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Results: 164

Claudia Manzi

STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: social psychology

Keywords: coronavirus, Covid-19, Covid-19: impact on women's work, ethnicity, family, identity, prejudice, religion, transition, violence

Region: Lombardy


Associate Professor of Social Psychology at the Università Cattolica in Milan

Professional career

After graduating in Philosophy with a specialization in Human Sciences at the Università Cattolica of Milan in 1999, she continued her education at the same university with a PhD in Social and Developmental Psychology, during which she collaborated in research and training activities of the University Center for Studies and Research on the Family. From 2003 to 2005 she was a research fellow in Social Psychology at the Department of Psychology of the Università Cattolica of Milan. From the following year until 2016 she was a researcher in Social Psychology at the Faculty of Education of the Università Cattolica. In 2008 she was a visiting professor at the University of Tennessee, in the Child and Family Studies department and in 2016 she held the same position in the department of Psychology at the University of Sussex. In 2009 she was selected as a consultant at the Research Methods and Data Analysis office of the United Nations (UN), Office of Internal Oversight Services (New York). Since 2016 she is associate professor of Social Psychology at the Faculty of Education of the Università Cattolica of Milan.

Scientific results

Claudia Manzi studies identity construction and development processes, in particular identity motivations, adult identity, identity related to transition, ethnic prejudice, family differentiation, cross-cultural psychology. She collaborated on these issues with the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, in Colombia, in 2007, for a study on identity changes in transition periods, and in the same year with the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Violence, 'University of Tennessee, where she participated in the final phase of data analysis and publication of the results of a project coordinated by the World Health Organization's Program for Child and Adolescent Health and Development. Since 2008 she has participated in the international research team for the cross-cultural research project "Motivated identity construction in cultural context" funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Finally, since 2014 she is a member of the international research team "World Relationship Study", funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.


Editorial work and publications

Since 2011 Claudia Manzi is a member of the Editorial Board of the Encyclopaedia of Quality of Life Research (Ed. A. Michalos), Springer of New York and referee of international journals of excellence as Journal of Personality, Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Adolescence, Journal of Early Adolescence, Self and Identity, Psychology of Individual Differences, Social Psychology.

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


(2017) Manzi C, Roccato M, Paderi F, Vitrotti S, Russo S. The social development of right-wing authoritarianism: The interaction between parental autonomy support and societal threat to safety. Personality and Individual Differences, 109: 1-4.


(2015) Manzi C, Roccato M, Russo S. What buffers right-wing authoritarian responses to threat? An experimental study to test the moderation of meaning. Personality and Individual Differences, 83:117-121.


(2015) Manzi C, Parise M, Iafrate R, Sedikides C, Vignoles VL. In so far as you can be part of me: The influence of intrusive parenting on young adult couple identity. Self & Identity, 14: 5, 570-582.


(2014) Manzi C, Brambilla M. Identity change. In A. Michalos (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Quality of Life Research, Dordrecht, Netherlands, Springer, 2167-2168.


(2014) Manzi C, Ferrari L, Rosnati R, Benet-Martinez V. Bicultural Identity Integration of Transracial Adolescent Adoptees: Antecedents and Outcomes. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 45(6):888-904.


(2013) Brambilla M, Manzi C, Regalia C, Verkuyten M. Religiosity and Prejudice: Different Patterns for Two Types of Religious Internalization. The Journal of Social Psychology, 153:486-498.


(2011) Scabini E, Manzi C. Family Processes and Identity. In S. J. Schwartz, K. Luyckx, and V. L. Vignoles (Eds), Handbook of Identity Theory and Research, New York: Springer, 565-584.


(2010) Manzi C. Identità adulta nella letteratura psicosociale. In E. Marta, C. Regalia (Eds.), Identità in relazione. Le sfide odierne dell'essere adulto. Milano: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 17-31.


(2010) Manzi C, Vignoles V, Regalia C. Accommodating a new identity: Possible selves, identity change, and well-being across two life-transitions. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40:970-984. 

(2006) Manzi C, Vignoles V, Regalia C, Scabini E. Cohesion and enmeshment revisited: Family differentiation, identity, and psychological well-being in two European cultures. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 68: 673-689.


Awards and prizes

Since 2007 Claudia Manzi has been a member of the European Association of Social Psychology, since 2009 of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and since 2014 of the Italian Association of Psychology, section of Social Psychology.


Lucia Margheriti

STEM area: Natural and environmental sciences

Competences: seismology, structure of the interior of the Earth

Keywords: earthquakes, local amplification effects, magnitude, seismic anisotropy, seismic series

Region: Lazio


Senior researcher at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, INGV), National Earthquake Centre; Responsible for data analysis for seismic surveillance and monitoring

Professional career

After graduating in Geology at the University of Rome La Sapienza in 1991, she continued her studies through a specialization scholarship (1992-1993) in Seismology at the United States Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA, USA. In 1994 she continued her specialization at the University of L'Aquila, Department of Physics and then at the National Institute of Geophysics (ING) of Rome, which in 2000 became the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). She developed her skill as researcher at INGV first on a temporary position, and then on a permanent position. In 2003 she became senior researcher and started coordinating projects and researchers’ groups.

Since 1998 she participated to the seismic surveillance, first as a seismologist in charge of the ipocentral locations, with the target of alerting the Civil Protection, a service interrupted during the maternity periods in 2000 and 2002; then, in 2015, she qualified also as a tsunami alert operator and finally, today, she works in the shifts as responsible of the communication to the Civil Protection Department (DPC).

From 2007 to 2014 she coordinated a research group consisting of 25 researchers studying geodynamics and the structure of the interior of the Earth. Between 2009 and 2013 she was the coordinator of the mobile seismic network of the National Earthquake Center and she was involved in the organization of earthquake emergency response activities. Since 2014 she is responsible for a group (about 25 persons) of technicians and researchers working on data analysis for surveillance and seismic monitoring.

She coordinated important national and international projects involving Italian, European and US institutions and universities such as the RETREAT project (2002-2007), the Messina 1908-2008 project (2007-2009), the INGV-DPC Test project sites for detailed multidisciplinary monitoring (2007-2009), the AlpArray project (2015-2018). She is responsible for some of the activities that INGV carries out for the DPC and of the agreement between INGV and the Civil Protection Agency of the Lazio Region. She always participated in the INGV outreach activities with the schools, the public and the media.

Scientific results

Her scientific interests have focused in recent years, on the analysis of seismic sequences for the characterization of active fault systems and for understanding the possible variation of the earth's Crust physical parameters during the occurrence of the sequences themselves. For 15 years, she has been dealing with the analysis of shear wave splitting to define the seismic anisotropy and the state of deformation of the Crust and of the Earth's Mantle. This analysis allows to characterize the crustal fracture field and to define its relations with the active stress field and with the presence of fluids. The characterization of the seismic anisotropy, when done on waves that travel in the Earth's Mantle, allows us instead to formulate geodynamic models on a regional scale: the subduction zone of the southern Tyrrhenian Sea, where the Ionic plate deeps below the Calabrian arc, was the first region of the Earth's mantle where was observed a toroidal flow of the mantle at the edges of the subducting plate (Civello and Margheriti 2004).

During the years of her training she studied site effects: how the seismic waves are amplified and modified by the surface geology especially when there are incoherent deposits, irregular topographical conformation of the area interested by seismic shaking. In 1993, she was among the pioneers in using the recordings of environmental vibrations (seismic noise) to characterize the response of sites that had recorded the 1989 San Francisco earthquake.


Editorial work and publications

She is the author of about 70 international scientific publications, including:


(2016) Baccheschi P, Pastori M, Margheriti L, Piccinini D. Shear wave splitting of the 2009 L'Aquila seismic sequence: fluid saturated microcracks and crustal fractures in the Abruzzi region (Central Apennines, Italy). Geophysical Journal International, 204 (3): 1531-1549.doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv536

(2014) Margheriti L, Lucente FP, Park J, Pondrelli S, Levin V, Steckler MS, Baccheschi P, Salimbeni S. Large-scale coherent anisotropy of upper mantle beneath the Italian peninsula comparing quasi-Love waves and SKS splitting. Journal of Geodynamics, DOI: 10.1016/j.jog.2014.07.007

(2014) Govoni A, Marchetti A, De Gori P, Di Bona M, Pio Lucente F, Improta L, Chiarabba C, Nardi A, Margheriti L, Piana Agostinetti N, Di Giovambattista R, Latorre D, Anselmi M, Ciaccio MG, Moretti M, Castellano C, Piccinini D. The 2012 Emilia seismic sequence (Northern Italy): Imaging the thrust fault system by accurate aftershocks location Tectonophysics.

(2013) Salimbeni S, Pondrelli S, Margheriti L. (2013). Hints on the deformation penetration induced by subductions and collision processes: Seismic anisotropy beneath the Adria region (Central Mediterranean).Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, DOI: 10.1002/2013JB010253

(2011) Baccheschi P, Margheriti L, Steckler M S & Boschi E. Anisotropy patterns in the subducting lithosphere and in the mantle wedge: A case study—The southern Italy subduction system. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, B08306.

(2010) Lucente FP, Gori PD, Margheriti L, Piccinini D, Bona MD, Chiarabba C, Agostinetti NP. Temporal variation of seismic velocity and anisotropy before the 2009 MW 6.3 L'Aquila earthquake. Italy: Geology, 38:1015–1018, doi: 10.1130/G31463.1.

(2004) Civello S and Margheriti L. Toroidal mantle flow around the Calabrian slab (Italy) from SKS splitting, Geophysical Reserach Letters, 31, L10601, doi:10.1029/2004GL019607.

(2000) Margheriti L, Azzara MR, Cocco M, Delladio A and Nardi A. Analysis of borehole broad-band recordings: Test sute in the Po basin, Northern Italy. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 90, 6:1454-1463.

(1996) Margheriti L, Nostro C, Cocco M and Amato A. Seismic anisotropy beneath the northern Apennines (Italy) and its tectonic implications. Geophysical Reserach Letters, 23; 20:2721-2724.

(1994) Margheriti L, Boatwright J, Wennerberg L. A comparison of Coda and S-wave spectral ratios as estimates of site response in the Southern San Francisco Bay area. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 84, 6:1815-1830.


Daniela Mari

STEM area: Clinical sciences and nutrition science

Competences: geriatrics

Keywords: cardiovascular risk, centenarians, degenerative diseases, dna, elders, genes, longevity, longevity genetic bases

Region: Lombardy


Head of U.O.C. of Geriatrics of the IRCCS Foundation Ca ’Granda Maggiore Hospital of the Policlinico of Milan


Professional career

After obtaining a degree in Medicine and Surgery, at the University of Milan, from 1976 she continued her training as a researcher in Internal Medicine until 1991. From 2007 to 2010 she directed the experimental research laboratory on aging of the IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italian and University of Milan and of the Department of Medical and Rehabilitative Sciences with Geriatric-Cardio-Vascular specialization of the IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano. Until 2014 she was responsible for the School of Specialization in Geriatrics, and for the Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Sciences of the Health Professions. Since 2010 she has directed the U.O.C. (complex operative unit) of Geriatrics of the IRCCS Foundation Ca ’Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico of Milan in agreement with the University of Milan. Daniela Mari is also an associate professor of Geriatrics at the University of Milan, at the Department of Clinical and Community Sciences. Responsible U.O.C. of Geriatrics of the IRCCS Foundation Ca ’Granda Maggiore Hospital of the Policlinico of Milan.

Scientific results

Daniela Mari has been leading the Milan research group that studies cardiovascular risk factors and their genetic variants in longevity and centenarians, and neurodegenerative diseases in the elderly for many years. During the period spent as head of the experimental research laboratory on aging of the Italian Auxological Institute of Milan, Daniela Mari and colleagues focus on the study of the genetic bases of longevity, investigating the characteristics of a large number of seventy-year-old children of centenarians. To this end they also resort to DNA methylation analysis, or to an epigenetic modification of DNA, a process which consists in the binding of a methyl group (a carbon atom bound to three hydrogen atoms) to a nitrogenous base. They also investigate the dose-effectiveness relationship of oral anticoagulant therapy (TAO) in the elderly, genetic and non-genetic risk factors in cerebrovascular diseases and the influence of obesity and metabolic status on aging and age-related diseases.


Editorial work and publications

Daniela Mari is Associate Editor in the Editorial Board of the Journal of Gerontology & Geriatrics (JGG).

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


(2016) Esposito S, Mari D, Bergamaschini L, et al. Pneumococcal colonization in older adults. Immunity & Ageing, 13(1).

(2016) Abbate C, Trimarchi PD, Rotondo E, Mari D, et al. Spontaneous confabulations in amnestic-mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease: a new (yet old) atypical variant?. Neurocase.

(2016) Muscogiuri D, Mari D, et al. 25 Hydroxyvitamin D Deficiency and Its Relationship to Autoimmune Thyroid Disease in the Elderly. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(9):850.

(2016) Abbate C, Caputo L, Damanti S, Mari D, et al. Reversible Parkinson's Dementia Associated with Withdrawal of Androgen-Deprivation Therapy for Prostate Cancer. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

(2016) Arosio B, Casati M, Gussago C, Mari D, et al. Adenosine Type A2A Receptor in Peripheral Cell from Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia, and Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus: A New/Old Potential Target. Journal of Alzheimer's disease, 54(2):1-9.

(2016) Ogliari G, Smit RAJ, van der Spoel E, Mari D, et al. Thyroid Status and Mortality Risk in Older Adults With Normal Thyrotropin: Sex Differences in the Milan Geriatrics 75+ Cohort Study. The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.

(2016) Dionigi Rossi P, Bilotta C, Consonni D, Mari D, et al. Predictors of clinical events occurring during hospital stay among elderly patients admitted to medical wards in Italy. European Journal of Internal Medicine, 32.

(2016) Gussago C, Arosio B, Guerini F, Mari D, et al. Impact of vitamin D receptor polymorphisms in centenarians. Endocrine.

(2016) Oldoni E, Fumagalli GG, Serpente M, Mari D, et al. PRNP P39L Variant is a Rare Cause of Frontotemporal Dementia in Italian Population. Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD, 50(2).

(2015) Hovath S, Pirazzini C, Bacalini MG, Mari D, et al. Decreased epigenetic age of PBMCs from Italian semi-supercentenarians and their offspring. Aging, 7(12).


Awards and prizes

Daniela Mari obtained a grant from the MIUR, the Ministry of Health and the Lombardy Region for studies on haemostasis, the genetics of aging and longevity. Since 2010  she has been a member of the Regional table for the appropriateness in Medicine and of the "Fundamental Group" Regional Technical Table of the Directorate General for Health of the Lombardy Region. In 2012 she received the position of "Scientific Expert" of the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche for the review of research projects. Since 2013 she has been member of the register of auditors for the evaluation of ministerial programs and research products (ANVUR), since the same year she is part of the European Commission's Action-Group A3 “European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Aging: Action For Prevention Of Functional Decline And Frailty ”. Daniela Mari is also a partner in the European study: MID- FRAIL Study FP7-Health 2011.














Luisa Donatella Marini

STEM area: Mathematics

Competences: mathematics for scientific computing

Keywords: elasticity, electromagnetism, finite elements, fluid dynamics, numerical methods for partial differential equations, plate bending, semiconductor devices, virtual elements

Region: Lombardy


Full Professor of Numerical Analysis at the University of Pavia

Professional career

After graduating in Mathematics at the University of Pavia in 1970 she has been fellow first, and then Researcher of C.N.R. at the Istituto di Analisi Numerica in Pavia (now IMATI-CNR) from 1973 to 1990.  Since 1990 she is Full Professor of Numerical Analysis, at the Faculty of Science of the University of Genova until 1993, and then at the Engineering Faculty of the University of Pavia.

Scientific results

The field of interest of Luisa Donatella Marini is, generally speaking, the analysis of numerical schemes for the solution of elliptic partial differential equations (of second and fourth order) by means of different kinds of finite element methods: conforming, non-conforming, hybrid, mixed, and equilibrium. More specifically, she applied finite element techniques for the treatment of problems coming from various applications: semiconductor device simulation, electromagnetism, fluid-dynamics, structural mechanics. Particular emphasis was given to the approximation of non-coercive problems, which lead to develop various techniques for stabilizing Galerkin formulations, for applications to domain decomposition methods with non-matching grids, and to advection dominated problems. In the last decade she was particularly interested in developing and analyzing schemes based on Discontinuous Galerkin methods, for the discretization of various applied problems, such as Darcy flows, advection-diffusion problems, and Reissner-Mindlin model for plate problems. The more recent production is devoted to a new technique, the Virtual Element Method, for the discretization of Pde's  with applications.


Editorial work and publications

L. Donatella Marini serves or has served as Associate Editor of various journals:  SISC (SIAM Journal on Scientific and Statistical Computing) from 1988 to 1993,  CMAME (Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering) since 2001,  IMA Journal of Numerical Analysis, since 2017, the Italian Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics since 2008, and is member of the Advisory Board of CAMES (Computer Assisted Methods in Engineering and Sciences) since 2014.  She is also reviewer for other numerous important international journals, and evaluator for national and international proposals.

She authored over 100 publications on international journals. Several of her journal articles are among the most cited in mathematics. Below five selected publications. For a complete list I refer to my webpage:

[2002] Unified analysis of Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for Elliptic Problems. SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis, 39(5):1749-1779 (with Arnold DN, Brezzi F, Cockburn B). 

[1985] Marini LD. Two families of mixed finite elements for second order elliptic problems. Journal of Numerical Mathematics, 47:217-235 (with Brezzi F, Douglas J jr.,).

[2013] Basic principles of Virtual Element Methods. Mathematical Models and Methods in Applied Sciences, 23(1):199-214 (with Beirão da Veiga L, Brezzi F, Cangiani A, Manzini G, Russo A.). 

[2013]Virtual Elements for linear elasticity problems, SIAM J. Numer. Anal. 51(2):794-812 (with  Beirão da Veiga L, Brezzi F).

[2014] The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Virtual Element Method, Math. Models Methods. Appl. Sci. 24(8):1541-1573 (with Beirão da Veiga L, Brezzi F, Russo A).

Awards and prizes

She was awarded the Turner-Kirk Distinguished Visiting Fellowship for the GCS programme at the Isaac Newton Institute (Cambridge, UK), July-December 2019, is Member of the scientific committee of the 20th International Conference on Finite Elements in Flow Problems (FEF 2019, Chicago), is representative of SIMAI (The Italian Society of Applied and Industrial Mathematics) in the General Assembly and Managing Board of the European Community on Computational Methods in Applied Sciences (ECCOMAS) since 2014,  has been Chair of the committee for the ICIAM (The International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics)  Collatz prize in 2015. In 2010 she was elected a member of the European Academy of Science (EURASC), where she also serves as a member of the scientific committee of the Division of Mathematics (March 2018-March 2021). She has been member of the Committee for PhD programs at the University of Pavia from 1999 to 2009, and then Director of the Doctoral School of  “Scienze e Tecnologie A. Volta” of the University of Pavia from 2009 to 2013. In 2012 she delivered the inaugural lecture for the opening of the academic year at the University of Pavia.

Maria Marsella

STEM area: Natural and environmental sciences

Competences: geodesy, geology, geomatics, volcanology

Keywords: hydrogeological risk, natural risks, territory, volcanology

Region: Lazio


Associate Professor of Geodesy and Geomatics in the degree courses in Civil Engineering, Safety and Civil Protection and Aerospace at the University of Rome La Sapienza. CEO of SurveyLAb srl.

