolution, Clim Dyn 52: 2685.

[2018] Pasetto D, Arenas-Castro S, Bustamante J, [...], Palazzi E, et al. , Integration of satellite remote sensing data in ecosystem modelling at local scales: practices and trends, Methods Ecol Evol. 2018; 9: 1810– 1821.

[2017] Terzago S, von Hardenberg J, Palazzi E, Provenzale A. Snow water equivalent in the Alps as seen by gridded data sets, CMIP5 and CORDEX climate models, The Cryosphere, 11, 1625-1645,

[2017] Palazzi E, Filippi L, von Hardenberg J, Insights into elevation-dependent warming in the Tibetan Plateau-Himalayas from CMIP5 model simulations, Clim. Dyn., 48 (11-12), 3991-4008.

[2015] Pepin N, Bradley RS, [...], Palazzi E, et al. Elevation- dependent warming in mountain regions of the world. Nature Climate Change, 5 (5), pp. 424-430. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2563.

[2015] Turco M, Palazzi E, von Hardenberg J, Provenzale A, Observed climate change hotspots. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 3521–3528. doi: 10.1002/2015GL063891.

[2015] Palazzi E, Von Hardenberg J, Terzago S, Provenzale A. Precipitation in the Karakoram- Himalaya: a CMIP5 view, Climate Dynamics, Vol 45, pp. 21-45, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-014- 2341-z.

[2014] Filippi L, Palazzi E, Von Hardenberg J, Provenzale A. Multidecadal variations in the relationship between the NAO and winter precipitation in the Hindu Kush-Karakoram, Journal of Climate, 27 (20), pp. 7890-7902. DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00286.1.

[2014] D'Onofrio D, Palazzi E, Von Hardenberg J, Provenzale A, Calmanti S. Stochastic rainfall downscaling of climate models, Journal of Hydrometeorology, 15 (2), pp. 830-843. DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-13-096.1.

[2013] Palazzi E, Von Hardenberg J, Provenzale A. Precipitation in the hindu-kush karakoram himalaya: Observations and future scenarios, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 118 (1), pp. 85-100. DOI: 10.1029/2012JD018697

Awards and prizes

Italian Prize “Premio Gian Giacomo Drago e Fausta Rivera Drago” obtained in 2017 awarded by the “Istituto Lombardo Accademia di Scienze e Lettere” to a researcher (less that 40 years old) for his/her relevant research on the theme of climate change and its effects on the environment and human health.

Paola Santini

STEM area: Physics

Competences: astrophysics

Keywords: distant galaxies, dust, galaxy formation and evolution, gas, star formation

Region: Lazio


Researcher at Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (INAF)

Professional career

After graduation in Physics from the University of Rome La Sapienza, she continues her education with a PhD in Astronomy from the same university in 2009 and with a postgraduate specialization training course in Space Science and Technology from the University of Rome Tor Vergata in 2012. She has been research assistant at the Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma since 2006, and in 2010 she is visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Germany. In 2012 she does an internship at Thales Alenia Space. She continues her research activity at the Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma where she is currently research staff.

Scientific results

Paola Santini decodes the faint signals emitted by ancient galaxies populating the early Universe as a sort of "stellar archeologist". Her research activity focuses on different aspects of galaxy evolution through cosmic time using multi-wavelength observations (from X-ray to millimetric data) from space and ground telescopes. She is mainly involved in the analysis of the the evolution through cosmic time of several physical properties, such as the star formation rate, the amount of dust and gas in galaxies, stellar mass functions and the stellar mass density. She is an expert in star formation rate tracers and stellar mass computation. She also dealt with comparing observations with theoretical predictions of models of galaxy formation and evolution. 


Editorial work and publications

She is author and co-author of almost 150 publications of peer-reviewed international journals, listing more than 9000 citations (H-index 58). A selection of publications is listed below: 

(2017) Santini P. et al. The Star Formation Main Sequence in the Hubble Space Telescope Frontier Fields. The Astrophysical Journal, 847, 76. 