Professional career

After graduating in Physics in 1987 with a thesis on the LAGEOS satellite mission for the study of Earth’s crust movements in the Mediterranean Area, she continued her education with a PhD in Geodetic and Topographical Sciences at the University of Bologna, discussing a thesis on Spatial Geodesy Techniques (SLR and GPS) applied to the Study of Deformations. In 1992 she became a researcher at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. From 2003 to 2005 she was Visiting Scientist at the USGS in Reston (Virginia), where she worked on projects for the integration of GPS/INS data for the georeferencing of data acquired through aerial surveys. Since 2001 she is associate professor at the Faculty of Civil and Industrial Engineering of the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (qualified as Ordinary since 2012). During her academic career she taught Higher Education courses on Image Analysis Remote Sensing Techniques and GIS and on Aerial survey techniques for natural disasters and was a member of the Teaching Board of the PhD in Geoinformation of the University of Tor Vergata. She currently participates in the PhD in Infrastructure and Transport Engineering of Sapienza University.

In 2008 she founded the spin-off of Sapienza Survey Lab dedicated to the development of innovative systems for the control of the territory and civil infrastructures using in situ sensors and satellite observations (GNSS and DInSAR). He is currently CEO of Survey Lab.

Scientific results

Maria Marsella's main activity is research on geodetic and geomatic techniques for land monitoring and civil infrastructure protection. She is an expert in the acquisition and processing of earth observation data with optical and SAR sensors and spatial geodesy data.She carried out studies and research for the development of interpretative and forecasting models in areas subject to hydrogeological risk and in active volcanic areas, basing on the integration of aerial and satellite remote sensing data with in situ measurements.She coordinated numerous research projects funded by national bodies such as the MIUR, the Italian Space Agency, the Civil Protection Department of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, and European projects under the EU programs FP7 and H2020.


Editorial work and publications

She is author of more than one hundred publications, including:

(2016) Scifoni S, Bonano M, Marsella M, Sonnessa A, Tagliafierro V, Manunta M. On the joint exploitation of long-term DInSAR time series and geological information for the investigation of ground settlements in the town of Roma (Italy). Remote Sensing of Environment, 182:113-127 3.

(2015) Palenzuela JA, Marsella M, Nardinocchi C, Pérez JL, Fernández T. Landslide detection and inventory by integrating LiDAR data in a GIS environment. Landslides, 12(6):1035-1050,9.

(2015) Marsella M, D’Aranno PJV, Scifoni S, Sonnessa A, Corsetti M. Terrestrial laser scanning survey in support of unstable slopes analysis: the case of Vulcano Island (Italy). Natural Hazards, 78(1):443-459,5.

(2012) Marsella M, Baldi P, Coltelli M, Fabris M.The morphological evolution of the Sciara del Fuoco since 1868: reconstructing the effusive activity at Stromboli volcano. Bulletin of Volcanology, 74,1:231-248.

(2009) Proietti C, Coltelli M, Marsella M, Fujita E. A quantitative approach for evaluating lava flow simulation reliability: LavaSIM code applied to the 2001 Etna eruption. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems,10,9.

(2008) Manunta M, Marsella M, Zeni G, Sciotti M, Atzori S, Lanari R. Two-scale surface deformation analysis using the SBAS-DInSAR technique: a case study of the city of Rome Italy.International Journal of Remote Sensing, 29,6:1665-1684.

(2008) Baldi P, Coltelli M, Fabris M, Marsella M, Tommasi P. High precision photogrammetry for monitoring the evolution of the NW flank of Stromboli volcano during and after the 2002-2003 eruption. Bulletin of Volcanology, 70,6:703-715.

(2007) Vicari A, Herault A, Del Negro C, Coltelli M, Marsella M, Proietti C. Modeling of the 2001 lava flow at Etna volcano by a cellular automata approach. Environmental Modelling & Software, 22,10:1465-1471.

(2005) Baldi P, Fabris M, Marsella M, Monticelli R. Monitoring the morphological evolution of the Sciara del Fuoco during the 2002 - 2003 Stromboli eruption using multi-temporal photogrammetry. ISPRS, Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 59,4:199-211.

(2002) Baldi P, Bonvalot S, Briole P, Coltelli M, Gwinner K, Marsella M, Puglisi G, Remy D. Validation and comparison of different techniques for the derivation of digital elevation models and volcanic monitoring (Vulcano Island Italy). International Journal of Remote Sensing, 23,22:4783-4800.


Awards and prizes

In 2017 she was called to join the Scientific Technical Committee for the Government Commissioner for the rebuilding in the territories affected by the 24 August 2016 earthquake at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. In March 2016 Survey Lab, of which she was CEO, won the H2020 SME Instrument-Phase II-Space Call with the IMODI project (Monitoring by using satellites the stability of buildings and infrastructure). From 2011 to 2014 she was an expert for the Research Quality Assessment (VQR-ANVUR). Between 2002 and 2013 she was an expert evaluator of projects for the Aeronautics and Space Call of the European Commission's FP6 and FP7 framework programmes for technological development. In 2002 and 2003 and again in 2017 she collaborated with the National Civil Protection Department for the management of the Stromboli Emergencies 2002-03 and 2017. She is a member of the Management Board of the Aerospace Research Center of Sapienza (CRAS).


Mirella Mastretti

STEM area: Computer science

Competences: artificial intelligence, computer technology, cybernetic physics, electronics, mathematical modeling, network engineering

Keywords: big data, cybernetics, innovation, management, nanotechnologies, SMEs, strategy, women

Region: Lombardy


Member of the Board of Directors of "Azienda Farmacie Comunali" of Cornaredo (Milano) 

Mathematics and computer science professor 

Founding partner and vice-President of an association to support female entrepreneurship (SMEs and startups) 

Innovation ambassadress

Professional career

 After the graduation in computer science, under the guidance of Prof. Giovanni degli Antoni, she continues her studies with a specialization in cybernetics / artificial intelligence and electronic systems engineering. Since 1989 she has been a researcher at the Central Research Laboratory of an important and innovative Italian telecommunications company. Then she started her contribution to some international standardization committees, in particular the one related to the VHDL language. Since 1993 she has been manager of R&D projects on areas related to logical synthesis automation tools, using expert systems, neural networks, fuzzy logic and project coordinator, in an international context, for the research and application of video encoding and decoding algorithms. Since 2000 she has been responsible for Multimedia Content Delivery projects and Network Architectures. In 2013 he coordinated activities related to telemedicine and energy saving for the smart city in collaboration with Monzino and Milano Ricerche Cardiology Center. In 2014 she won a public selection for titles for a Collaboration with the University of Milan at the Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences. In 2013 she founded, with a group of colleagues, an association of women (Talent4Rise, which, under her direction, would become a founding member of the Triulza Foundation, civil society pavillon for EXPO2015). The aim is to provide visibility to female STEM talents. She held the position of Chairwoman and member of the General Council of the Triulza Foundation until 2016. Next she was appointed Chairwoman Emerita and Vice President and, during the same period, she was appointed as Strategic Marketing Director for an ICT company. Since 2014 she has been a member of the Board of Directors of an in-house company of a municipality in the Milan hinterland that groups together local pharmacies.

Scientific results

For about 30 years Mirella Mastretti has been dealing with innovative areas both as a researcher and a teacher of advanced training, and as manager in academia, civil society and ICT companies contexts. Her activities involved the coordination of funded projects at national and international level. Member of international scientific and standardization committees, she contributed to the VHDL language definition, to original logical synthesis tools (patented) implementation and to innovative algorithms for audio/video, AI (Artificial Intelligence) applications and neural networks. 

She always managed projects and opportunities to liven up the debate on innovation in health and life-science, the role of science and technology in the society, with particular focus on methods, tools and technologies, to ensure a good quality of life and assistance for chronic or elderly people and for inclusive training; all this has been carried out in a context of "sharing economy" that sees the collaboration between companies, the academic world and the third sector

Editorial work and publications

Some papers
 [1990] Antoniazzi S., Mastretti M. An Interactive Environment for Hardware/Software System Design at the Specification Level. Microprocessing and Microprogramming, vol. 30.
 [1991] Antoniazzi S., Mastretti M. An Architectural Design Support Environment for High- Performance Digital Systems. Microprocessing and Microprogramming, vol.32.
 [1995] Mastretti M., Sturlesi M. Tomasello S. Static Analysis of VHDL Code: Simulation Efficiency and Complexity. Proceedings VHDL: Champions of the Second Generation, San Diego, California.
 [1996] Mastretti M., Sturlesi M., Tomasello S. Quality Measures and Analysis: A Way to improve VHDL Models, Hardware Component Modeling. Kluwer Academic Publisher.
 [1998] Mastretti M., Paolillo E., Di Bello P., Mercandalli D. Technologies for the Information Society, Developments and Opportunities, IOS Press.
 [1999] Boscolo M., Mastretti M., Paolillo E. Technology as the Catalyst of Users' Acceptance in Electronic Commerce. Flexible Working, New Network Technologies, pp. 121-132.
 [1996] M. Mastretti, Current Issues in Electronic Modeling. Kluwer Academic Publisher
[2015] M. Mastretti, Best Practices for EXPO2015: Tecniche Nuove 
[2016] M. Mastretti, Impresa che funziona - come finanziare ricerca e innovazione con i fondi pubblici -  Sandit.

Awards and prizes

"Milano Ricerche" Award 1989 -  Lombardy Region Project Award (SURE - SMAU Milano 2012) -  Milan Chamber of Commerce Award (Rise2Up 2014) -  Appointment to "digital champion", ambassadress of innovation, by Riccardo Luna, on behalf of the Italian Prime Minister (2015) - Appointment of President Emeritus of T4R (2016) 

Barbara Mazzolai

STEM area: Engineering

Competences: biorobotics, robotic engineering

Keywords: bio-inspired engineering, robot

Region: Tuscany


Coordinator of the Micro-BioRobotics Center (CMBR) in Pontedera, at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) of Genoa, and Vice Director with responsibility for the operation of the IIT Network Centers.


Professional career

After graduating in Biological Sciences at the University of Pisa in 1995, she joined the Biophysics Institute of the National Research Council (CNR), where she worked on environmental issues and in particular on mercury pollution. From 1997 to 1998 she attended a master in Environmental Management and Control (EMAS) at the Sant’Anna High School in Pisa (SSSA), with an internship at the Office for Foreign Risks of Civil Responsibility and Accidents, of Assicurazioni Generali SpA of Trieste. The following year she was a research assistant at the Research Center in Microengineering (CRIM Lab) of the Sant'Anna High School in Pisa, a position she held until 2004. From the same year until 2009 she was a Biomedical Engineering Researcher at the same Sant’Anna High School. In November 2009 she became Team Leader at the Micro Bio-Robotics Center in Pontedera of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa, and in February 2011 she was appointed Coordinator. In 2011 she obtained a research doctorate in Microsystems Engineering at the Tor Vergata University of Rome.


Scientific results

Barbara Mazzolai’s research field is soft and bioinspired robotics, an evolution of robotics that involves the use of non-rigid materials inspired by the living world, in particular invertebrate animals and plants. During her time at the CRIM Lab of the Sant'Anna High School, she founded a new research area specifically dedicated to microtechnologies and robotics applicable to the environment and agri-food, playing the role of project manager of European projects such as Octopus, aimed at developing a soft robot inspired by Octopus vulgaris, and DustBot, a network of autonomous robots that can be used to collect door-to-door waste and improve urban hygiene. Arriving at the head of IIT's Micro Bio-Robotics Center, she founded a new research line in the field of bio-inspired robotics and soft robotics called "Plantoid", which aims at the realization for the first time in the world of robots inspired by movements, to the sensorial and communication skills of plants and their roots for soil exploration and environmental monitoring.



Editorial work and publications

Barbara Mazzolai is a member of the editorial group of various scientific journals, including Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Soft Robotics, Biomimetics, Robotics & Automation Letters, Frontiers in Bionics and Biomimetics, Micro-BioRobotics.

She is the author of numerous publications in international scientific journals, such as:

(2016) Laschi C, Mazzolai B, Cianchetti M. Soft robotics: Technologies and systems pushing the boundaries of robot abilities. Science Robotics, 1:(1). 

(2016) Larson C, Peele B, Li S, Robinson S, Totaro M, Beccai L, Mazzolai B, Shepherd R. Highly stretchable electroluminescent skin for optical signaling and tactile sensing. Science, 351(6277): 1071-1074. 

(2016) Argiolas A, Puleo GL, Sinibaldi E, Mazzolai B. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants. Scientific Reports, 6. 

(2016) Mazzolai B, Mattoli V. Robotics: Generation soft. Nature, 536 (7617), 400-401.

(2014) Sadeghi A, Tonazzini A, Popova L, Mazzolai B. A Novel Growing Device Inspired by Plant Root Soil Penetration Behaviors. PLoS ONE, 9:(2). 

(2014) Sinibaldi E, Argiolas A, Puleo GL, Mazzolai B. Another lesson from plants: the forward osmosis-based actuator. PLoS ONE, 9(7): e102461. 

(2014) Tramacere F, Kovalev A, Kleinteich T, Gorb SN, Mazzolai B. Structure and mechanical properties of Octopus vulgaris suckers. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 11: 91, 20130816. 

(2013) Tramacere F, Beccai L, Kuba M, Gozzi A, Bifone A, Mazzolai B. The Morphology and Adhesion Mechanism of Octopus vulgaris suckers. PLoS ONE, 8(6): e65074. 

(2012) Mazzolai B, Margheri L, Cianchetti M, Dario P, Laschi C. Soft robotic arm inspired by the octopus. II. From artificial requirements to innovative technological solutions. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 7 025005. 

(2011) Mazzolai B, Mondini A, Corradi P, Laschi C, Mattoli V, Sinibaldi E, Dario P. A Miniaturized Mechatronic System Inspired by Plant Roots. IEEE Transaction on Mechatronics, 16(2), 201-212

Awards and prizes

In 2010 Barbara Mazzolai received the "Marisa Bellisario" award for the scientific and management activity of the "DustBot" project, in 2013 she was awarded the Pio Manzù Prize with the Medal of the Senate of the Italian Republic for her commitment as a scientist for the creation of technologies that open new paths to sustainable development. In 2015 she received, for the same reasons, the Genoa international award: a woman out of the chorus.






Hila Meller

STEM area: Computer science

Competences: cybersecurity

Keywords: cloud, cybersecurity, identity management, support women in tech

Region: Lombardy


Vice President, Security Europe, BT (British Telecom)

Professional career

Hila has a bachelor degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Bar Ilan University and an MBA in High Tech and innovation from the Technion institute.

2003 - 2008 She worked at Avnet Information Security in many different roles, the last one as Vice President Products and Services. 

In 2008 she worked at the start-up Eurekify as Vice President EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa).

2009 - 2015 She worked at CA Technologies initially covering the role of Solutions Sales  Director EMEA and later that of Head of Security Strategy EMEA.

2016 - 2018 She worked at HP Enterprise Security Services as Head of South Europe.

In March 2018 she joined BT to lead a pan-European team of Security experts that are tasked with protecting some of the most important and complex organizations globally against the changing and evolving cyber threats.


Scientific results

Hila Meller has developed a significant experience along the years applying methods of Cyber Security both in military and defence environments as well as in the commercial and civilian space.

She is recognized as one of the first pioneering experts of Security for ERP systems, acting as a special Security advisor for more than 30 projects.

She developed a significant experience in the area of Identity and Access Management, contributing to the creation of a start-up which was later acquired by CA Technologies.


In BT she gained additional experience related to Cyber Intelligence use cases and the application of Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security scenarios.


She is often invited to attend as keynote speaker at Information Technology conferences and trade exhibitions. Some past examples include: RSA Conference in San Francicso, Kuppinger Cole EIC conference in Munich, Cyberweek in Tel Aviv, Security summit in Milan  and Forum PA in Romea.


Editorial work and publications

Webinar - global security roundtable: perspectives, threats and risks per region 

Masterclass: how to address risk and master security in 2019


Blog/ Article - Don’t let security cloud your views on digital transformation

Foreign Spies and Facebook: The Undeniable Truth

The Day After Tomorrow: Security Challenges of the Future

Awards and prizes

2005 – Security Project of the year. The people magazine

Deny Menghini

STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: developmental neuropsychology

Keywords: developmental disorders, dyslexia, dyslexia therapy, genetic syndromes, language, learning

Region: Lazio


From 2010, she has a permanent contract as Psychologist and Psychotherapist at the Child Neuropsychiatric Unit of the Scientific Institute for Research and Healthcare Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital.

Professional career

After her Master Degree in Developmental Psychology and Education at “La Sapienza” in Rome, she attended a Diploma Course in Psychopathology of Learning at the University of San Marino. Since 1998, she has been carrying out clinical and research activities at the Scientific Institute for Research and Healthcare Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital. In 2004, she got a Ph.D in Cognitive Science and Rehabilitation. In 2016 she took a postgraduate diploma in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and in 2018, she got a national qualification as Full Professor in General Psychology, Psychobiology, and Psychometry.

Scientific results

Her field of interests concerns the link between behavior and brain in several neurodevelopmental disorders, such as specific learning disorders, language disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and intellectual disabilities. She is now coordinating a research team on the study of innovative rehabilitative perspectives as the use of non-invasive brain stimulation for neurodevelopmental disorders.  She has produced over than sixty peer-reviewed publications, several books and chapters for the neuropsychological assessment of children with neurodevelopmental disorders

Editorial work and publications

Costanzo F, Rossi S, Varuzza C, Varvara P, Vicari S, Menghini D. Long-lasting improvement following tDCS treatment combined with a training for reading in children and adolescents with dyslexia. Neuropsychologia. 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.03.016.

Menghini D, Armando M, Calcagni M, Napolitano C, Pasqualetti P, Sergeant JA, Pani P, Vicari S. The influence of Generalized Anxiety Disorder on Executive Functions in children with ADHD. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2018;268(4):349-357.

Costanzo F, Menghini D, Casula L, Amendola A, Mazzone L, Valeri G, Vicari S.Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Treatment in an Adolescent with Autism and Drug-Resistant Catatonia. Brain Stimul. 2015; 8(6):1233-5.

Menghini D, Finzi A, Benassi M, Bolzani R, Facoetti A, Giovagnoli S, Ruffino M, Vicari S. Different underlying neurocognitive deficits in developmental dyslexia: a comparative study. Neuropsychologia. 2010;48(4):863-72.

Menghini D, Hagberg GE, Caltagirone C, Petrosini L, Vicari S. Implicit learning deficits in dyslexic adults: an fMRI study. Neuroimage. 2006;33(4):1218-26.


Awards and prizes

In 1998, she obtained the Fellowship Award granted by Pio Sodalizio dei Piceni (Rome).In 2010, she won a Grant by the Foundation Jerome Lejeune for studying the cerebral correlates of Down Syndrome. In 2012, she was funded by the Ministry of Health (Young Italian Researchers Grant) for studying innovative therapeutic approaches in neurodevelopmental disorders.

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.

Maria Vittoria Micioni Di Bonaventura

STEM area: Clinical sciences and nutrition science

Competences: behavioural pharmacology

Keywords: anorexia, bulimia, eating disorders, obesity

Region: Marche


Researcher in Pharmacology, University of Camerino

Professional career

Dr.  Micioni Di Bonaventura graduated at the University of Camerino (MC), Italy in 2008 with a degree in Pharmacy. She was awarded her Ph.D. in Chemical, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biotechnology from the University of Camerino in 2012, after working one year at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. She received her postdoctoral training at University of Zurich, at University of Camerino and at Department of Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.

Dr. Micioni Di Bonaventura is currently a Researcher in Pharmacology at University of Camerino.

Scientific results

The main research interests of Maria Vittoria Micioni Di Bonaventura focus on the study of eating disorders. During her PhD, she worked on behavioral pharmacology to develop a new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of binge eating episodes. Binge eating is a central feature of many eating disorders, including bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and anorexia nervosa binge/purge subtype, characterized by compulsive consumption of a large quantity of palatable food in a short period of time. The aim of these studies is to elucidate how caloric restrictions and stress may contribute to the generation and maintenance of an eating disorder, testing several compounds in a preclinical model. One of the main target of Maria Vittoria Micioni Di Bonaventura is to identify the triggering causes of these disorders in order to develop an effective drug therapy. Her latest research project is focused on the development of a new pharmacological approach to treat obesity and bingeing-related eating disorders, studying the role of the adenosine: an important modulator in the central and peripheral nervous system.

Editorial work and publications

Author of several scientific publications including:

1) Pucci M, Micioni Di Bonaventura MV, Zaplatic E, Bellia F, Maccarrone M, Cifani C, D'Addario C.Transcriptional regulation of the endocannabinoid system in a rat model of binge-eating behavior reveals a selective modulation of the hypothalamic fatty acid amide hydrolase gene. Int J Eat Disord. 2018 Dec 22.

2) Micioni Di Bonaventura MV, Ubaldi M, Giusepponi ME, Rice KC, Massi M, Ciccocioppo R, Cifani. Hypothalamic CRF1 receptor mechanisms are not sufficient to account for binge-like palatable food consumption in female rats. C.Int J Eat Disord. 2017;50(10):1194-1204.

3) Micioni Di Bonaventura MV, Lutz TA, Romano A, Pucci M, Geary N, Asarian L, Cifani C. Estrogenic suppression of binge-like eating elicited by cyclic food restriction and frustrative-nonreward stress in female rats.Int J Eat Disord. 2017;50(6):624-635.

4) D'Addario C, Micioni Di Bonaventura MV, Pucci M, Romano A, Gaetani S, Ciccocioppo R, Cifani C, Maccarrone M. Endocannabinoid signaling and food addiction. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014;47:203-24.

5) Micioni Di Bonaventura MV, Ciccocioppo R, Romano A, Bossert JM, Rice KC, Ubaldi M, St Laurent R, Gaetani S, Massi M, Shaham Y, Cifani C. Role of bed nucleus of the stria terminalis corticotrophin-releasing factor receptors in frustration stress-induced binge-like palatable food consumption in female rats with a history of food restriction.J Neurosci. 2014;34(34):11316-24.

Awards and prizes

Maria Vittoria Micioni Di Bonaventura academic career was recognized by numerous awards:

2013 Farmindustria - Italian Society of Pharmacology Award for the scientific production in pharmacology.

2014 three travel awards: at XII International Summer School of Neuroscience "Dopamine", Federation of European Pharmacological Societies (EPHAR), Italian Society of Pharmacology (SIF), Italian Society of Neuropsychopharmacology (SINPF); at FENS (Federations of European Neuroscience Societies)  at the ECNP (European College of Neuropsychopharmacology) Workshop for Junior Scientists in Europe, Nice (France).

2014 She was selected for the IBRO (International Brain Research Organization): InEurope Short Stay Program at University of Zurich to investigate the influence of ovarian hormones mechanisms on binge eating episodes.

2015 EBPS Travel Award for Joint Meeting EBPS (European Behavioural Pharmacology Society)-EBBS (European Brain and Behaviour Society) for the results obtained during the research period in Zurich. IBRO PERC-FENS World Congress Travel Grants FOR  9th World Congress of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO),for the findings presented during the congress on the role of adenosine in the control of episodes of binge eating.

2016 L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science

2017 Italian Society of Pharmacology - Merck Sharp Dohme corporation award for best 5 research pharmacological projects.






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.


Chiara Montanari

STEM area: Engineering

Competences: alternative energies, applied complexity, diversity management, extreme project management, leadership, logistics, project management, sustainability, systemic design, team management

Keywords: alternative energies, antarctica, complex projects, digital technologies, expedition to Antarctica, explorer, innovation, management, strategy, sustainability

Region: Lazio


Interface Manager at Cherenkov Array Telescope. First Italian Woman to lead an expedition to Antarctica. Expert of leadership & extreme project management.

Professional career

She holds a master degree in Civil engineering (university of Pisa, Italy) and a MBA at MIP (Graduate School of Business of Politecnico di Milano). From 2002 to 2008 she had been working as Energy Manager and Interface Manager at PNRA (National Italian Programme for Antarctic Research), where she had been developing sustainability strategies and operations for the scientific missions to Antarctica.

From 2008 to 2010 she had been appointed twice as Expedition leader at the Italian and French Antarctic research Station Concordia. In 2013, she is back to Antarctica as Head of Logistics fro the French Institute IPEV. In 2015 She had been appointed again Expedition Leader at the Belgian research Station Princess Elizabeth (first Zero Emission Building in Antarctica). 

Besides Polar missions, she had been working in different organisational domains: Innovation & Digital Broadcast Industry in United Kingdom, Sustainability strategies in Italy, and more recently in developing partnership for innovation between China and Italy.


She funded Complexity Aware, a consultancy company for the enterprises interested into the so called  “Antarctic mindset”, namely the capability to cope (and to prosper) under the pressure of uncertainties: “Under the pressure of extreme environment you can’t afford neither to be worried nor to be wrong; instead, you must quickly learn how to be effective and overcome difficulties!” 



She currently work as consultant for companies and as Interface Manager at Cherenkov Array Telescope gGmbH.

Scientific results

In her 5 mission to Antarctica (she can be defined an explorer of sec.), Chiara Montanari managed all scientific and logistic activities, including emergency operations and media relationships. A mission to Antarctica is a huge investment from the government to deliver innovation and research programmes in complex situations and hard environment.

Due to her skills in leadership and management, despite the high risks of  these operations,  she successfully completed each mission and all the expected results for their programme.  Particularly, 

she managed several times the operations in one of the most extreme place on earth (Concordia station is settled on the Antarctic Plateau, at 4000 m altitude and temperatures between -50°C in summer and -80°C in winter, and the team is made of 70 people in a multidisciplinary-multicultural environment). Furthermore, she had been acknowledged by the Belgium government for the diplomacy and the effectiveness of the Belgian mission, where she faced the unexpected event of a sabotage at the arrival.


On the basis of these experiences and her research in organisational theories, she funded Complexity Aware, a consultancy company for the enterprises interested into the so called  “Antarctic mindset”(a methodology on negotiations and adaptive problem solving), and she is currently working as consultant.


Editorial work and publications

In 2015 she published the  book “Chronicles from the ice, 90 days in Antarctica” (Mondadori), in which she proposed the extreme ecosystem of Antarctica as a metaphor for the current business world, namely, coping with continuous changes, high risks and tremendous uncertainty.

Awards and prizes

First Italian Woman to lead an expedition to Antarctica. 

In 2014 she had been awarded by the city of Milan with “Ambrogino d’oro” (civic medal) for her engagement in boosting Technological Transfer, Entrepreneurship and Innovation .

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.

Maria Concetta Morrone

STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: neurology

Keywords: eyes, numerical perception, time perception, visual system

Region: Tuscany


Professor of Human Physiology University of Pisa

Professional career

Maria Concetta Morrone graduated in Physics from the University of Pisa in 1977 and trained in Biophysics at the elite Scuola Normale Superiore(sister University to the Ecole Normalein Paris) from 1973 to 1980. Following research positions at the University of Western Australia, the Scuola Normale Superioreand the CNR Institute of Neuroscience in Pisa, she was appointed Professor of Psychophysiology in the Faculty of Psychology at the Università Vita-salute San Raffaele(Milan) in 2000. From 2008 she is Professor of Physiology in the School of Medicine of the University of Pisa and Director of the Vision Laboratory of the IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, and from 2016 she is Academic Director of the inter-University Masters in Neuroscience.

During the course of her career, she has established three new laboratories in Perth, Pisa and Milan, all with state-of-the-art technology and all still active and productive. Her most recent venture has been to obtain funding for, and set up to full functionality, a new high-field 7T scanner in Pisa. She was a founding editor of the Journal of Vision,the first Open Access journal in Life Sciences and now the reference journal in vision science. She is Associate Editor of Journal of Neuroscienceand on the editorial board of several others. She recently retired as Chief Editor of the journal Multisensory Research, which she founded in 2010.

Scientific results

From an initial interest in biophysics and physiology, where she made many seminal contributions, she transitioned into psychophysics and visual perception, dedicating her career to the understanding of the functions supported by the mammalian visual system, where she has made many important contributions of fundamental significance for shaping the field. Her research involves the study of both humans and animals using a variety of techniques, including psychophysics, electrophysiology, functional brain imaging, computational modeling and artificial intelligence. The simultaneous mastery of all these techniques has made it possible to tackle a wide spectrum of topics, approaching each problem from a different perspective in a truly interdisciplinary manner.

Below is a brief (by no means exhaustive) summary of some of her major achievements:

Developmenthas been a long-standing theme throughout Concetta Morrone's career, characterized by many fundamental contributions, including the first measurements of inhibitory interactions in infants, the first demonstration of the relatively late developments of color mechanisms  and, most recently, MRI recordings of MT responses to motion signals in young (8-week-old) infants.

Visual MotionConcetta Morrone co-designed an influential model of motion perception, among the first to employ the concept of spatiotemporal receptive fields to explain many visual phenomena. She reported the first evidence for optic flow detectors in humans, and went on to demonstrate, using MRI, that optic flow is encoded within a motion-sensitive area distinct from the area selective for linear motion. More recently, she has provided both psychophysical and MRI evidence for spatiotopic selectivity of motion – a controversial finding, but to date confirmed.

Feature detectionConcetta devised one of the major computational models of feature detection. This model has served successfully as a conceptual tool for explaining mammalian perception, as well as a technical tool for computer vision applications. She has followed this work with imaging studies, identifying the areas involved in supporting the computations carried out by this model.

Visual stability during saccadesConcetta Morrone is world-renowned for her work on vision during saccades, showing that the magnocellular system is selectively suppressed during saccades, and that space and time are both compressed. This extensive and ground-breaking series of studies has greatly expanded our understanding of visual stability in the face of saccadic eye movements, and more generally spatial vision.

Adult Neural PlasticityConcetta Morrone’s latest line of research, for which she has received funding from the prestigious ERC grant programme, is to look at neural plasticity in the adult brain. Her laboratory has demonstrated that short-term monocular deprivation (only 2.5 hours) drastically changes the dynamics of binocular rivalry in favor of the deprived eye , and that this process is mediated by GABAergic mechanisms. This new technique has enabled her laboratory to probe plasticity in adult humans, and may provide new treatments for amblyopia. Concetta is also studying the importance of plasticity for successful outcomes in retinal implants.

OtherConcetta Mrrone’s scientific interests have always been broad. Besides her main themes, she has been active in multisensory research and the perception of time, and her recent interest is oscillations in perceptual performance, and how they may contribute to visuomotor coordination and saccadic suppression.

Editorial work and publications

Concetta Morrone has published >180 scientific articles in excellent international peer-reviewed journals like the Naturecluster, Neuron, Current Biology, Trends in Neurosciences, PLoSand Journal of Neuroscience,as well as dozens in archival specialized journals like Vision Researchand Journal of Vision.

(2015) Biagi L, Crespi SA, Tosetti M, Morrone MC. BOLD Response Selective to Flow-Motion in Very Young Infants. PLoS Biology, 13(9):e1002260. 
(2007) d'Avossa G, Tosetti M, Crespi D, Biagi L, Burr DC, Morrone MC. Spatiotopic selectivity of BOLD responses to visual motion in human area MT.Nature Neuroscience, 10(2):249-55. 
(2000) Morrone MC, Tosetti M, et al. A cortical area that responds specifically to optic flow, revealed by fMRI.Nature Neuroscience, 3:1322-1328. 
(1998) Neri P, Morrone MC, Burr DC. Seeing biological motion. Nature, 395(6705):894-6. 
(1997) Ross J, Morrone MC, Burr DC. Compression of visual space before saccades.Nature, 386(6625):598-601. 
(1995) Morrone MC, Burr DC, Vaina LM. Two stages of visual processing for radial and circular motion.Nature, 376(6540):507-9. 
(1994) Burr DC, Morrone MC, Ross J. Selective suppression of the magnocellular visual pathway during saccadic eye movements. Nature, 371(6497):511-3. 
(1988) Morrone MC, Burr DC. Feature detection in human vision: a phase-dependent energy model.Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 235(1280):221-45. 
(1986) Morrone MC, Ross J, Burr DC, Owens R. Mach bands are phase dependent. Nature, 324: 250-253 
(1986) Morrone MC, Burr DC. Evidence for the existence and development of visual inhibition in humans. Nature, 321(6067):235-7.


Awards and prizes

In 2014 Concetta was elected a member of the Accademia dei Lincei, the Italian equivalent of the American Academy of Science or the Royal Society of London. Other honors and prizes include the Campbell Awardfor Australian Neuroscience (1984), the National Prize for Physiopathologyfrom the Accademia dei Lincei(2002), the Perception Lecture(Budapest: 2004), and the Kofka Prize in Development and Perception(Giessen: 2011). In 2014 she was awarded an ERC-IDEA advanced grant, a distinction of excellence in Europe. In 2019 she was awarded the 2019 Ken Nakayama Medal for Excellence in Vision Science.



Paola Mosconi

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: life quality, methods of clinical research, transfer of scientific information

Keywords: empowerment and engagement della popolazione, health literacy, public health, transfer of scientific information

Region: Lombardy


Head of the “Laboratory for medical research and consumer involvement” of the Department of Public Health at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research IRCCS, the first private Italian foundation dedicated entirely to biomedical research.


Professional career

Paola Mosconi is a biological scientist (1982 University of Milano) with a postgraduate degree in Pharmacological Research (1984). She has been a researcher at the Mario Negri Institute IRCCS since 1982, in the Clinical Pharmacology and in Clinical Epidemiology fields.From the beginning of the nineties Paola Mosconi has coordinated several research projects on issues pertaining the involvement, empowerment and partnership of lay people, patients, and their representatives, in health care and outcome research.

She is one of the co-founders of the Italian Forum of EUROPA DONNA, she served as vice president and European delegate. At the present time she is president of Fondazione Nerina e Mario Mattioli Onlus for gynecological oncological research; member of the board of EUPATI Italia, Fondazione AIOM Italian Association of Medical Oncology, and member of Scientific Committee of Acto-Italian Alliance against ovarian cancer.

She has been a member of Italian Ethical Committees and has served in one as president.

She published more than 130 article in leading peer-review journals.


Scientific results

She has contributed to the development of research projects in citizen science area and public partnership in science and healthcare, in particular:

·         the development of methods and strategies to involve patients or consumer associations in health debate, and clinical research, such as consensus conference, jury of citizens, guidelines, ad hoc surveys on knowledge-attitudes-behavior and priorities of citizens and patients, registries of pathology

·         the organization of independent training for laypeople and patients on quality of information, and methodological aspects of clinical research

·         the design of studies evaluating the type of information on diseases and treatments received by patients, mainly for cancer patients; set-up of websites targeted on lay people and patients; development of decision aid/decision-making tools, development of leaflets for the general population

·         studies for evaluate the consumers’ level of satisfaction with the health services and cure

·         projects on the assessment of quality of life in randomised clinical trials or in epidemiological survey; translation and cultural adaptation of questionnaires for quality of life.

Thanks to her longstanding experience in research projects and training courses with general population and patient organizations, she is well placed to address issues related to how clinical research is important and how necessary it is to invest in increasing knowledge and awareness.

Editorial work and publications

(2017) Roberto A, Colombo Cinzia, Candiani G, Giordano L, Mantellini P, Paci E, Satolli R, Valenza M, Mosconi P. Personalised informed choice on evidence and controversy on mammography screening: protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Cancer, 17:429.

(2016) Mosconi P, Colombo C, Satolli R, Carzaniga S. Involving a citizens’ jury in decisions on individual screening for prostate cancer. PLOS One; 11: e0143176.

(2016) Mosconi P, Antes G, Barbareschi G, Burls A, Demotes-Mainard J, Chalmers I, Colombo C, Garattini S, et al. A European multi-language initiative to make the general population aware of independent clinical research: The European Communication on Research Awareness Need project. Trials, 17:19.

(2007) Mosconi P, Colombo C, Satolli R, Liberati A. PartecipaSalute, an Italian project to involve lay people, patients’ associations and scientific-medical representatives on the health debate. Health Expectations, 10: 194.

(1998) Apolone G, Mosconi P. The Italian SF-36 Health Survey: Translation, validation and norming. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 51: 1025.

Isabella Nova

STEM area: Engineering

Competences: catalysis, chemical engineering

Keywords: air pollution, catalysis, emissions, energy, energy sources, environment, fuels, nanotechnologies, patent emission reduction, renewable energies, technology, vehicle exhaust gases

Region: Lombardy


Professor of Industrial and Technological Chemistry at the Polytechnic of Milan

Professional career

She graduated in Chemical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, then continued her education with a Ph.D. in Industrial Chemistry in 1999 from University of Milan, and with a post doctorate at Politecnico di Milano. In 2002 she became assistant professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering of Politecnico di Milano. In 2007 she became an associate professor, while since 2008 she moved to the Department of Energy, where she is now a full professor.

Since 2018 she is coordinator of the degree program board for Chemical Engineering (Bachelor and Master level) and Ingegneria della Prevenzione e della Sicurezza nell’Industria di Processo (Master level) at Politecnico di Milano.

Since 2019 she is Vice Dean of the School of Industrial and Information Engineering at Politecnico di Milano.

Scientific results

Environmental catalytic processes and energy sources are among the main scientific interests of Isabella Nova. Specifically, she studies the catalytic technologies for the control of pollutant emissions from lean combustion exhaust gas, photo-electrochemical processes for the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen, and the conversion of carbon dioxide into fuels and chemicals.

She is currently working with Daimler AG (DE), MTU (DE), FPT (I), Johnson Matthey (UK), Polytechnic of Milan, and in EU-H2020 projects.

Editorial work and publications

She is author of more than 130 national and international scientific articles, of 4 international patents, co-editor of 6 special issues of Catalysis Today (Elsevier) and 1 book (Springer), co-author of more than 250 congress communications to conferences.

She was invited to present the results of her work to more than 20 national and international universities or research centers, and to act as a keynote or plenary speaker at more than 10 international conferences.

Scientific journal metrics – February 2019:

Research ID            

                                            H -index: 41                      Citation Index: 5117

Scopus ID               

                                            H-index: 44                       Citation Index: 6408

Google Scholar ID

                                            H-index: 51                       Citation Index: 8573

Awards and prizes

Her scientific work in the field of environmental catalysis has led to several awards, such as the invitation to give lectures to important international conferences and research centers of universities and international companies, the invitation to act as editor for several volumes dedicated to study of catalytic processes for the removal of polluted substances (Catalysis Today, Elsevier Ed.) and a book dedicated to SCR technology for the control of NOx emissions on board vehicles (Springer), to the participation in the Editorial Board of the magazine Applied Catalysis B: Environmental (Elsevier).