(2016) Santini P. et al. Characterizing elusive, faint dusty star-forming galaxies: a lensed, optically undetected ALMA galaxy at z 3.3. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 596, A75. 

(2015) Santini P. et al. Stellar Masses from the CANDELS Survey: The GOODS-South and UDS Fields. The Astrophysical Journal, 801, 97. 
(2014) Santini P. et al. The evolution of the dust and gas content in galaxies. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 562, A30. 
(2012) Santini P. et al. Enhanced star formation rates in AGN hosts with respect to inactive galaxies from PEP-Herschel observations.Astronomy & Astrophysics, 540, A109+. 
(2012) Santini P. et al. The evolving slope of the stellar mass function at 0.6 < z < 4.5 from deep WFC3 data. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 538, A33+. 
(2010) Santini P. et al. The dust content of high-z submillimeter galaxies revealed by Herschel. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 518, L154+. 
(2009) Santini P. et al. Star formation and mass assembly in high redshift galaxies. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 504, 751-767. 

Awards and prizes

In 2015 she is awarderd the prize Italian Young Researcher from "Gruppo 2003 for scientific research".

Sandra Savaglio

STEM area: Physics

Competences: astrophysics

Keywords: astrophysics, distant galaxies, telescopes, universe

Region: Calabria


Professor in astrophysics at the University of Calabria (Arcavacata di Rende, Italy)

Professional career

Sandra Savaglio is since 2013 a professor in Astrophysics at the Physics Department of the University of Calabria (Italy), After her PhD in Physics in 1995 at the same university, she is Fellow and Senior Research Scientist at the European Southern Observatory (Garching near Munich), the Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute (both in Baltimore). In 2000, she got a position as Assistant Astronomer with Tenure at the Observatory of Rome. She worked for more than 8 years in Germany, at the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, the most important European cluster in the field of astrophysics. For her research, she uses the most powerful telescopes and optical satellites, infrared and ultraviolet (Very Large Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, Herschel, ALMA). She taught astrophysics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and at the Technical University in Munich. In the past, she was part of several international scientific committees, including the Hubble Space Telescope and European Telescopes Telescope Allocation Committees. She is regularly invited to international conferences. In Italy, she often participates in public events for science.

Scientific results

Her research focuses on the young universe: cosmic chemical evolution, distant galaxies, intergalactic and interstellar medium, and galaxies hosting the most energetic events in the universe: the gamma-ray bursts and the super luminous supernovae

Editorial work and publications

She signed over 200 publications in international journals conference proceedings, as a author or co-author. In 2018 she published her first book on popular science (the title: “Tutto l’universo per chi ha poco spazio-tempo”, publisher: Mondadori). Her book entitled “Senza Attendere” (Without waiting), written in collaboration with Mario Caligiuri (Rubbettino 2006) is about the brain drain problem in Italy.

Awards and prizes

·         International Award “Vittorio De Sica” (Rome, November 2016)

·         International Award Frescobaldi (Milan, October 2015)

·         International Award Casato Prime Donne along with the first Italian female Astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti. (Montalcino, 14 September 2014)

·         Pythagoras Award (Croton, Italy, February 2008)

Clara Troncon

STEM area: Physics

Competences: nuclear physics, particle physics

Keywords: CERN, geneva, higgs boson, nuclear physics, standard model

Region: Lombardy


Senior researcher at the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Milano section.


Professional career

Graduated in Physics at the University of  Trieste in 1977. In 1978 Summer Student at CERN, Geneva (CH) and then PHD student in Trieste. In 1979 I have been awarded an Amelia Earhart Fellowship from the Zonta International Foundation. The Amelia Earhart Fellowship was established in 1938 as a way to support women interested in aerospace-related sciences and engineering and is awarded annually through an international competition to 30 women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in this area.

In 1980 I have been awarded a Research Grant from the Fondazione “Angelo Della Riccia”. The grants are intended to subsidize research periods abroad for Italian young postdoctoral researchers or advanced graduate students in Physics. The recipients are selected annually,  through a competition at a National level.  The “Angelo Della Riccia” grant contributed funding my first postdoctoral position at CERN.