She also received some prizes, including the Young Scientists Prize in the 13th International Congress on Catalysis, in Paris (2004), the Glenn Award for the San Diego Meeting of the Fuel Chemistry Division (2005), the K-idea award from the Kilometro Rosso and the Energy award from Schneider Electric for the patent "Apparatus and process for reducing the content of nitrogen oxides in exhaust gases of combustion systems" (2009).

In 2018 she was included in the Inspiring 50 Italy list (



Elena Pacella

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: cellular pharmacology

Keywords: drugs, eye trauma, rare and degenerative diseases of the eyeball, retinal thrombosis

Region: Lazio


Lecturer at the University of Rome "Sapienza" of the degree course in Medicine and Surgery; "Sensory Organs Pathologies, Orthoptics and Ophthalmologic Assistance, and of the Specialization course: Ophthalmology; Otorhinolaryngology; Occupational Medicine.  Lecturer the Master: Medical-Legal Ophthalmology; Rino-allergology practice; Ophthalmic Surgery Assistance; New Techniques and Strategies of Visual Rehabilitation,  and the degree course Techniques of prevention in the environment and in the workplace at the Frosinone office. Lazio Region referent,of  ophthalmological diseases rare: RF0290, RF0300 and RN0090

Member of the Commission "Research and technological innovation" OMCeO Rome

Professional career

Degree in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Bari in 1988, specialization in Ophthalmology at the University "La Sapienza" of Rome in 1993.

1993/94: scholarship from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità for the fight against AIDS (Barcelona, ​​Spain) abroad for three years.

1996: graduated European Board of Ophthalmology.

Since 2011 she is associate professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Rome "Sapienza". Responsible for the UOD of the Ophthalmology Department of the Policlinico Umberto I. Researcher in the field of medical-surgical diseases Responsible for the educational path of the students of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and Medicine and Pharmacy and of the specialization in ophthalmology.

2017: training course for Policlinico Umberto I executives (Article 37 of Legislative Decree 81/08 and of the State and Autonomous Provinces of 21/12/2011)

2017: graduated in high-level training in Management issued pursuant to Article 3 paragraph 9 of the Italian Ministerial Decree of 22 October 2004 no. 270 and University Teaching Regulations.

Volunteering in Congo with the project: "prevention, diagnosis and treatment of blindness and low vision"; and in Tanzania "prevention, diagnosis and treatment of low vision" in children.

Referent CINECA research projects for the following journals: Clinical Ophthalmology Clinical Interventions in Aging, International Medical Case Reports Journal, Clinical Optometry, Patient Preference and Adherence, Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management

From 2013: founder and editorial board of the scientific magazine "Senses & Sciences" doi: 10.14616 / sands-2014-1-0102.

Since 2016: Board member of the scientific journal "La Clinica Terapeutica".

Volunteering in Congo with the project: "prevention, diagnosis and treatment of blindness and low vision"; and in Tanzania "prevention, diagnosis and treatment of low vision" in children.

Scientific results

To identify the pathophysiological mechanisms of retinal destructuring ("Study of the potential of Retinal Progenitor Cells for Transplantation in the Porcine Eye" IAPB 2009 project, Prot. 318 / U / 09); (Clinical NCT02257333) Retinal Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis "HEART VISION", Clinical Protocol CLAF237A23156 Vildagliptin), and of the subretinal devices ("Argus II" BIONIC EYE: THE PROJECT OF THE UMBERTO I - YouTube), to increase the visual capacity of partially sighted patients also with the implantation of intravitreal devices of slow-release cortisone in retinal diseases that do not respond to anti-VEGF.

The H-Index is 14

The total citations are 447

Editorial work and publications

She is author and co-author of numerous scientific articles, 69 of them in reviewed journals, abstracts and communications at national and international conferences, book chapters (including 5 international), including:

1. Pacella E, Vestri AR, Muscella R, Carbotti MR, Castellucci M, Coi L, Turchetti P, Pacella F.Preliminary results of an intravitrealdexamethasoneimplant (Ozurdex®) in patients with persistentdiabetic macular edema.ClinOphthalmol. 2013; 7: 1423-8. doi: 10.2147 / OPTH.S48364. Epub 2013 Jul 16.

2. Pacella F, La Torre G, Basili S, Autolitano M, Pascarella A, Lenzi T, Pacella E. Comparison between "early" or "late" intravitreal injection of dexamethasoneimplant in branch (BRVO) or central (CRVO) retinal veinocclusion: six -months follow-up. CutanOculToxicol. 2017 Sep; 36 (3): 224-230. doi: 10.1080 / 15569527.2016.1254648. Epub 2017 Jan 11.

3. Pacella E, Collini S, Pacella F, Piraino DC, Santamaria V, De Blasi RA Levobupivacaine Vs. racemic bupivacaine in peribulbar anaesthesia: a randomized double blind study in ophthalmic surgery. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2010 Jun; 14 (6): 539-44.

4. Pacella F, Romano MR, Turchetti P, Tarquini G, Carnovale A, Mollicone A, Mastromatteo A, Pacella E.Aneighteen-month follow-up study on the effects of IntravitrealDexamethasoneImplant in diabetic macular edema refractory to anti-VEGF therapy.Int J Ophthalmol. 2016 Oct 18; 9 (10): 1427-1432. eCollection 2016.

Awards and prizes

Among the many recognition received, Co-author of the poster: "IOL COMPLICATION". Winner of the 2nd prize at the V ° Intern. Congress. On Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Florence, June 1989.

Insigned to  the "Kallistos award" for scientific and medical research July 28, 2010.

Award: "Professionalism and Competence" "SAPIENTIA MUNDI" Foundation 9 June 2018

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.

Daniela Pantosti

STEM area: Natural and environmental sciences

Competences: earthquakes geology, paleoseismology

Keywords: active tectonics, earthquake, earthquakes, earthquakes geology, seismic hazard, tectonic geomorphology, tsunamis

Region: Lazio


Research Director at the Earthquake Department of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Rome headquarters.


Professional career

Soon after her Master Degree at the Rome University (1985) she obtains the license to practice as Geologist (1986) and a position at the Italian Geological Survey. Since 1987 she is researcher at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology of Rome where in 2000, she becomes a Research Director. She spends two years as visiting scientist at the United States Geological Service of Menlo Park in California: in 1991-1992 and 1997-1998. In 2013 she starts to serve the institute in the direction and Research management with specific positions of responsibility. Between 2013 and 2016 she is Director of the Section Seismology and Tectonophysics of Rome and between 2016 and 2018 she is Director of the Earthquake Department with responsibilities on the planning, development and audit of the department research activity. During the 2016 seismic sequence she coordinates the INGV Crisis Unit for the internal and external activities/duties to be accomplished during that delicate period.

Scientific results

The main objective of research of Daniela Pantosti is Earthquake Geology and Paleoseismology (study of the faults responsible for earthquakes and of the geological records of past earthquakes). These activities provide a relevant contribution to the assessment of seismic hazard and to land planning. These disciplines help to characterize the seismicity of a given region non the basis of the “footprints” left by the earthquakes of the past on the landscape and geology. These were totally new in Italy at the beginning of the 80s but, thanks to INGV, Daniela Pantosti was able to introduce and apply them in Italy too, for the first time on the Irpinia fault, responsible for the 1980 earthquake.

By observing and studying the active faults (that may produce earthquakes in the future) and their seismic behavior, is possible to develop models that describe the seismicity expected for the future in terms of space and time. These models provide strength to those models traditionally based on the historical and instrumental seismicity only and help a robust estimate of the seismic hazard. These studies improved also the awareness that the active faults intersect and break the Earth surface and thus, during an earthquake, these can represent a further danger, besides that related to the earthquake shaking, for the buildings where we live and work (etc.) or for the infrastructures that we benefit of.

Because of the promising results these studies have been performed in several parts of Italy and are becoming part of the scientific course of the seismic hazard evaluation. Because of a widespread interest in this field, Pantosti was responsible or participated in several national and international projects focussing on the definition of the seismic and tsunami hazard in Itali, in the Mediterranean, in California, in central and south America and in New Zealand.

Editorial work and publications

Daniela Pantosti was associated editor for several scienific jurnals as for example Tectonophysics, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Journal of Earthquake Engineering, Italian Journal of Geosciences. 

She co-authored more than 100 scientific publications, among these:


2018) Villani, F., Pucci, S., Civico, R., De Martini,P. M., Cinti, F. R., & Pantosti, D. (2018). Surface Faulting of the 30 October 2016 Mw 6.5 Central Italy Earthquake: Detailed Analysis of a Complex Coseismic Rupture, Tectonics, doi: 10.1029/2018TC005175

(2018) Cinti, F. R., Civico, R., Blumetti, A. M.,Chiarini, E., La Posta, E., Pantosti, D., et al. (2018). Evidence for surface faulting earthquakes on the Montereale fault system (Abruzzi Apennines, central Italy). Tectonics, 37, 2758–2776. .

(2017) Villani, F., L. Improta, S. Pucci, R. Civico, P.P.G. Bruno and D. Pantosti, (2017). Investigating the architecture of the Paganica Fault (2009 Mw 6.1earthquake, central Italy) by integrating high-resolution multiscale refraction tomography and detailed geological mapping, Geophys.J. Int.(2017) 208, 403–423, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggw407


(2016) Emergeo W.G.: Pucci S. , De Martini P.M. , Civico R. , Nappi R. , Ricci T. , Villani F. , Brunori C.A. , Caciagli M. , Sapia V. , Cinti F. R. , Moro M. , Di Naccio D. , Gori S. , Falcucci E. , Vallone R. , Mazzarini F. , Tarquini S. , Del Carlo P. , Kastelic V. , Carafa M. , De Ritis R. , Gaudiosi G. , Nave R. , Alessio G. , Burrato P. , Smedile A. , Alfonsi L. , Vannoli P. , Pignone M. , Pinzi S. , Fracassi U. , Pizzimenti L. , Mariucci M.T. , Pagliuca N. , Sciarra A. , Carluccio R. , Nicolosi I. , Chiappini M. , D’ajello Caracciolo F., Pezzo G. , Patera A. , Azzaro R. , Pantosti D., Montone P. , Saroli M. , Lo Sardo L.  , Lancia M., Coseismic effects of the 2016 Amatrice seismic sequence: first geological results (2016). Annals of Geophysics, 59, Fast Track 5, 2016; DOI: 10.4401/ag-7195


(2016) Pucci S. , R. Civico, F. Villani, T. Ricci, E. Delcher, A. Finizola, V. Sapia, P. M. De Martini, D. Pantosti, S. Barde-Cabusson, E. Brothelande, R. Gusset, C. Mezon, S. Orefice, A. Peltier, M. Poret, L. Torres and B. Suski (2016). Deep electrical resistivity tomography along the tectonically active Middle Aterno Valley (2009 L’Aquila earthquake area, central Italy), Geophys. J. Int. (2016) 207, 967–982, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggw308

(2015) R. Civico, C. A. Brunori, P. M. De Martini, S. Pucci, F. R. Cinti, and D. Pantosti (2015). Liquefaction susceptibility assessment in fluvial plains using airborne lidar: the case of the 2012 Emilia earthquake sequence area (Italy), Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 2473–2483, 2015 doi:10.5194/nhess-15-2473-2015


(2015) Civico R., S. Pucci, P.M. De Martini, D. Pantosti (2015). Morphotectonic analysis of the long-term surface expression of the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake fault (Central Italy) using airborne LiDAR data Tectonophysics 644–645 (2015) 108–121 doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2014.12.024


(2015) Civico R., D. Pantosti, S. Pucci, P.M. De Martini (2014). The Contribution of Airborne LiDAR Data to the Assessment of Surface Faulting Hazard for Lifelines Crossing Active Faults: An Example from the Central Apennines, Italy, in G. Lollino et al. (eds.), Engineering Geology for Society and Territory – Volume 5, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-09048-1_193, © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.


(2014) Papadopoulos G.A., E. Gràcia, R. Urgeles, V. Sallares, P. M. De Martini, D. Pantosti, M. González, A. C. Yalciner, J. Mascle, D. Sakellariou, A. Salamon, S. Tinti, V. Karastathis, A. Fokaefs, A. Camerlenghi, T. Novikova, A. Papageorgiou (2014). Historical and pre-historical tsunamis in the Mediterranean and its connected seas: Geological signatures, generation mechanisms and coastal impacts, Marine Geology 354 (2014) 81–109, doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2014.04.014


(2013) Clark KJ, Cochran UA, Berryman KR, Biasi G, Langridge R, Villamor P, Bartholomew T, Litchfield N, Pantosti D, Marco S, Van Dissen R, Turner G, Hemphill-Haley M. Deriving a long paleoseismic record from a shallow water Holocene basin next to the Alpine fault, New Zealand. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 125(5-6): 811-832. 

(2011) Cinti FR, Pantosti D, De Martini PM, Pucci S, Civico R, Pierdominici S, Cucci L, Brunori CA, Pinzi S, Patera A. Evidence for surface faulting events along the Paganica fault prior to the 6 April 2009 L'Aquila earthquake (central Italy). Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, B07308. 

(2011) Pucci S, Pantosti D, De Martini PM, Smedile A, Munzi M, Cirelli E, Pentiricci M, Musso L. Environment-man relationships in historical times: the balance between urban development and natural forces at Leptis Magna (Libya). Quaternary International, 242, 171-184. 

(2008) Pantosti D, Barbano MS, Smedile A, De Martini PM, Tigano G. Geological evidence of paleotsunamis at Torre degli Inglesi (northeast Sicily). Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L05311. 

(2008) Pantosti D, Pucci S, Palyvos N, De Martini PM, D'Addezio G, Collins PEF, Zabci C. Paleoearthquakes of the Düzce fault (North Anatolian Fault Zone): Insights for large surface faulting earthquake recurrence. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, B01309. 

(2005) Palyvos N, Pantosti D, De Martini PM, Sorel F, Pavlopoulos K. The Aigion-Neos Erineos normal fault system (Western Corinth Gulf Rift, Greece): Geomorphological signature, recent earthquake history and induced coastal changes during the Holocene. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110, B09302. 

(2005) Heker S, Pantosti D, Schwartz D, Hamilton J, Reidy L, Powers T. The most recent large earthquake on the Rodgers Creek fault, San Francisco Bay Area. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 95, 844-860. 

(2004) Pantosti D, De Martini PM, Papanastassiou D, Lemeille F, Palyvos N, Stavrakakis G. Paleoseismological trenching across the Atalanti fault (Central Greece): evidence for the ancestors of the 1894 earthquake during Middle Age and Roman time. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 94(2), 531-549. 

(1996) Pantosti D, D'Addezio G, Cinti FR. Paleoseismicity of the Ovindoli-Pezza fault (Central Italy): a history including a large, previously unrecorded earthquake in Middle Ages (886-1300 A.D.). Journal of Geophysical Research, 5937-5959. 

(1993) Pantosti D, Schwartz DP, Valensise G. Paleoseismology along the 1980 Irpinia earthquake fault and implications for earthquake recurrence in the southern Apennines.Journal of Geophysical Research, 98, 6561-6577.


Awards and prizes

In 1995 she receives the ILP Edward Flinn award for "her contribution to the study of the Paleoseismology and Holocene Tectonics several parts of the World”




Costanza Papagno

STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: neuroscience

Keywords: cognitive deficits in brain glioma, deafness, language learning, memory

Region: Lombardy


Full Professor of Psychology at the University of Milano Bicocca.

Professional career

After graduating in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Milan, in 1981 she began a specialization course in Neurology at the same university which ended in 1985. From 1986 to 1989 she was engaged in a research doctorate in Psychobiology (Neuropsychology sector). Later, from 1992 to 1993, she was admitted to the first year of the Postgraduate School of Psychiatry. Since 1982 she has been an internal doctor at the Institute of Neurological Clinic of the University of Milan where she won the CIBA-Geigy scholarship for the study of "Cognitive Functions in the brain-injured" in 1984. Thanks to her studies she won a scholarship from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Neurological Clinic of the University of Fribourg (Germany). In 1988 she was in Cambridge where she worked first with a scholarship from the European Science Foundation and then paid by the Medical Research Council until 1991. In 1991 she returned to Italy permanently and worked at the Neurological Clinic of the San Paolo Hospital in Milan. In 1998 at the University of Palermo she became associate professor of Physiological Psychology. Since 2004 she has been a full professor at the University of Milan Bicocca. Her academic experience was enhanced by the appointment as director of the psychology department at the same university from 2002 to 2008, while she was coordinator of the PhD in Experimental Psychology, Linguistics and Cognitive Neuroscience from 2007 to 2012. From 2010 to 2013 she was President of Doctoral School in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience and secretary of the School of Specialization in Neuropsychology. Since May 2016 she has been president of the Italian Society of Neuropsychology.


Scientific results

The main research topics of Costanza Papagno are language disorders in patients with focal and degenerative brain injuries, with particular reference to abstract-concrete dissociation, to the development of language in children with a cochlear implant (an electronic artificial ear capable of restoring the auditory perception in people with severe deafness), the effects of transcranial electrical stimulation (tDCS) and short-term memory disorders. One of Papagno's and colleagues' recent discoveries concerns the "hooked fasciculus", a bundle of fibers that (among other things) acts as a "bridge", connecting the two areas of the brain that are used to call the proper names by connecting them to the face of a person. In the field of memory, the capabilities of the uncinate fasciculus in patients who have had a brain tumor removed were tested. Tests have shown that patients still in possession of the "hooked fasciculus" are able to perform this operation, unlike the patients to whom the file has been removed. Control tests of other brain activities (long-term memory, understanding of words and sentences and spatial cognition) have not shown differences between patients with or without the dossier.



Editorial work and publications

Costanza Papagno is part of numerous scientific committees and is the editor of several scientific journals as well as the author of numerous articles, including:

(2016) Papagno C, Casarotti A. Comi A, Pisoni A, Lucchelli F, Bizzi A, Riva M, Bello L. Long-term proper name anomia after removal of the uncinate fasciculus. Brain Function and Structure, 221, 687-694. 

(2016) Papagno C, Pisoni P, Mattavelli G, Casarotti A, Comi A, Fumagalli F, Vernice M, Fava E, Riva M, Bello L. Specific disgust processing in the left insula: New evidence from direct electrical stimulation. Neuropsychologia, 84, 29-35. 

(2016) Papagno C, Cecchetto C, Pisoni A, Bolognini N. Deaf, blind or deaf-blind: Is touch enhanced? Experimental Brain Research, 234, 627-636. 

(2014) Papagno C, Vallar G. A plastic brain for a changing environment. Cortex, 58, 248-250. 

(2014) Vallar G, Bello L, Bricolo E, Castellano A, Casarotti A, Falini A, Riva M, Fava E, Papagno C. Cerebral correlates of visuo-spatial neglect. A direct cerebral stimulation study. Human Brain Mapping, 35(4):1334-50. 

(2013) Papagno C, Vernice M, Cecchetto C. Phonology without semantics? Good enough for verbal short-term memory. Evidence from a patient with semantic dementia. Cortex, 49, 626-636. 

(2011) Papagno C, Miracapillo C, Casarotti A, Romero Lauro L, Castellano A, Falini A, Casaceli G, Bello L. What is the role of the uncinate fasciculus? Surgical removal and proper name retrieval. Brain, 134, 405-414. 

(2011) Papagno C, Gallucci M, Casarotti A, Castellano A, Falini A, Carrabba G, Giussani C, Fava E, Bello L, Caramazza A. Connectivity constraints on cortical reorganization of neural circuits involved in object naming. Neuroimage, 55, 1306-1313. 

(2011) Cattaneo Z, Pisoni A, Papagno C. Transcranial direct current stimulation over Broca's region improves phonemic and semantic fluency in healthy individuals. Neuroscience, 183, 64-70. 

(1998) Baddeley AD, Gathercole S, Papagno C. The Phonological loop as a language learning device. Psychological Review, 105, 158-173.

Annalisa Pastore

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: structural biology

Keywords: bioinformatics, coronavirus, coronavirus proteins, coronavirus structure, Covid-19, LLPS, RNA_binding

Region: Tuscany


Professor at King's College of London

Professional career

Graduated in Chemistry at the University Federico II of Naples, she moved in 1982 to the United States where she worked for a year at the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Wisconsin. In 1984, thanks to an exchange project between Italy and Switzerland, she joined the research team of Nobel Prize winner Richard Robert Ernst, at the ETH in Zurich. In 1987, she obtained her PhD and moved as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford. In 1988 she began working at the EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory) in Heidelberg, Germany, where in 1991 she was appointed head of the first NMR laboratory at EMBL. In 1997 she became team leader at the National Institute for Medical Research of the Medical Research Council in London where she remained until 2013 when she became full professor at King's College in London. She continued to teach with a part-time assignment until 2018, spending the other half of the time as full professor at the University of Pavia. In 2018 she was appointed professor at the Normal University of Pisa, as the first and only female lecturer in the Normal Science class in 208 years of the school life. At the beginning of 2019, she resigned following bureaucratic-administrative obstacles that prevented her from maintaining her position at King's College in London where she has now returned full-time.

Scientific results

Annalisa Pastore has worked for more than 30 years on the relationship between structure and function of peptides and proteins. After starting to work on structural muscle proteins, she has been dealing with proteins involved in neurodegeneration for many years. She has two main research lines: the first concerns mitochondrial diseases with particular attention to Friedreich's ataxia, which she has been working on since the responsible gene was discovered in 1996. Of this protein she has studied the structure and binding properties and discovered that it is part of a protein complex responsible for the formation of iron sulfur clusters, essential groups that provide electrons in proteins. The second main interest concerns proteins that take part in aggregative processes such as those that take place in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.


Editorial work and publications

Annalisa Pastore is author of abotu 300 scientific publications including:

Yan, R., Yalinca, H., Paoletti, F., Gobbo, F., Marchetti, L, Kuzmanic, A., Lamba, D., Gervasio, F.L., Konarev, P.V., Cattaneo, A., Pastore, A. (2018) The structure of the Pro-domain of mouse proNGF in contact with the NGF domain. Structure Oct 19. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2018.09.013. [Epub ahead of print].

Alfano CSanfelice DMartin SRPastore ATemussi PA (2017) An optimized strategy to measure protein stability highlights differences between cold and hot unfolded states. Nature Commun. 8:15428. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15428.


Corvino, A., Severino, B., FiorinoF., Frecentese, F., MagliE., Perissutti, E., SantagadaV., Bucci, M., CirinoG., KellyG., ServilloL., PopowiczG., PastoreA.*, Caliendo, G.* (2016) Fragment-based de novo design of a cystathionine -lyase selective inhibitor blocking hydrogen sulfide production. Scientific Reports, 6, 64398.*co-corresponding authors.


Ruggeri, F.S., Longo, G., Faggiano, S., Lipiec, E., Pastore, A*., Dietler, G.* (2015) Infrared nanospectroscopy characterization of oligomeric and fibrillar aggregates during amyloid formation. Nature Comm., 6:7831. *co- correspondent authorship


Yan, R., Konarev, P.V. Iannuzzi, C., Adinolfi, A., Roche, B.., Kelly, G.,  Simon, L., Martin, S.R. Py, B., Barras, F., Svergun, D.I., Pastore, A. (2013)  Ferredoxin competes with bacterial frataxin in binding to the desulfurase IscS. JBC 288, 24777-87.


Prischi, F., Konarev, P.V., Iannuzzi, C., Pastore, C., Adinolfi, S., Martin, S.R., Svergun, D.I., Pastore, A. (2010) Structural bases for the interaction of frataxin with the central components of iron-sulfur cluster assembly. Nature Communications 1, 95.


Nicastro, G., Menon, R., Masino, L., McDonalds, N.O., Pastore, A. (2005) The solution structure of the Josephin domain of ataxin-3: Structural determinants for molecular recognition. PNAS 102, 10493-10498.


Atkinson, R. A., Joseph, C., Kelly, G., Muskett, F.W.,Frenkiel, T.A., Nietlispach, D.,  Pastore, A. (2001) Ca2+-independent binding of an EF-hand domain to a novel motif: an alpha-actinin/titin complex. Nature Struct. Biol. 8, 853-857.


Musco, G., Stier, G., Joseph, C., Castiglione Morelli, M.A., Nilges, M., Gibson, T.J., Pastore, A. (1996) Three-dimensional structure and stability of the KH domain: Molecular insights into the Fragile X syndrome. Cell 85, 237-245.


Pfuhl M., Winder S. and Pastore, A. (1994) Nebulin, a helical actin binding protein. EMBO J. 1782-1789.

Awards and prizes

In 2000 she was appointed EMBO Membership.

Since 2013 she is a member of the Academia Europeae.

Silvia Peppoloni

STEM area: Natural and environmental sciences

Competences: Earth science, geoethics, natural hazard and risks

Keywords: Earth system, ethic of geosciences, geological education, geology, natural disasters, scientific communication and dissemination

Region: Lazio


Researcher at the INGV - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology)

Professional career

After getting the degree in Geological Sciences and the PhD in Earth Sciences at the University of Rome La Sapienza, in 1999 she begins her scientific activity in the field of geological hazards and natural risks, collaborating with the National Group from Defence from Earthquakes (National Research Council), the University of Roma Tre, the University of Genoa and the Polytechnic of Milan. From 2008 to 2011 she is Professor of Geology, Applied Geology and Geotechnics at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Rome La Sapienza and at the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Viterbo Tuscia. Since 2012 she teaches in the PhD Course on Landscape and Environment at the University of Rome La Sapienza, and in 2016 at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) in the online course "Disaster Risk Reduction" on the theme of resilience and geoethics. In 2012 she founds the International Association for Promoting Geoethics, a scientific network, with more than 2000 members in 124 countries, which aims to analyse and enhance the ethical, social and cultural aspects of Earth Sciences. She has been recently elected Councillor of the IUGS (International Union of Geological Sciences) for the four-year period 2018-2022. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Italian Geological Society since 2013, member of the Executive Committee of IAEG Italy (International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment) since 2015 and coordinator of the "Geological and Geological Culture" section of the Italian Geological Society since 2012. From 2017 is a member of the Ethical Advisory Board of ICOS ERIC (Integrated Carbon Observation System), a pan-European research infrastructure dedicated to scientific data on the carbon cycle and greenhouse gases. From 2014 to 2016 she was Senior Editor of the Oxford University Press for the series "Natural Hazard Science". Since 2017 she is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal "Scienze e Ricerche".

Scientific results

Since 1999 she participates in national and international research projects on geological hazards, natural risks and seismic microzonation, with particular reference to historical centers and monumental sites. In 2007 she begins to deal with the communication and dissemination of geosciences, an activity that led her to publish two books with the publisher "Il Mulino" (Bologna). Since 2012 she has been constantly dedicated to the development of geoethics, namely the study of the ethical, social, philosophical and cultural implications of the research and practice of geosciences, of which she is among the world's leading experts. The activity on geoethics commits her in organizing scientific sessions in the major international conferences of geosciences, in publishing monographic volumes with international scientific publishers, in participating  as invited speaker to numerous scientific events. Currently within the European project ENVRI-Plus she is the leader of a work-package dedicated to the development of an ethical framework for European research infrastructures in the environmental and solid Earth sectors. She collaborates with newspapers and magazines (including Corriere della Sera) with articles on the topics of geological hazard, risk prevention, and scientific dissemination.

Editorial work and publications

Silvia Peppoloni is the author of two popular books: "Planet Earth: an unfinished story" (co-author C. Doglioni) and "Living with natural risks", both published by "Il Mulino", Bologna, respectively in 2016 and 2014.

She is also the author of numerous scientific publications. Among the most recent:

1.     [2018] Arattano M., Peppoloni S., Gatti A. (2018). “The ethical duty to divulge geosciences and the improvement of communication skills to fulfil it”. Episodes, vol. 41, n. 2. DOI: 10.18814/epiiugs/2018/018007.

2.    [2017] Peppoloni S, Di Capua G, Bobrowsky P and Cronin V (eds). Geoethics at the heart of all geoscience., Annals of Geophysics, 60, fast track 7.

3.    [2017] Bobrowsky P, Cronin V, Di Capua G, Kieffer S, Peppoloni S. The emerging field of geoethics. In: Gundersen L (ed.). Scientific Integrity and Ethics: With Applications to the Geosciences. Special Publication American Geophysical Union. New York, John Wiley, ISBN: 978-1-119-06778-8.

4.     [2016] Di Capua G, Peppoloni S, Amanti M, Cipolloni C and Conte G. Site classification map of Italy based on surface geology. In: Eggers, M J, Griffiths, J S, Parry S & Culshaw MG (eds). Developments in Engineering Geology. Geological Society, London. Engineering Geology Special Publication, 27: 147–158,

5.    [2014] Wyss M and Peppoloni S (eds). Geoethics, Ethical Challenges and Case Studies, in Earth Sciences, pp. 450, Elsevier.

Awards and prizes

In 2017 she receives the Special Jury Prize at the XX Edition of the "Parco Majella" Literary Prize for the book, written in collaboration with C. Doglioni, "Planet Earth: an unfinished story", book that in 2016 also won the third place at the National Award for Scientific Dissemination, in the category Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences. For the same award, she was a finalist in the 2014 edition, with the book "Living with natural risks".


Daniela Perani

STEM area: Clinical sciences and nutrition science

Competences: clinical neuroscience, neurology, nuclear medicine, radiology

Keywords: brain, dementia, diagnostic imaging, neuroscience

Region: Lombardy


MD, Neurologist and Radiologist, Full Professor of Neuroscience, University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milano, Italy. She is Coordinator of several National and International Research Projects in Neurology and Neuroscience

Scientific results

Her researches deal with in vivomolecular imaging studies of neurological disease, in particular neurodegenerative dementias, and with cognitive neuroscience, addressing language, memory systems and music perception with neuroimaging.

Editorial work and publications

She is author of more that 250 full papers, books and chapters, HI 90.


Chiara Petrioli

STEM area: Computer science

Competences: computer technology, network protocols

Keywords: bluetooth, computer, data, internet, mobile computing, mobile radios, mobile telecommunication, networking, networks, sensor networks, wireless networks

Region: Lazio


Full Professor coordinator of the PhD in Computer Science at the Faculty of Information Engineering, Computer Science and Statistics of the “Sapienza” University of Rome.

Professional career

After graduating in Information Science at  the “Sapienza” University of Rome in 1993, she continued her education with a PhD in Computer Engineering from the same university in 1998. During the PhD she won a prestigious Fulbright scholarship thanks to which in 1996 she was Visiting Research Associate at the Advanced Communications Technologies laboratory of Boston University, the following year at the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science of the University of Texas, in Dallas. Also in 1998, she collaborated with the Department of Electronics and Information of the Politecnico di Milano. From the following year she was a research fellow at the Politecnico di Milano and also carried out educational activities. Since 2001 she has been a researcher in computer science at the University of Rome, where in 2006 she became an associate professor. Today at “Sapienza” she holds the position of Professor of Computer Science at the Faculty of Information Engineering, Computer Science and Statistics.

Scientific results

Chiara Petrioli's research activity concerns the development of solutions for next-generation wireless systems, sensor networks and the "Internet of things". In particular, Chiara Petrioli coordinated the European GENESI project which developed innovative static and dynamic structural monitoring systems for buildings, bridges and tunnels, tested in the construction phase of the B1 metro in Rome and the construction of the Pont de la Poya in Switzerland. The technologies developed in GENESI allow to provide real-time data for long periods of time thanks to a new communication paradigm, based on wake up radio, which allows the devices to consume energy only when they have to perform operations or communicate, and thanks the ability to power devices through energy harvesting, i.e. to collect energy from the environment through micro-wind turbines and solar cells. In a collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, Chiara Petrioli's team has therefore developed micro-climatic monitoring systems, shocks and vibrations whose data are helping to define "good practices and guidelines" to increase the safety of works of art in the transport phase. These systems have been used within the Safe-Art project to monitor over forty transports of important works of art (such as the Pietà Rondinini, the Narciso by Caravaggio, the Marcello of the Louvre, the Livia Orante of the Vatican Museums, the Crater of Eufronio of the Museum of Villa Giulia). Chiara Petrioli also proposed solutions to extend the “Internet of things” to marine environments. Thanks to the technologies developed by its group and by twenty international partners in the SUNRISE project, submarine sensor nodes and autonomous submarine vehicles interconnected in a network have been developed and they are able to cooperate and perform complex tasks. These technologies are laying the foundations for creating an intelligent monitoring system for the marine environment, making it possible to sustainably exploit its resources and allowing policies based on safeguarding the environment to be based on quantitative data. The SUNRISE system can be employed in various application contexts: from environmental monitoring, to the conservation and enhancement of submerged archaeological sites, to the protection of critical infrastructures and maritime borders, to the monitoring of aquaculture farms. In December 2016 it was included in NT100, i.e. the list of Nominet Trusts on the best 100 "global social tech changing our lives".

Editorial work and publications

Chiara Petrioli is or was a member of the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, the editorial board of the ACM / Kluwer Wireless Networks (ACM WINET) journal, the Elsevier Ad Hoc Networks Journal and the Elsevier Computer Communications journal. She is a member of the steering committee of ACM SenSys and IEEE SECON and played key roles in organizing reference conferences in the sector (such as TPC Co-Chair of IEEE INFOCOM 2016, General Chair of ACM SenSys 2013, TPC Co-Chair of IEEE SECON 2009, TPC Co-Chair of ACM MobiCom 2006).
She is also the author of numerous national and international publications, including:

2016) Ateniese G, Bianchi G, Capossele A, Petrioli C, Spenza D. Low-cost Standard Signatures for Energy-Harvesting Wireless Sensor Networks. ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems.

(2015) Petrioli C, Petroccia R, Potter JR, Spaccini D. The SUNSET framework for simulation, emulation and at-sea testing of underwater wireless sensor networks. Ad Hoc Networks, 34:224-238.

(2015) Basagni S, Petrioli C, Petroccia R, Spaccini D. CARP: A Channel-aware Routing Protocol for Underwater Acoustic Wireless Networks. Ad Hoc Networks, 34:92-104.

(2015) Spenza D, Magno M, Basagni S, Benini L, Paoli M, Petrioli C. Beyond Duty Cycling: Wake-up Radio with Selective Awakenings for Long-lived Wireless Sensing Systems. IEEE INFOCOM, Hong Kong, 522-530.

(2014) Petrioli P, Spenza D, Tommasino P, Trifiletti A. A Novel Wake-Up Receiver with Addressing Capability for Wireless Sensor Nodes. Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems Conference 2014:18-25.

(2014) La Porta T, Petrioli C, Phillips C, Spenza D. Sensor-mission assignment in rechargeable wireless sensor networks. ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks (TOSN), 10(4).

(2014) Basagni S, Boloni L, Gjanci P, Petrioli C, et al. Maximizing the Value of Sensed Information in Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks via an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. Proceedings of IEEE INFOCOM. Toronto, Canada.

(2014) Petrioli C, Nati M, Casari P, Zorzi M, Basagni S. ALBA-R: Load-Balancing Geographic Routing Around Connectivity Holes in Wireless Sensor Networks. IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, 25(3):529-539.

(2011) La Porta TF, Maselli G, Petrioli G. Anticollision Protocols for Single-Reader RFID Systems: Temporal Analysis and Optimization. IEEE Transaction on Mobile Computing, 10(2):267-279.

(2003) Petrioli C, Basagni S Chlamtac I, Configuring BlueStars: Multihop scatternet formation for Bluetooth networks. IEEE Transactions on Computers, Special Issue on Wireless Internet, 52:779-790.


Awards and prizes

Chiara Petrioli won a Fulbright grant in 1996. The work of her research group won the "Best poster" award at IEEE INFOCOM 2013, the "Best demo" award at ACM WINTECH 2013 and the "Best demo" award at ACM WUWNET 2014. GENESI and SUNRISE research projects coordinated by Chiara Petrioli were highlighted as successful cases on the Digital Agenda of Europe website and on the website of the Vice-President of the European Commission. The SUNRISE project was chosen as the testimonial of the campaign of the Italian representation of the European commission EuFactor.

Elisa Poggiali

STEM area: Engineering

Competences: environment, internationalization, sustainable development

Keywords: communication, ecology, energy, energy saving, environment, marketing, territory

Region: Tuscany


Technician / Engineer  working for Provincial Administration of Siena.

Member of  the Management Board of A.P.E.A. (provincial Agency for Energy and Environment).

Professional career

After graduating as an Environmental and Territory Engineer from the University of Florence in 2000 and after specializing in Environmental Management and Quality Systems in 2001, I started working as an expert in Environment and Sustainable Development with the team of Coordinators of Agenda 21 (the UN Action Plan for sustainable development for the 21st century) called Terre di Siena.It is a plan a plan to carry out environmental, economic and social sustainability projects in Siena province.

I published articles for magazines and journals and I also developed long-life learning and professional training courses. I dealt with the involvement of economic stakeholders and I took responsibility for services and young people advance.

From 2002 to 2004, within the Environmental Development & Consulting Department of Monte dei Paschi Bancaverde Spa, I was a consultant on the issues of ISO 9001 / ISO 14001 and EMAS certifications for client companies and companies engaged in investments (over 1,000,0000 €) in the field of renewable energy (wind farms, photovoltaic parks, biomass power plants, waste management and recovery plants).

For several years I was a member of the Environmental Assessment and Landscape Commission of the Municipal Building Commission.

From 2005 to 2012 I worked for Toscana Promozione, the regional agency for economic and tourist promotion.

I dealt with territorial marketing and attracted foreign direct investments. I worked on issues and projects developing active and passive internationalization and research. I mapped the economic and the excellent scientific-technological regional offer (in several sectors: renewable energy, real estate, life sciences, ICT and nautical field). I handled activities concerning promotion and searching for partners or foreign investors to match them with the excellences of the regional R & D and industry.

Being responsible for this field, I took part in promotional tours or missions abroad together with CEO, managers or entrepreneurs of Tuscan companies and multinational companies and also together with research managers of Tuscan universities or research centres. In 2007 I led the Tuscan ICT selected delegation during the Italian Springevent in Tokyo.

I was also responsible for the organization of incoming trips in Tuscany of specialized international Venture Capitalists and collaborated in the preparation of related bilateral meetings with selected companies and actors of the Tuscan research system. 

Subsequently, I worked as a Key Account for companies working in the mechanical sector and in other high-tech sectors in Tuscany.

In 2008 I was appointed to the Board of Directors of APEA (Provincial Agency for Energy, Environment and Local Development), an in-house company created to carry out actions in the field of environment and energy and  whose functions subsequently expanded in order to manage economic development and to design European projects.