I became staff researcher in INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) in Trieste in 1983 and then moved to Milano.

I am scientific associate at CERN since 1978.

Scientific results

I have participated to an important discovery and to prominent measurements in the field of Elementary Particle Physics with accelerators,  i.e.  studies of properties of Heavy Flavours,   precision measurements of Standard Model, including the search and then discovery of Higgs boson and search for new physics beyond the Standard Model. My research activity starts at CERN, where in 1979-1986 I studied charm physics within the experiments of European Hybrid Spectrometer (EHS) at the Super Proton Syncrotron (SPS) accelerator. In 1986-2000, I participated to DELPHI experiment at the Large Electron Positron (LEP) accelerator, where I contributed to precision measurements of Z0 and W bosons, to tests of Standard Model and search for Higgs boson, as well as to the construction, operation and upgrade of its silicon vertex detector. In 1997 I joined the project to construct the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, playing an important role in the construction of the pixel detector. After the installation of this detector, (2008-present), I dedicated to the search, discovery  and study of Higgs boson and to the search of SUSY particles and BSM physics.

Regarding Instrumentation I work (1986-present) in the development of silicon detectors, both microstrip and pixel detectors, as well as in the construction, commissioning and operation of vertex detectors.


Editorial work and publications

Member of the INFN Evaluation Panel working group (2012-present)

Italian delegate in the CERN Advisory Committee of CERN Users (2013-present)

ACCU representative in the CERN Scientific Information Policy (2015-present)

Member of GEV02 (Gruppo Esperti della Valutazione per le Scienze Fisiche) (2015-2017) for the VQR 2011-2014 (Valutazione della qualita’ della Ricerca)  (ANVUR-MIUR) and coordinator of subGEV02 (Fisica sperimentale, Particelle e Nucleare)

Elected member of the INFN CSN1 (Commissione Scientifica Nazionale 1 –   Particle physics with accelerators) (2006-2012)

Referee of Babar experiment (INFN) (2006-2012) in CSN1

Awards and prizes

more than 1100 publication.

-         h-index in Google Scholar: 164

-         H-index ISI/Web of Science: 88

-         H-index SCOPUS : 86

Most prominent publications:

(2013) ATLAS Collaboration, Aad G, Troncon C, et al. Evidence for the spin-0 nature of the Higgs boson using ATLAS data. Physical Review Letters B, 726, 120-144.

(2012) ATLAS Collaboration, Aad G, Troncon C, et al. Observation of a new particle in the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector at the LHC. Physical Review Letters B, 716, 1-29.

(2010) ATLAS Collaboration, Aad G, Troncon C, et al. Observation of a Centrality-Dependent Dijet Asymmetry in Lead-Lead Collisions at √sNN=2.77 TeV with the ATLAS Detector at the LHC. Physical Review Letters, 105, 252303.
(2008) ATLAS Collaboration, Aad G, Troncon C, et al. The ATLAS Experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. JINST 3: S08003.
(1998) Accomando E, Troncon C, et al. Physics with e+ e- colliders. Physics Report C, 299, 1. Amsterdam (Olanda).

Ersilia Vaudo

STEM area: Physics

Competences: astrophysics, cosmology, international relations, strategy

Keywords: diversity and inclusion, ESA (European Space Agency), international relations, space programs, strategy, women and science, Women in STEM

Region: ABROAD


Chief Diversity Officer, European Space Agency

Professional career

Ersilia Vaudo Scarpetta has a degree in physics from Università La Sapienza in Rome, where she started working at the Department of Cosmology on experiments on the measurement of anisotropy in the cosmic background radiation. She has been working at the European Space Agency since 1991 and she is currently Chief Diversity Officer. 

During her career at ESA, she held several positions i.a. in international relations, elaboration of high level strategies, preparation of decisions at Member States’ ministerial meetings, network with think tanks. She supported the creation of the European Space Policy Institute in Vienna. She participated to the formulation of the first ESA Exploration programme, worked as coordinator of Science and Human Spaceflight activities and had the responsibility as Executive Secretary of the Science and Technology Advisory Group on Exploration in charge of selecting experiments for exploration missions, including ExoMars. She spent four years at the ESA Washington Office ensuring relations with NASA and US stakeholders, and was Member of the Board of Directors of Women in Aerospace USA. Currently she is member of the International Women’s Forum, of the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society Daring Circle, and of Women in Aerospace – Europe.