Since 2103 I have carried out engineering and technical-design actions within the Public Works Office of Siena Province Administration. I have worked in the field of soil protection and subsequently in the road sector, also checking activities meant to promote work health and safety as Head of the Prevention Service and Protection for the same institution.

Scientific results

I am an expert in sustainable development, territorial promotion and internationalization. 

In particular, I have implemented business management systems and public administration systems as far as environmental, quality and safety enhancement is concerned.

I have dealt with the promotion of economic development establishing international relations (both scientific and economic), creating knowledge networks in order to attract FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) and stimulating Tuscan SMEs to grow.

I am highly qualified to carry out activities concerning sustainable development and very well skilled and experienced to implement action plans and projects and to share objectives for local territories in this field.

I have supervised business development as a consultant and I have been responsible for the participation of companies active in several sectors, predominantly high technology and innovation, in specialized trade events and fairs abroad.


Editorial work and publications

I am the author of some publications and information materials on the relevant programme areas, strategies, policies and processes identified in AGENDA21:

Iozzi G., Fiorito L., Poggiali E., Valeriani B., Handbook AG21 of Terre di Siena, Provincial Administration of Siena, 2002;

Iozzi G., Fiorito L., Poggiali E., Valeriani B., The voluntary environmental certification tools: public and private companies working together. Circondario Valdelsa, Provincial Administration of Siena, 2003;

Poggiali E., Operational Handbook of Local Agenda 21, Provincial Administration of Siena, 2005;

Biserni, Bolognin, Chaussadis, Cesareo, Giovannoni, Mautone, Penna, Poggiali, Frameworks for the construction of wind  farms by Local Authorities,published by  Tuscany Region Department of Territorial and Environmental Policies, Energy Area, 2005.

From 2005 to 2012 I completed and revised documents and contents meant for promotion and for institutional and business and web content communication (; www HYPERLINK "". HYPERLINK ""


Valeria Poli

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: molecular biology

Keywords: cancer, inflammation, mammary tumors, stat factors

Region: Piedmont


Ordinary Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Turin

Professional career

Valeria Poli obtained her degree in Biology in 1984, and then a doctorate in human biology in 1992, at the University of Turin. From 1988 to 1990 she was a post-doctoral fellow at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, and from 1990 to 1992 at Columbia University in New York. From 1992 to 1997 she was Principal Investigator at the Research Institute of Molecular Biology P. Angeletti of Rome. From 1997 to 2001 she worked at the University of Dundee, in England, as Principal Investigator, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, Honorary Senior Lecturer and Head of the Transgenic Unit, which she established at the Department of Biochemistry.
In 2001 she became associate professor of molecular biology at the University of Turin, and then, since 2005, Full professor.
She is currently President of the Italian Society of Biophysics and Molecular Biology.

Scientific results

Valeria Poli has contributed to fundamental advances in the understanding of the mechanisms that mediate the activity and function at the transcriptional level of cytokines (molecules produced by various types of cells and secreted in the surrounding medium, usually in response to a stimulus capable of modifying the behavior of other cells inducing new activities such as growth, differentiation and death), in both physiological and pathological conditions. In particular, she contributed to the discovery of the transcription factor IL-6DBP-C/EBPbeta, which mediates many of the functions of Interleukin 6 (IL-6), a protein that acts as a multifunctional cytokine, both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory; the generation and characterization of mutant mouse strains for the C/EBPbeta and IL-6 genes, mice then widely used by the scientific community to understand the physiological and pathological functions of the two factors; the generation of mouse strains genetically manipulated for the pro-oncogenic transcription factor STAT3; and finally the pathogenic role of STAT3 in mediating auto-immune myocarditis.
Currently the activities of her laboratory mainly concern the study of the biological functions of the transcription factor STAT3, the main mediator of the cytokine signaling belonging to the IL-6 family, using in vivo cellular and murine models. In particular she is focusing on the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that mediate STAT3 protein activity as an oncogene, at the crossroads between inflammation, immune response, stem and cancer cells niche and tumor transformation, analyzing its interactions with other tumorigenic/tumor suppressor genes and trying to identify specific pro-oncogenic target genes. She is currently engaged in research on the relationship between breast cancer cells and cancer associated fibroblasts in the tumor niche, on the role of STAT3 in the regulation of energy metabolism and calcium homeostasis in the tumor as well as in normal cells, and on the role of STAT3-dependent long non coding RNAs in stemness and differentiation.

Editorial work and publications

Valeria Poli is and has been in the editorial board of prestigious scientific journals such as Cell Communication and Signaling, American Journal of Cancer Research, Cancers and Frontiers in Molecular and Cellular Oncology. She acts as regular scientific reviewer for international journals such as Nature, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the EMBO Journal, the European Journal of Immunology, Cancer Research, the Journal of Cell Science, the Biochemical Journal, Circulation Research, Cell Death and Differentiation and PLOS ONE.

She is co-author of more than 150 publications, including those listed below.


[2018] Avalle L, Camporeale A, Morciano G, Caroccia N, Ghetti E, Orecchia V, Viavattene D, Giorgi C, Pinton P, Poli V. STAT3 localizes to the ER, acting as a gatekeeper for ER-mitochondrion Ca2+ fluxes and apoptotic responses. (2018) Cell Death Differ., doi: 10.1038/s41418-018-0171-y. [Epub ahead of print].


[2017] Avalle L, Incarnato D, Savino A, Gai M, Marino F, Pensa S, Barbieri I, Stadler MB, Provero P, Oliviero S, Poli V. MicroRNAs-143 and -145 induce epithelial to mesenchymal transition and modulate the expression of junction proteins. (2017) Cell Death Differ., 24(10):1750-1760. doi:10.1038/cdd.2017.103. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2017.103. PMID: 28644441.


[2014] Demaria M, Camporeale A, Poli V STAT3 and metabolism: How many ways to use a single molecule? (2014) Int J Cancer, 135, 9, 1997-2003. doi: 10.1002/ijc.28767. PMID: 24500994.

[2013] Camporeale A, Marino F, Papageorgiou A, Carai P, Fornero S, Fletcher S, Page BDG, Gunning P, Forni M, Chiarle R, Morello M, Jensen O, Levi R, Heymans S, Poli V. STAT3 activity is necessary and sufficient for the development of immune-mediated myocarditis in mice and promotes progression to dilated cardiomyopathy. EMBO Molecular Medicine, 5: 572–590, doi:10.1002/emmm.201201876.

[2012] Demaria M, Misale S, Giorgi C, Miano V, Camporeale A, Campisi J, Pinton P and Poli V. STAT3 can serve as a hit in the process of malignant transformation of primary cells, Cell Death and Differentiation, 19:1390-1397.

[2010] Barbieri I, Pensa S, Pannellini T, Quaglino E, Maritano D, Demaria M, Voster A, Turkson J, Cavallo F, Watson CJ,Provero P, Musiani P and Poli V. Constitutively active Stat3 enhances Neu-mediated migration and metastasis in mammary tumors via upregulation of Cten, Cancer Research, 70:2558-67.

[2009] Vallania F, Schiavone D, Dewilde S, Pupo E, Garbay S, Calogero R, Pontoglio M, Provero P andPoli V. Genome-Wide Discovery of Functional Transcription Factor Binding Sites by Comparative Genomics: the Case of Stat3, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106:5117-22.

[2004] Maritano D, Sugrue ML, Tininini S, Dewilde S, Strobl B, Fu XP, Murray-Tait V, Chiarle R and Poli V. The STAT3 isoforms, a and b, play unique and specific roles, Nature Immunology, 5:401-409.

[2001] Alonzi T, Maritano D, Gorgoni B, Rizzuto G, Libert C, Poli V. Essential role of STAT3 in the control of the acute phase response as revealed by inducible gene inactivation in the liver. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 21:1621-1632.

[1996] Screpanti I, Musiani P, Bellavia D, Cappelletti M, Aiello FB, Maroder M, Frati L, Modesti A, Gulino A and Poli V. Inactivation of the Interleukin-6 gene prevents development of Castleman's disease in C/EBPß-deficient mice, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 184:1561-1566.

[1994] Poli V, Balena R, Fattori E, Markatos A, Yamamoto M, Tanaka H, Ciliberto G, Rodan GA and Costantini F. Interleukin-6 deficient mice are protected from bone loss caused by estrogen depletion, EMBO Journal, 13:1189-1196.

[1994] Fattori E, Cappelletti M, Costa P, Sellitto C, Cantoni L, Carelli M, Faggioni R, Fantuzzi G, Ghezzi P and Poli V. Defective inflammatory response in IL-6-deficient mice, The Journal of Experimental Medicine,180:1243-1250.

[1990] Poli V, Mancini, FP and Cortese R. IL-6DBP, a nuclear protein involved in Interleukin-6 signal transduction, defines a new family of leucine zipper proteins related to C/EBP. Cell, 63:643-653.


Awards and prizes

Valeria Poli was elected member of two of the most prestigious international scientific communities, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and the Academia Europaea.

She was a member of the Life Science panel for the Advanced European Research Council and she is among the expert evaluators of the Horizon 2020 projects. Regular reviewer for the technical-scientific evaluation of research projects for MIUR and for various international bodies and institutions such as the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council , the American Institute for Cancer Research, the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, the Austrian Science Fund, the Foundation for Scientific Research Belgium.


Gabriella Pravettoni

STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: decisions psychology, psycho-oncology

Keywords: cognitive processes, decision making, medical humanities, patient welfare

Region: Lombardy


Full Professor of Psychology of Decisions at the University of Milan

Professional career

After graduating in Psychology at the University of Padua in 1991, she continued her studies with a specialization in Community Psychology at the Association for the Psychological Development of the Individual and the Community (ASPIC) in Rome. In 1996 she obtained a PhD in Cognitive Sciences at the University of Pavia. From 1996 to 1997 she spent a period of training abroad at UCLA, University of California Los Angeles (USA). In 1997 she specialized in Clinical Psychology at the ASPIC in Rome. From 1997 to 2002 she was a researcher at the University of Turin. In 2002 she became an associate professor in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Milan, where three years later she became a full professor in Cognitive Psychology and Psychology of Decisions, a degree course of which she is currently president.
Since 2012 she has been director of the Division of Psycho-Oncology at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan and, since 2016, vice-director of the Department of Oncology and Hematoncology of the University of Milan. She coordinates the Folsatec doctorate (Foundations of the life sciences and their ethical consequences) at SEMM (European School of Molecular Medicine) in Milan, is responsible for Psychology at the European School of Oncology (ESO) of Switzerland, visiting Professor at King's College, London and member of the scientific board of ecancermedicalscience, United Kingdom.

Scientific results

Her research, mostly carried out both nationally and internationally at the European Institute of Oncology, focuses primarily on medical humanities, with empowerment and well-being of the patient, cognitive processes, decisions in medicine and error prevention as the main focus. This scientific activity is documented by numerous publications (scientific articles, monographs, curators) concerning the study of decision-making processes and health psychology: the two strands on which her research is mainly focused. The studies carried out in the field of decisional psychology concern in particular the analysis of how the judgments and assessments of people vary according to specific contextual factors (for example the composition of the choice set) and personality (for example, decision-making styles ). The research activity mainly covers two areas: economic decisions and medical decisions. The most recent research aims to analyze the decision-making processes in medicine with particular attention to oncology, and to identify error prevention strategies in order to improve the cognitive performance of the personnel involved and of the patient himself within the therapeutic course. As far as the field of research on health psychology is concerned, it focuses on the psychological well-being of the individual, in particular on the analysis of psychological behaviors that have health implications with particular attention to the issues of decision making in the medical field and the patient empowerment.
As part of these lines of research, the professor won several grants in important European projects, among which the most important are: 2017-2021 BOUNCE - Predicting Effective Adaptation to Breast Cancer to Help Women to BOUNCE Back, 2016-2020 IMI PREFER - Patients preferences in benefit risk assessments during the drug life cycle, 2014-2018 IMANAGE CANCER - Empowering patients and strengthening self-management in cancer diseases, 2014-2020 MIND THE RISK Ethical, social implications of provision of risk information from genetic and related technologies. A joint European research program, 2011: Personalized medicine (EU - FP7) "From data sharing and integration via VPH models to personalized medicine".


Editorial work and publications

She is the author of over 100 scientific publications, including:

(2017) Arnaboldi P, Riva S, Crico C, Pravettoni G. A systematic literature review exploring the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder and the role played by stress and traumatic stress in breast cancer diagnosis and trajectory. Breast Cancer – Target and Therapy, 9: 473-485.

(2017) Renzi C, Fioretti C, Oliveri S. (…), Jereczek-Fossa B A, Pravettoni G. A qualitative investigation on patient empowerment in prostate cancer. Frontiers in Psychology, 8: art. n. 1215.

(2016) Pravettoni G, Yoder WR, Arnaboldi P, Riva S, Mazzocco K, Galimberti V. Eliminating "ductal carcinoma in situ" and "lobular carcinoma in situ" (DCIS and LCIS) terminology in clinical breast practice: the cognitive psychology point of view. The Breast, 25: 82-85, DOI:

 (2016) Renzi C, Vadilonga V, Gandini S, Perinel G, Rotmensz N, Didier F, Rescigno M, Pravettoni G. Stress exposure in significant relationships is associated with lymph node status in breast cancer, PLOS One, 11(2): art n. e0149443, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149443.

(2016), Arnaboldi P, Oliveri S, Pravettoni G. Interprofessional care to improve patient-centered approach in breast cancer: a case-report regarding the management of concomitant psychiatric symptomatology.Integrative Cancer Science and Therapeutics, DOI: 10.15761/ICST.1000162.

(2015) Casali P, Bruzzi P, Bogaerts J, Pravettoni G. et al., Rare Cancers Europe (RCE) methodological recommendations for clinical studies in rare cancers: A European consensus position paper. Annals of Oncology, 26 (2): 300-306:459.

(2014), Gorini A, Lucchiari C, Russell EW, Pravettoni G. Modulation of risky choices in recently abstinent dependent cocaine users: a transcranial direct-current stimulation study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8: 661.

(2012) Cropley M, Michalianou G, Pravettoni G, Millward L. The Relation of Post-work Ruminative Thinking with Eating Behaviour. Stress And Health, 28 (1): 23-30

(2012) Lucchiari C, Pravettoni G. Cognitive balanced model: a conceptual scheme of diagnostic decision making, Journal of Evaluation In Clinical Practice, 18 (1): 82-88 

(2011), Gorini A, Pravettoni G. An overview on cognitive aspects implicated in medical decisions. European Journal Of Internal Medicine, 22 (6): 547-553 



Awards and prizes

Among the obtained awards, in 2017 she won the "Milan Ambassador Program" special thanks that the city of Milan recognizes to those who with their commitment represent and promote Milan all over the world with the aim of nominating the city to host congresses or the most prestigious and authoritative international events in their sector.
She is currently a member of the Review Commission for National Research Projects, assigned by the Italian Ministry of Health, member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Person Centered Medicine, member of the Board of Directors of the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research (FIRC ), member of the Scientific Committee of the Italian Federation of Volunteer Associations in Oncology, (AIMAC) and (FAVO), ANVUR reviewer of national projects and publications.








Paola Prete

STEM area: Materials sciences and nanotechnology

Competences: experimental physics

Keywords: crystallography, graphene, materials, nanoelectronics, nanofotonics, nanomaterials, nanostructures, nanotechnologies, optics, renewable energies, semiconductors

Region: Apulia


Researcher at CNR, responsible of the Epitaxial Growth Laboratory (MOVPE and MBE) of the Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems (IMM), Lecce Unit. Scientific responsible for IMM of the research activity for the “Rete di Laboratori Pubblici di Ricerca PHASHYN”.  

Professional career

She got the BSc degree in Physics at Lecce University in July 1991 and the PhD degree in Physics at Bari University in 1996. She was a staff member in North Wales at the North East Wales Institute (NEWI), now Glyndwr University (UK), in the years 1996-97. Since March 1998, she is researcher in Physics of Matter at IMM of CNR, Unit of Lecce. Visiting Scientist at Chiba University, Chiba (Japan) in October 1998.  Teaching at foreign Academic institutions (in UK). Contract Professor at Faculty of Engineering of University of Salento (1997-2011). Teaching to PhD Courses. Tutor of several degree and PhD thesis.  

Scientific results

Her expertise includes the study of the semiconductor compound crystal growth, specially nanowires, and their optical morphological and functional properties. In particular, the study of the synthesis of semiconductor materials through epitaxial technologies (Vapour Phase Epitaxy, MOVPE and Molecular Beam Epitaxy, MBE), the study of the physical, chemical and morphological properties through optical spectroscopy techniques (luminescence and absorption) and microscopy (FE-SEM, cathodoluminescence). 
She has more than twenty five-years experience in the material science research field. She started by studying the optical and structural properties of low dimensional structures for optoelectronic applications. At present she works in the field of nanotechnology by studying and applying bottom-up approaches for the fabrication of the 1D nanostructures for application in nano- /opto- electronics, sensing and photonics.  Among her recent activities, Paola Prete is working on third generation photovoltaics for the project “Rete di Laboratori Pubblici di Ricerca PHASHYN”. This research could create a breakthrough in the area of renewable energy sources by using the nanotechnology: it focuses to the fabrication to and high efficiency III-generation solar cells made by nanowires, i.e. semiconductor nanocrystals of the dimension of a virus, i.e. of the order of few tens of millionth of a millimeter, each of them being a solar cell capable to convert in electricity an enormous amount of solar radiation. The technologies under developments at Lecce by Paola Prete will allow to pack tens of billions per square centimeter. A far-reaching technology which, in a close future, will ensure jump in cell efficiencies and low production costs opening up to unimaginable scenarios. Inside this topic, there is also the study of the van der Waals epitaxial growth of 2D layers (graphene and graphene-like materials)

Editorial work and publications

Since 2011 she is the founder and the Editor-in-Chief of the open access scientific journal “Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology”, SAGE, USA (2017 Impact Factor 1.730). Since December 2016, she is also Associate Editor of the renowned journal “Progress in Crystal Growth and Characterization of Materials”, Elsevier (2017 Impact Factor 3.147). She is editor of books and Guest Editor of several international volumes and Special Issue on peer-reviewed journals such as Progress in Crystal Growth and Characterization of Materials (Elsevier), Crystal Research and Technology (WileyVCH), Applied Physics A: Material Science and Processing (Springer).  She is author of more than 120 publications in peer reviewed journals, among which the following ones:  [2018] Wolf D, Huebner R, Niermann T, Sturm S, Prete P, Lovergine N, Buechner B, Lubk A, Three-Dimensional Composition and Electric Potential Mapping of III-V CoreMultishell Nanowires by Correlative STEM and Holographic Tomography. Nano Letters, 18 (8) 4777-4784.  
 [2017] Di Carlo V, Prete P, Dubrovskii V G, Berdnikov Y, Lovergine N, CdTe nanowires by Au-catalyzed Metalorganic Vapor Phase Epitaxy. Nano Letters, 17 (7) 4075-4082. 
 [2015] Bianco G V, Losurdo M, Giangregorio M M, Sacchetti A, Prete P, Lovergine N, Capezzuto P, and Bruno G, Direct epitaxial CVD synthesis of tungsten disulfide on epitaxial and CVD graphene. RSC Advances, 5, 98700-98708. 
 [2015] Chen G., McGuckin T, Hawley C J, Gallo E M, Prete P, Miccoli I, Lovergine N, Spanier J E, Subsurface imaging of coupled carrier transport in GaAs/AlGaAs coreshell nanowires. Nano Letters, 15 (1), 75-79.

 [2015] Miccoli I, Prete P, Lovergine N, A mass-transport limited model describing the MOVPE growth of III-V shells around dense free-standing nanowire arrays. CrystEngComm, 17 (31), 5998-6005.
 [2014] Lubk A, Wolf D, Kern F, Roeder F, Prete P, Lovergine N, Lichte H, Nanoscale three-dimensional reconstruction of elastic and inelastic mean free path lenghts by electron holographic tomography. Applied Physics Letters, 105 (17), 173101.
 [2013] Chen G, Sun G, Ding Y J, Prete P, Miccoli I, Lovergine N, Shtrikman H, Kung P, Livneh T, J. E. Spanier J E, Direct measurement of band edge discontinuity in individual core-shell nanowires by photocurrent spectroscopy, Nano Letters, 13, 4152−4157. 
 [2011] Chen G, Gallo E M, Leaffer O D, McGuckin T, Prete P, Lovergine N, Spanier J E, Tunable hot-electron transfer within a single core-shell nanowire. Physical Review Letters, 107, 156802 (1-5). 
 [2011] Gallo E M, Chen G, Currie M, McGuckin T, Prete P, Lovergine N, Nabet B, Spanier J E, Picosecond response times in GaAs/AlGaAs core/shell nanowire-based photodetectors. Applied Physics Letters 98 (24), 241113 (3pp).
 [2011] Wolf D, Lichte H, Pozzi G, Prete P, Lovergine N, Electron holographic tomography for mapping the three-dimensional distribution of electrostatic potential in III-V semiconductor nanowires. Applied Physics Letters 98 (26), 264103 (3pp).

Awards and prizes

She was winner of the Italian Association of Crystallography (AIC), Young scientists Award for the 2000 year, reserved to young scientists working in the field of crystallography who have obtained innovative results of both theoretical and applicative crystallographic interest, prize conferred with the following motivation: "for the innovative results obtained in the study of semiconductor growth and the determination of their optical and structural properties". She was the winner of the Best Oral presentation Prize at the Nanophotonics and Micro/Nano-Optics (NANOP) 2018 International Conference, Rome 30 Sep-3 Oct 2018. 
 Member of the Italian Crystal Growth Commission inside the Italian Association of Crystallography (AIC) during the 2006-2011 and 2015-2017 years. Coordinator of the Crystal Growth Section of AIC, 2012-2014. Italian Councillor of the International Organization for Crystal Growth (IOCG), 2012-2014. Chair of the European School on Crystal Growth (ESCG2015), Bologna 5-8 September 2015. Member of the Advisory and Scientific Board of several International Conference.  Project monitor in the field of research, pre-competitive development and technological transfer of the Regional Agency for Technology and Innovation (A.R.T.I.) Apulia Region, Italy. 

Sabrina Pricl

STEM area: Engineering

Competences: chemical engineering, nanotechnologies

Keywords: antibodies, cancer, chronic mieloid leukemia, coronavirus, Covid-19, drugs resistance, leukemia, molecular engineering, nanotechnologies, nanovectors, proteins, rna, therapy, tumor

Region: Friuli-Venezia Giulia


The Research Manager in "Life Science" of the MOSE (Molecular Simulation Engineering) in Trieste.

Professional career

After graduating in Chemistry at the University of Trieste, in 1986 she obtained the qualification to the profession. From 1986 to 1990 she worked as a fellow at the Area Science Park in Trieste and at the University of Trieste. From 1990 to February 2002 she was teaching assistant at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Trieste. Since 2002 she is associate professor of Chemical Engineering in the same faculty.


Scientific results

The main research activities are focused on the study, correlation and prediction of the structure/property relationships of complex molecular systems such as dendrimers (macromolecules with a characteristic tree structure), proteins and drug transporters. In 2014, Sabrina Prici, together with other researchers from MOSE (Molecular Simulation Engineering) in Trieste and colleagues at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, published the results of the study on Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). The study identified the molecular dynamics responsible for resisting targeted drugs. It was proved that patients undergoing long-term therapy developed mutations of a particular protein (BCR-ABL1) that made the therapy ineffective. So, Sabrina Prici and her colleagues provided important information for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia, allowing not only the possibility of expressing a personalized therapy for the patient, but also investigating the possibility of creating active ingredients antagonistic to the protein mutation. Also in 2014, as part of international research, Sabrina Prici and colleagues develop a "nanovector" capable of transporting and protecting small strands of RNA that have important anti-tumor and anti-viral therapeutic capabilities. In the absence of these "nanovectors" the small strands of RNA cannot be used for therapeutic purposes because they are recognized by the immune system as "exogenous" and therefore destroyed. The discovery is of absolute importance for the development of new therapies.





Editorial work and publications

Sabrina Pricl is the author of numerous national and international scientific publications, including:

(2020) Laurini E, Marson D, Aulic S, Fermeglia M, Pricl S. Computational Alanine Scanning and Structural Analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein/Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 Complex. ACS Nano. 2020 Sep 22;14(9):11821-11830. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.0c04674. Epub 2020 Aug 26. PMID: 32833435 

(2020)  Laurini E, Marson D, Aulic S, Fermeglia A, Pricl S. Computational Mutagenesis at the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein/Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 Binding Interface: Comparison with Experimental Evidence. CS Nano. 2021 Mar 18. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.0c10833. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33733740

(2016) Chen C, Posocco P, Liu X, Cheng Q, Laurini E, Zhou J, Liu C, Wang Y, Tang J, Dal Col V, Yu T, Giorgio S, Fermeglia M, Qu F, Liang Z, Rossi JJ, Liu M, Rocchi P, Pricl S, Peng L. Mastering dendrimer self-assembly for efficient siRNA delivery: from conceptual design to in vivo efficient gene silencing. Small, 12:3667-3676.

(2015) Brambilla L, Genini D, Laurini E, Merulla J, Perez L, Fermeglia M, Carbone GM, Pricl S, Catapano CV. Hitting the right spot: Mechanism of action of OPB-31121, a novel and potent inhibitor of the Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3). Molecular Oncology, 9:1194-1206.

(2015) Tuo W, Chao C, Juan L, Cheng L, Posocco P, Xiaoxuan L, Qiang C, Shuaidong H, Zicai L; Fermeglia M, Pricl S, et al. Anticancer drug nanomicelles formed by self-assembling amphiphilic dendrimer to combat cancer drug resistance. Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America, 112:2978-2983.

(2014) Gibbons DL, Pricl S, Posocco P, Laurini E, Fermeglia M, Sun H, Talpaz M, Donato N. Quintás-Cardama A. Molecular dynamics reveal BCR-ABL1 polymutants as a unique mechanism of resistance to PAN-BCR-ABL1 kinase inhibitor therapy. Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America, 111:3550-3555.

(2014) Liu X, Zhou J, Yu T, Chen C, Cheng Q, Sengupta K, Huang Y; Li H, Liu C, Wang Y, Posocco P, Wang M, Cui Q, Giorgio S, Fermeglia M, Qu F, Pricl S, et al. Adaptive Amphiphilic Dendrimer-Based Nanoassemblies as Robust and Versatile siRNA Delivery Systems. Angewandte Chemie. International Edition, 53, 11822-11827.

(2012) Posocco P, Gentilini C, Bidoggia S, Pace A, Franchi P, Lucarini M, Fermeglia M, Pricl S, Pasquato L. Self-organization of mixtures of fluorocarbon and hydrocarbon amphiphilic thiolates on the surface of gold nanoparticles. Acs Nano, 6:7243-7253.

(2011) Barnard A, Posocco P, Pricl S, Calderon M, Haag R, Shum WT, Pack WD, Smith DK. Degradable Self-Assembling Dendrons for Gene Delivery – Experimental and Theoretical Insights into the Barriers to Cellular Uptake. Journal Of The American Chemical Society, 133:20288-20300.

(2011) Pierotti M, Tamborini E, Negri T, Pricl S, Pilotti S. Targeted therapy in GIST: in silico modeling for prediction of resistance. Nature Reviews. Clinical Oncology, 8:161-170.

(2009) Negri T, Pavan GM, Virdis E, Greco A, Fermeglia M, Pricl S, Pierotti MA, Pilotti S, Tamborini E. T670X KIT mutations in gastrointestinal stromal tumors: making sense of missense. Journal Of The National Cancer Institute, 101: 194-204.

(2006) Tamborini E, Pricl S, Negri T, Lagonigro MS, Miselli F, Greco A, Gronchi A, Casali P, Ferrone M, Fermeglia M, Pierotti MA, Pilotti S. Functional analyses and Molecular modeling of two c-Kit mutations responsible for Imatinib secondary resistance in GIST patients. Oncogene, 25, 6140-6146.

Awards and prizes

Sabrina Pricl is a member of the following scientific societies: American Chemical Society, The Society of Rheology, Italian Society of Rheology, American Institute of Chemical Engineering, COMSEF (Computational Molecular Science & Engineering Forum), Editorial Board of Carbohydrate Polymers.




Silvia Giuliana Priori

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: cardiovascular pathophysiology, molecular cardiology, rehabilitative cardiology

Keywords: cardiology, rehabilitative cardiology, sudden death syndrome, telethon

Region: Lombardy


Scientific Director at the IRCSS Salvatore Maugeri Foundation of Pavia and Full Professor of Cardiology at the University of Pavia


Professional career

Silvia Giuliana Priori graduated in Medicine and Surgery in 1986 at the University of Milan, then specialized in Cardiology at the same university, obtaining a PhD in Cardiac Pathophysiology in 1995. After a period of training abroad, in the Cellular Electrophysiology laboratories of the Cardiology Department of Washington University, she returned to Italy to carry out a research internship in molecular biology at the Telethon Institute for Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM) in Milan. From 2008 to January 2016 she is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Genetics Program at the Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology at the University of New York. She is currently Full Professor of Cardiology at the University of Pavia. In addition to the academic activity, Silvia Giuliana Priori coordinates several laboratories and departments: she is the Central Scientific Director of the Salvatore Maugeri Foundation Clinic of Labor and Rehabilitation IRCCS and Director of the Department of Rehabilitation Cardiology and of the Molecular Cardiology Service at the same Foundation. She also directs and coordinates international programs, such as the Cardiovascular Genetics Genetic Cardiovascular Program at the National Center for Investigations Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC) in Madrid.

Scientific results

Since 1997 she has begun the development of an autonomous research line in the laboratories that she directs. By merging the clinical activity on arrhythmogenic diseases (cardiac diseases that cause arrhythmias) to the skills of molecular biology and cell electrophysiology, she created the first center in Italy, and one of the first in the world, of Molecular Cardiology where she studies the mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias that cause sudden deaths in children and adolescents. She achieved important successes in research on long QT syndrome (LQTS, from the English "Long QT Syndrome"), a rare cardiac anomaly characterized by delayed repolarization of myocardial cells and associated with syncope, and Brugada syndrome, also a heart condition with disorders of the electrical activity of the heart that leads to cardiac arrest. The team she directs is involved in a wide-ranging project based on the creation of innovative animal models of genetic diseases and on the development of advanced molecular strategies to correct gene defects through the use of adeno-associated viruses (able to integrate into the cell genome host even in the absence of cell proliferation) to silence sick genes and to re-express healthy ones.

Editorial work and publications

(2016) Mosca B, Eckhardt J, Bergamelli L, Priori SG, et al. Role of the JP45-calsequestrin complex on calcium entry in slow twitch skeletal muscles. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291(28):14555-65.

(2016) Mazzanti A, Priori SG. Brugada Syndrome. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 68(6):624-625.

(2016) Faragli A, Underwood K, Priori SG, Mazzanti A. Is There a Role for Genetics in the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death?. Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology.

(2016) Mosca B, Eckhardt J, Bergamelli L, Priori SG, et al. Role of the JP45-Calsequestrin Complex on Calcium Entry in Slow Twitch Skeletal Muscles. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291(28).

(2016) Chyou JY Fredman D, Cerrone M, Priori SG, et al. Electrocardiographic features of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, Epilepsia.

(2016) Curcio A, Mazzanti A, Bloise R, Priori SG, et al. Clinical Presentation and Outcome of Brugada Syndrome Diagnosed With the New 2013 Criteria. Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, 27(8):937-43.

(2016) Mazzanti A, Maragna R, Faragli A, Priori SG, et al. Gene-Specific Therapy With Mexiletine Reduces Arrhythmic Events in Patients With Long QT Syndrome Type 3. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 67(9):1053-1058.

(2016) Imberti JF, Underwood K, Mazzanti A, Priori SG. Clinical Challenges in Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia. Heart, Lung and Circulation, 25(8).

(2015) Priori SG, Blomstorm-Lundqvist C, Mazzanti A, et al. 2015 ESC Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Ventricular Arrhythmias and the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death. Revista Española de Cardiología, 69(2):176.

(2015) Ferrantini C, Coppini R, Scellini B, Priori SG, et al. R4496C RyR2 mutation impairs atrial and ventricular contractility. The Journal of General Physiology, 147(1).











Greta Radaelli

STEM area: Materials sciences and nanotechnology

Competences: nanotechnologies, physical engineering

Keywords: bedimensional, bedimensional crystals, graphene, innovation, smart materials, startup, technological transfer

Region: Lombardy


Sole administrator of BeDimensional SRL, Genoa, and post-doc Researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa

Professional career

After graduating in Physical Engineering, she continued her studies with a PhD in Physics at the Politecnico di Milano, during which she spent a year at the Institute of Materials Science (ICMAB-CSIC) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Later she moved to France for a post-doctoral degree. In 2014, back in Italy, she made the skills and experience gained abroad available to the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa. In 2016 she became the Unique Administrator of BeDimensional, a start-up born from IIT laboratories. The mission of BeDimensional consists in the development and production of composite materials integrating two-dimensional crystals (in particular graphene) with the aim of making available to Italian manufacturing innovative materials that can improve the performance of everyday objects.

Scientific results

During her PhD she dealt with oxide electronics and in particular focused on the study of the phenomena that characterize the interface between ferromagnetic and ferroelectric materials. The objective of these studies is the development of new electrically controlled memory devices based on tunnel effect junctions. At the Italian Institute of Technology she initially devoted herself to the development of intelligent materials for industrial applications. Subsequently, she dedicated herelf to the technology transfer project of new two-dimensional materials, in particular graphene, born in IIT, becoming sole administrator of BeDimensional startup. Inside the Italian Institute of Technology, in the Graphene Labs, we study two-dimensional crystals, the new family of "smart" materials born in 2004 with the isolation of the first and most famous of these materials - graphene - and which possess unique characteristics from the mechanical, electrical, thermal and optical point of view. Graphene, defined as a wonder material, has a mechanical resistance about 200 times greater than steel and an extraordinary thermal conductivity. 

It is biocompatible, biodegradable, capable of sustaining a higher electric current density than copper and is an almost impermeable barrier to the vast majority of chemical elements, while maintaining the characteristics of flexibility and lightness. In IIT's Graphene Labs, a process has been developed for the production of these materials that can be scaled at the industrial level. Two-dimensional crystals (including graphene) can also be appropriately mixed in plastic matrices, in carbon / glass fibers or in metals creating composites with high performance. These opportunities open up a new industrial scenario that was unimaginable until a few years ago. The idea is therefore to revolutionize and facilitate national and international manufacturing industry.


Editorial work and publications

She is the author of numerous publications in national and international scientific journals, including:


(2016) Pesquera D, Barla A, Wojcik M, Jedryka E, Bondino F, Mangano E, Nappini S, Gutiérrez D, Radaelli G, et al. Strain-Driven Orbital and Magnetic Orders and Phase Separation in Epitaxial Half-Doped Manganite Films for Tunneling Devices. Physical Review Applied 6(3):034004.

(2016) Radaelli G, Heredia-Guerrero JA, et al. Highly Effective Antiadhesive Coatings from pH-Modified Water-Dispersed Perfluorinated Acrylic Copolymers: The Case of Vulcanizing Rubber. Advanced Materials Interfaces 3(13).

(2015) Asa M, Baldrati L, Rinaldi C, Bertoli S, Radaelli G, et al. Electric field control of magnetic properties and electron transport in BaTiO 3 -based multiferroic heterostructures. Journal of Physics Condensed Matter 27(50):504004.

(2015) Bertacco R, Radaelli G, et al. Switching magnetic order at an Fe/BaTiO3 interface on and off: Impact on hybrid magnetic-ferroelectric tunnel junctions.

(2015) Liu F, Fina I, Gutiérrez D, Radaelli G, et al. Selecting Steady and Transient Photocurrent Response in BaTiO3 Films.

(2015) Radaelli G, Gutiérrez D, et al. Large Room-Temperature Electroresistance in Dual-Modulated Ferroelectric Tunnel Barriers. Advanced Materials 27(16).

(2014) Radaelli G, Petti D, Cantoni M, et al, Absence of strain-mediated magnetoelectric coupling at fully epitaxial Fe/BaTiO3 interface (invited). Journal of Applied Physics 115(17).

(2014) Radaelli G, Cantoni M, et al. Two dimensional growth of ultrathin Fe films on BaTiO. Journal of Applied Physics 115(6):063501.

(2014) Gutiérrez D, Radaelli G, et al. Bandwidth-limited control of orbital and magnetic orders in half-doped manganites by epitaxial strain. Physical Review B 89:075107.

(2014) Radaelli G, Petti D, et al. Electric Control of Magnetism at the Fe/BaTiO3 Interface. Nature Communications 5:3404.


Maria Alessandra Ragusa

STEM area: Mathematics

Competences: mathematical analysis, mathematical methods and models applied to the environment

Keywords: coronavirus, Covid-19, Covid-19: different countries, differential equations, environment, local minimums, mathematical models

Region: Sicily


Full Professor of Mathematical Analysis in the University of Catania, Italy

Professional career

After graduating in Mathematics, with honors, at the University of Catania in 1988, she became, in 1989, Expert in Mathematical Analysis at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Catania. In 1990 she passed the admission exam to the PhD in Mathematics at the University of Catania. In 1992 she won a competition exam for University Researcher in Mathematical Analysis at the University of Catania, in 2000 she was Associate Professor at the University of Catania. In 2012 she was awarded a PhD in Mathematics from Luleå University (Sweden).

In 2013 she obtained the national scientific qualification as Full Professor of Mathematical Analysis and from 2017 she is Full Professor of Mathematical Analysis at the University of Catania. She is Chief Researcher of the Center of Nonlinear Problems of Mathematical Physics, RUDN University, Moscow (Russia). She is a member of the Academic Board of the PhD in Mathematics at the University of Catania, and of international PhD exam commissions. She has held teaching courses for the Research Doctorate in Italy, France, Turkey and Sweden.

She is responsible for research projects of the "National Group for Mathematical Analysis, Probability and their Applications (GNAMPA) - National Institute of High Mathematics", of ERASMUS agreements between the University of Catania and foreign Universities in Sweden, Norway, Romania, Turkey and France.

She is Vice Dean of the Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences of the University of Catania from 2009 to 2012, she was elected, in 2012, President of the Master of Science in Environmental Protection Sciences of the University of Catania, and in 2013 Director of the "University Center for the Protection and Management of Natural Environments and Agro-Ecosystems" (CUTGANA).

She is Deputy Rector of the University of Catania to the Internationalization in the scientific field.