Scientific results

Ersilia Vaudo has a long experience in space programmes, in particular in science and explorations, European space strategy, relationships with NASA. In addition, she works to encourage the advancement of girls and women in STEM education and careers and to promote the values of diversity and inclusiveness.

Editorial work and publications

2019 – Più donne di scienza per vincere la sfida della competitività - Il Sole 24 Ore 

2018 – Simply into science, how to tear down the STEM gender- 

2018 – La Scienza delle Donne- Wired 2018 –Why women in space are developing science ‘superpowers’, becoming smarter and shooting higher,

2017 – Lunar glow: what is driving the new space race to the Moon, 

2016 – Space and its Links to Economic Theory and Public Support, in Theorising Space, Washington DC:Rowman & Littlefield 

2016 – Il futuro del lavoro ai tempi del determinismo tecnologico, Il Menabo’ di Etica ed Economia 

2015 – The role of space in support of the common objectives of the European Nordic countries, 66th International Astronautical Congress, Jerusalem, Israel

2014 – Rosetta, the comet Hunter, Il Menabo’ di Etica ed Economia 

2002 –Assessing ESA’s Current Voting Rules and Practice and Potential Weighted Voting Systems in the Perspective of Enlargement, ESA Bulletin

2015 - TEDX Bari, 2015: L’Universo è resiliente?

2015 - TEDX Roncade, 2015: La sfida della conoscenza

2018 - TEDX Matera, 2018: Donne, Scienza e Superpoteri

2019 - TEDX THBrandenburg: La prima volta che..

Awards and prizes

1983 - Accademia dei Lincei Fellowship Enrico Persico

1986 - Amelia Earhart Fellowship in recognition of distinctive merit in Astrophysics studies

2016 - Awarded Premio Cajeta in the category Science and Scientific Research

2019 - Nomination for the European Diversity Awards in the category Head of Diversity of the Year 

2019 - Included in the list of Unstoppable Women from StartupItalia which acknowledges women’s commitment to technology in Italy

2019 - Lectio Magistralis at Opening 157th Academic Year Politecnico di Milano

Lucia Votano

STEM area: Physics

Competences: experimental physics of astroparticlesm, experimental physics of particles

Keywords: astroparticles, gran sasso workshops, infn, juno, neutrinos, nuclear physics, particle physics, particles, work

Region: Lazio


Research Director, associate to Frascati National Laboratory of INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare).


Professional career

Born in Calabria, Italy, in November 1947, LV graduated with summa cum laude in Physics at University 'La Sapienza' (Roma) in 1971.

She became staff research scientist at INFN - Frascati National Laboratory (LNF) in 1975, Senior Researcher in 1988 and Research Director in 2000.

As an experimental particle and astroparticle physicist, she has been active at Frascati National Laboratory, CERN-Geneva, DESY-Hamburg, Gran Sasso Laboratory, performing physics studies as well as constructing and running large detector systems.

From 1999 through 2004 she was the Director of the LNF Research Division.

From 2009 to 2012 she was the Director of the Gran Sasso Laboratory (LNGS) in Italy, first woman to be appointed in this position.

LNGS is the largest (17800 m2) underground laboratory in the world for astroparticle physics and the most advanced in terms of length, complexity and completeness of its infrastructures, hosting 20 cutting edge international experiments. More than 950 scientists from 29 different Countries take part in the LNGS experimental activities and constitute its large international scientific community.


Scientific results

The research activity of Lucia Votano concerns astroparticle physics, a field at the intersection of astronomy, particle physics and cosmology, addressing questions relating to the micro-cosmos of elementary particles and their fundamental interactions and, at the same time, the macro-cosmos, the birth and evolution of the universe.

In particular her main interest turned to neutrinos, the most mysterious, enigmatic and mystifying particle among the ones that make up the Universe. The neutrino’s interaction with matter is truly tiny and one the most intriguing results of the last decades is the evidence, by measuring the phenomenon of neutrino oscillations, that they do have a mass, although very small.

In order to properly comprehend the mechanism of the oscillation; various neutrino sources, both natural (the Sun or other stars) and artificial (particle accelerators or nuclear power plants) can be used.

LV started working for the Large Volume Detector (LVD) experiment at LNGS, designed to detect neutrinos from gravitational stellar collapses within our entire Galaxy.

Afterwards she has joined the OPERA experiment that has provided the first and firm direct evidence of the muon-neutrino oscillation into tau-neutrino. The detector was located in the underground Gran Sasso Laboratory, 730 km away from the neutrino source at Geneva and exposed to the CNGS (Cern neutrinos to Gran Sasso) pure muon-neutrino beam.

The study of the intrinsic properties of neutrino is of prime interest in particle physics and has provided by now the only direct and undisputed experimental evidence of the inadequacy of the successful Standard Model of elementary particles and interactions.

Presently she is member of JUNO (Jiangmen underground Neutrino Observatory) Collaboration, a giant multi-purpose neutrino experiment under construction in Kaiping, Jiangmen, Guangdong Province (South China), 53 km far from two nuclear power plants, and aiming at the determination of the neutrino mass hierarchy. The 20 kton liquid scintillation detection volume, together with the excellent energy resolution, will allow JUNO to address many physics goals related to the observations of neutrino events of astrophysical and terrestrial origin

Editorial work and publications

The research activities have resulted in about 300 papers on international scientific journals and in presentations at international conferences. Among them:

(2018) M. Reguzzoni et al., GIGJ: a crustal gravity model of the Guangdong Province for predicting the geoneutrino signal at the JUNO experiment.
arXiv:1901.01945 [physics.geo-ph].

(2018) N. Agafonova et al. Final Results of the OPERA Experiment on nt Appearance in the CNGS Neutrino Beam.
Phys.Rev.Lett. 120 (2018) no.21, 211801, Erratum: Phys.Rev.Lett. 121 (2018) no.13, 139901.

(2018) N. Agafonova et al. Final results of the search for nm  n oscillations with the OPERA detector in the CNGS beam.
JHEP 1806 (2018) 151.

(2018) N. Agafonova et al. Measurement of the cosmic ray muon flux seasonal variation with the OPERA detector.
arXiv:1810.10783 [hep-ex].

(2018) F. Riggi et al. Time and orientation long-distance correlations between extensive air showers detected by the MRPC telescopes of the EEE Project
Nuovo Cim. C40 (2018) no.6, 196.

(2018) M. Grassi et al. Charge reconstruction in large-area photomultipliers
JINST 13 (2018) no.02, P02008.

(2018) A. Paoloni, A. Mengucci, M. Spinetti, M. Ventura, L. Votano.

Streamer studies in Resistive Plate Chambers

arXiv:1806.03443 [physics.ins-det].

(2016) Fengpeng An et al. Neutrino Physics with JUNO.
J.Phys. G43 (2016) no.3, 030401.

(2015) N. Agafonova et al. Discovery of $\tau$ Neutrino Appearance in the CNGS Neutrino Beam with the OPERA Experiment
Phys.Rev.Lett. 115 (2015) no.12, 121802.
(2015) N. Agafonova et al. Limits on muon-neutrino to tau-neutrino oscillations induced by a sterile neutrino state obtained by OPERA at the CNGS beam
JHEP 1506 (2015) 069.


Lucia Votano has also published two scientific books for general public:

“Il fantasma dell’universo-Che cos’è il neutrino”, Collana La Città della Scienza, Carocci editore 2015 and 

“La via della seta. La fisica da Enrico Fermi alla Cina” Collana i Dialoghi, Di Renzo editore 2017.

In April 2010 has been awarded by the President of the Italian Republic of the official title of

 ” Commendatore al merito Della Repubblica Italiana” for scientific services.