 She is the contact person for Catania of the Unione Matematica Italiana, member of the Gioenia Academy, proponent member of the "Angelo Marcello Anile Center for Mathematics for Technology" of the University of Catania, proponent member of the "Interdepartmental research center for community engagement" (CUrE) of the University of Catania It is included in the Register of expert evaluators of the National Agency for the Evaluation of University and Research (ANVUR).


Scientific results

She is currently responsible for a research group that is interested in the study of partial differential, linear and quasilinear equations and climate change and their impact.

  With her team he defined an index that makes it possible to easily calculate the territorial effect of sensitivity to desertification in order to exceed the international protocol limit "Mediterranean Mediterranean Desertification And Land Use European" (MEDALUS), which does not provide an estimate of sensitivity to the desertification of a territorial area (municipal, provincial, regional, hydrographic area) through a single value. This index has significant advantages, because it produces effective rankings, with the consequent possibility of processing comparative data in relation to different time periods.

Within the scope of this research in mathematics applied to the protection of the environment, the effects of the impact of the transport of Saharan dust on particulate matter (PM10) are studied.

The results of these researches have been exhibited in international conferences in all 5 continents, of which about 20 organized by her in Europe and the USA, being part of scientific committees in which she was sometimes the only Italian member. She has held seminars in numerous Italian and foreign universities, being, by way of example only: guest of research groups, invited guest on the occasion of intensive semesters of the National Institute of High Mathematics (INDAM), guest of the "Mathematics Research Center E. De Giorgi "of the" Scuola Normale Superiore "of Pisa, of the" Newton Institute "of Cambridge, of the Department of Mathematics of the" Research Melbourne Institute of Technology "of Melbourne, of the" Tokyo University of Science "of Tokyo, of the" Florida Institute of Technology "of Miami, of the Department of Mathematics, of the" Harvard University "of Boston, of the" Mittag-Leffler "Institute of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.


Editorial work and publications

She is the  unique Editor in Chief of the international journal "Journal of Mathematics Research", published by the Canadian Center of Science and Education, Editor of the volume of "Journal of Inequalities and Applications" ed. Springer. 2015, member of Editorial Board of several international scientific journals  published on Scopus and Web of Science with impact factor. She is the author of more than 90 scientific publications, in single name and in collaboration with about 30 co-authors, of which one third are Italians and the other Europeans and non-Europeans. She published papers having  only her name in journals that are among the top 10 of the Journal Citation Reports and publications that, in both the Scopus and Web of Science databases, have more than 170 citations.

Just as examples, some of his scientific publications:

(2021) Hamdy M. Ahmed, Reda A. Elbarkouky, Othman A. M. Omar,  and Maria Alessandra Ragusa. Models for COVID-19 Daily Confirmed Cases in Different Countries. Mathematics, 9:659.

(2019) V. Kokilashvili,  A. Meskhi,  M.A. Ragusa, “Weighted extrapolation in grand Morrey spaces and applications to partial differential equations“,   Rendiconti dei Lincei- Matematica e Applicazioni, Vol. 30    (1),  67-92.


(2018) V. Guliyev, M. Omarova, M.A. Ragusa, A. Scapellato, “Commutators and Generalized Local Morrey Spaces”, Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications, Vol.457  (2), 1388-1402  (HIGHLY CITED PAPER of the journal 2018).


(2017) A. Cuspilici,  P. Monforte, M.A. Ragusa; “Study of Saharan dust influence on PM10 measures in Sicily from 2013 to 2015”, Ecological Indicatiors  Vol.76,  297-303.


(2017) M.A. Ragusa, A. Scapellato,; “Mixed Morrey spaces and their applications to partial differential equations”, Nonlinear Analysis-Theory Methods & Applications  Vol.151, 51-65  


(2017) A. Duro, V. Piccione, M.A. Ragusa, V. Rapicavoli, V. Veneziano; “Enviromentally Sensitive Patch Index of desertification risk applied to the main habitats of Sicily”, Book Series: American Institute of Physics Vol.1863, Article Number: UNSP 510005.     


(2014) S. Benboenou , M.A.Ragusa, M. Terberche; “Remarks on Leray's self-similar solutions to the 3D magnetohydrodynamic equations”,  Mathematical Methods in the Applied Sciences, Vol.37 (17), 2615-2618.


 (2013) M.A.Ragusa, A. Tachikawa, H. Takabayashi; “Partial regularity of p(x)-harmonic maps”, Transactions of the American Mathematical Society  Vol. 365 (6), 3329-3353.


(2012)  L.-E. Persson, M.A. Ragusa, N. Samko, P. Wall; “ Commutators of Hardy operators in vanishing Morrey spaces”, Book Series: American Institute of Physics Vol.1863, , 859-866.


(2008) ) S. Polidoro, M.A. Ragusa; “Harnack inequality for hypoelliptic ultraparabolic equations with a singular lower order term”, Revista Matematica Iberoamericana Vol. 24, 1011-1046.


(2002) M.A. Ragusa; “Local Holder regularity for solutions of elliptic system”, Duke Mathematical Journal Vol. 113 (2), 385-397.


(2000)                   D. Palagachev, M.A. Ragusa, L. Softova; “Regular Oblique derivatives problem in Morrey Spaces”, El. Journal of Differential Equations (39).


 (1999) G. Di Fazio, D. Palagachev, M.A. Ragusa, “Global Morrey regularity of strong solutions to the Dirichlet problem for elliptic equations with discontinuous coefficients”, Journal of Functional Analysis  Vol.166 (2), 179-196.

Manuela Teresa Raimondi

STEM area: Engineering

Competences: biomedical engineering

Keywords: biopharmaceuticals, drugs, in vitro organs, regenerative medicine, stamina cells, tissue engineering

Region: Lombardy


Full Professor of Bioengineering at Politecnico di Milano.

Professional career

After the Master Degree in Biomedical Engineering, in 2000 she receives her PhD in Bioengineering at at Politecnico di Milano, where she develops her career. In 2003 she founds a Bioengineering research unit, inside the IRRCS Galeazzi Orthopaedic Institute in Milano, which she directs until 2008. Since 2010 she founds and directs the Mechanobiology laboratory at the Dept of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”. From 2013 to 2015 she is the coordinator of the PhD program in Bioengineering. Since 2014 she founds and directs the LuCId lab, for live cell imaging. Since 2015 she is the referent person of Politecnico di Milano for the frame agreement with IRCCS Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milano.

Scientific results

Her scientific activity focuses on bioengineering, on the understanding and the consequent control of biological mechanisms through engineering devices for cell culture outside the human organism. An important result was that of succeeding in orienting the production of organoids (simplified and miniaturized versions of an organ produced in vitro), for example brain tissue or bone tumor metastasis, using miniaturized devices called "millifluidic bioreactors". Manuela Raimondi has designed such systems to produce and maintain living tissue in culture to be used for the experimentation of new drugs, such as chemotherapeutic and anti-inflammatory drugs, in a much more realistic way than conventional cell culture, reducing the use of experimental animals. In her studies she focused on "mesenchymal" cells, i.e. stem cells of bone and cartilage tissue, which provide the natural regenerative and reparative capacity to the tissues of the human body.

Editorial work and publications

She is the author of around 200 scientific publications, among which: 

[2018] Marturano-Kruik A, A.Villasante, K.Yaeger, S. Ambati, A. Chramiec, M.T. Raimondi, G. Vunjak-Novakovic. Biomechanical regulation of drug sensitivity in an engineered model of human tumor. Biomaterials. 2018 Jan;150:150-161. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.10.020

[2018] Marturano-Kruik A, Nava MM, Yaeger K, Chramiec A, Hao L, Robinson ST, Guo XE, Raimondi MT, Vunjak-Novakovic G. Human bone perivascular niche-on-a-chip for studyingmetastatic colonization. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Feb 6;115(6):1256-1261. doi:10.1073/pnas.1714282115.

[2016] Garcia B, Rodriguez Matas JF, Raimondi MT. Modeling of the mechano-chemical behavior of the nuclear pore complex: current research and perspectives. Integrative Biology, 8(10): 1011-1021 doi: 10.1039/c6ib00153j

[2016] Nava MM, Di Maggio N, Zandrini T, Cerullo G, Osellame R, Martin I, Raimondi MT. Synthetic niche substrates engineered via two-photon laser polymerization for the expansion of human mesenchymal stromal cells. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, doi: 10.1002/term.2187

[2016] Nava MM, Piuma A, Figliuzzi M, Cattaneo I, Bonandrini B, Zandrini T, Cerullo G, Osellame R, Remuzzi A, Raimondi MT. Two-photon polymerized "nichoid" substrates maintain function of pluripotent stem cells when expanded under feeder-free conditions. Stem Cell Research and Therapy, 7:132. doi: 10.1186/s13287-016-0387-z

Awards and prizes

Manuela Raimondi received many grants and awards, among which three ERC grants:


2000-2001: Young Investigator Award from Politecnico di Milano.

2005-2006 e 2006-2007: Research Award from the Cariplo Foundation.

2006 e 2007: Rocca Award from the MIT-Italy program.

2010-2011: Research Award from the Italian Ministry of University and Research.

2011-2012: Young Researcher Award from Politecnico di Milano.

2015-2020: ERC-CoG-2014 Grant award in stem cell mechanobiology, from the European Research Council. Project NICHOID.

2017-2018: ERC-PoC-2016 Grant award in stem cell bioengineering, from the European research Council. Project NICHOIDS.

2019-2020 ERC-PoC-2018 Grant award in microfluidic bioengineering, from the European Research Council. Project MOAB.

2018-202: Research Award from the Italian Ministry of University and Research.

Maria Costanza Rovida

STEM area: Chemistry

Competences: alternatives to animal experiments, chemicals dossier, chromatography, cosmetic components, validation of new methods

Keywords: animal experiments, animal feed, animal testing, cosmetics, in vitro tests, official toxicological methods, reach regulation

Region: Lombardy


Scientific Officer at CAAT-Europe (University of Konstanz, Germany, Project Manager at TEAM Mastery)

Professional career

After her master degree in Chemistry with bio-organic specialisation at the University of Milan in 1989, she worked for 10 months in Germany as a chemist trainee at the Hewlett Packard (now Agilent Technology). The following years, she started as Chromatography Applicant specialist to investigate components in complex mixtures. For 15 years, she worked as analytical manager in national and international companies and in 2005 she joined the European Commission for a three year program at ECVAM, the European Centre for Validation of Alternative Methods where she participated in the working group RIP 3.3 (REACH Implementation Project, Technical Guidelines to Industries) and coordinated the integrated European Project Sens-it-iv, for the development of in vitro and in silico methods for the assessment of skin sensitisation. Since 2009 she has been appointed as Scientific Officer at CAAT - Europe (Centre for Alternatives to Animal Testing) at the Konstanz University in Germany, in collaboration with the John Hopkins University in Baltimora (USA). For 10 years, Costanza Rovida has been also Project Manager at TEAM Mastery, a consultancy company in the business of regulatory affairs for chemistry, with special focus on REACH Regulation, that implements safe use of chemicals in the EU to improve human and environment health

Scientific results

Costanza Rovida has been committed in the evaluation of strategies to reduce or avoid the use of animals for scientific purposes. As Project Manager at TEAM Mastery and expert in testing strategies, she is also responsible for the preparation of registration dossiers of chemical substances, or for the toxicological evaluation of food/feed ingredients or cosmetics products in compliance with EU or non-EU legislation. Costanza Rovida is educator at the Association for Environment and workers taking care of safety in compliance with the provisions of both REACH and CLP (Regulations about how to communicate and manage the risk related to the handlings of chemicals). Her main commitment still lays in the dissemination and promotion of innovative human-based methods that are not using animals, through the organisation of workshops and publication of scientific papers as well as the spread of safety culture in compliance with international guidelines or with (International Conference on Harmonisation), with FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in collaboration with ECVAM, the European Centre for Validation of Alternative Methods.

Editorial work and publications

She is the author of many peer review publication, including: 

(2018) Meigs L., Smirnova L., Rovida C., Leist M. and Hartung T. Animal Testing and its Alternatives – the Most Important Omics is Economics. ALTEX  35(3) 275-305

(2016) Luechtefeld T, Maertens A, Russo DP, Rovida C, Zhu H and Hartung T. Global analysis of publicly available safety data for 9,801 substances registered under REACH from 2008-2014. ALTEX 33(2), 95-109

(2015) Rovida C, Asakura S, Daneshian M, Hofman-Huether H, Leist M, Meunier L, Reif D, Rossi A, Schmutz M, Valentin JP, Zurlo J, Hartung T. Toxicity testing in the 21st century beyond environmental chemicals. ALTEX Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, 32(3):171-81. 

(2015) Rovida C, Alépée N, Api AM, Basketter DA, Bois FY, Caloni F, Corsini E, Daneshian M, Eskes C, Ezendam J, Fuchs H, Hayden P, Hegele-Hartung C, Hoffmann S, Hubesch B, Jacobs MN, Jaworska J, Kleensang A, Kleinstreuer N, Lalko J, Landsiedel R, Lebreux F, Luechtefeld T, Locatelli M, Mehling A, Natsch A, Pitchford JW, Prater D, Prieto P, Schepky A, Schuurmann G, Smirnova L, Toole C, van Vliet E, Weisensee D, Hartung T. Integrated Testing Strategies (ITS) for safety assessment. ALTEX Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, 32(1): 25-40. 

(2014) Rovida C, Vivier M, Garthoff B, Hescheler J. ESNATS Conference — The Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells for Novel Toxicity Testing Approaches. ATLA Alternatives to Laboratory Animals, 42, 97-113. 

(2014) Knight J, Rovida, C. Safety Evaluations under the Proposed US Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013: Animal Use and Cost Estimates. ALTEX Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, 31(2):177-208.

(2013) Rovida C, De Angelis I, Lorenzetti S. Alternative in vitro methods to characterize the role of Endocrine Active Substances (EASs) in hormone-targeted tissues. ALTEX Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, 30(2):253-5. 

(2011) Rovida C, Longo F, Rabbit RR. How are Reproductive Toxicity and Developmental Toxicity Addressed in REACH Dossiers? ALTEX Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, 28(3), 111-132. 

(2010) Rovida C. Food for Thought... Why No New In Vitro Tests Will Be Done for REACH by Registrants. ALTEX, Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, 27(3), 175-183. 
(2009) Hartung T, Rovida C. Opinion. Chemical regulators have overreached. Nature, 460, 1080-1.

Awards and prizes

Costanza Rovida is in the list of National Certified Toxicologists Register (RENTIC) and Accredited Stakeholder at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). She is in the expert group of the National Reference Centre for Alternative Methods (Istituto Zooprofilattico di Brescia), of ESTAF (ECVAM Stakeholder Forum), IPAM (Italian Platform for Alternative Methods) and secretary of ecopa (European Platform for Alternative Methods). She is also member of several scientific societies such as ESTIV (European Society of in vitro testing), SITOX (Italian Society Italiana of Toxicology) and AFI (Italian Associazione of Pharma). She is in the list of STOA consultant (European Parliament Science and Technology Options Assessment).


Raffaella Rumiati

STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: cognitive neurosciences, social neurosciences

Keywords: cognitive deficits, cognitive functions, decision making, dementia, food preferences, neuroimaging

Region: Friuli-Venezia Giulia


Full Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at SISSA (International School for Advanced Studies) of Trieste and Vice President of the National Agency of the University System and Research (ANVUR).

Professional career

After graduating in philosophy (psychological curriculum) at the University of Bologna in 1990, she continued her education at the same university and in 1995 she obtained the research doctorate in Psychology. For the entire duration of the doctorate Raffaella collaborated with Professor Glyn Humphreys, at the School of Psychology of Birmingham University, in Great Britain. This collaboration provided her with a specialization in Cognitive Neuropsychology. In 1995 she joined the cognitive neuroscience sector, at SISSA (International School for Advanced Studies) in Trieste, first as a research fellow, in 1999 she became a lecturer, and in 2003 an associate professor. In December 2011 she was made full professor of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Scientific results

The main research interest of Raffaella Rumiati is the study of the neural bases of human cognitive functions. For about 25 years she aimed at characterizing the relationship between the motor system and cognition. Using different neuroscientific methods (neuropsychology, TMS and fMRI), she demonstrated how the motor system is involved in not typically motor functions (e.g., imagination, recognition of actions and objects, and language understanding), but that this involvement is not automatic but it occurs only in certain circumstances. Thus the motor imagination seems to act as a "glue" between these two apparently very different areas. Afterwards, Rumiati began to develop new lines of research. The first concerns the study of economic decision making, pursued using both behavioral and neuroimaging experiments, the second the neural representation of social knowledge, mainly investigated by examining the performance on lexical-semantic tests of patients with brain lesions of different etiology. The third line of research aimed at identifying the factors that influence food recognition, food choices and preferences. These topics are explored both in neurologically intact individuals and in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases (such as dementia and Parkinson's disease), also using neuroimaging techniques. With the collaboration of Medialab, Raffaella Rumiati's laboratory has created FoodIE, an application that allows tracking down people’s real food preferences, and that was available to the public of CasaCorriere at the Milan Expo for several months. 


Editorial work and publications

Raffaella Rumiati authored several publications among which: 

(2016) Rumiati R, Foroni F, et al. Lexical-semantic deficits in processing food and non-food items. Brain and Cognition, S0278-2626(16)30197-X. 

(2016) Turella L, Rumiati R, Lingnau A. Hierarchical Organization of Action Encoding Within The Human Brain. Journal of Vision, 16(12):24. 

(2016) Aiello M, Silani V, Rumiati R. You stole my food! Eating alterations in frontotemporal dementia. Neurocase, 22(4). 

(2016) Rumiati R, Foroni F. We are what we eat: How food is represented in our mind/brain. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23(4):1043-54. 

(2016) Turella L, Tucciarelli R, […] Rumiati R. Beta band modulations underlie action . NeuroImage, 136:197-207. 

(2016) Foroni F, Rumiati R, et al. A bait we cannot avoid: Food-induced motor distractibility. Brain and Cognition, doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2015.12.003. 

(2016) Ambron E, Rumiati R, Foroni F. Do emotions or gender drive our actions? A study of motor distractibility. Cognitive Neuroscience, 7:1-4. 

(2015) Rumiati R. Cognitive neuroscience goes social. Cortex, 70:1-4. 

(2015) Piretti L, Carnaghi A, Campanella F, Rumiati R. The neural network associated with lexical- semantic knowledge about social groups. Cortex, 70, Special issue: Neuro-cognitive mechanisms of social interaction, 155-168. 

(2015) Mengotti P, Ripamonti E, Pesavento V, Rumiati R. Anatomical and spatial matching in imitation: Evidence from left and right brain-damaged patients. Neuropsychologia, 79(Pt B):256-71. 


She also authored: 

R.I. Rumiati, “Donne e Uomini”, il Mulino, Bologna, 2010 pp.128

Awards and prizes

In 2003 the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung awarded her the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award. The award is given to scientists and scholars who have established themselves internationally in their field. In 2006 she received the "Women in Cognitive Science Mentorship Award" which is usually attributed to scientists who have trained and promoted female students and young researchers. In 2013 she was awarded the “Pulcheria. Women, talents, professions".


Sabrina Sabatini

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: biology

Keywords: biophysics, genetics, molecular biology, plant development biology, plant stem cells

Region: Lazio


Associate professor at La Sapienza University

Professional career

After graduating in Biological Sciences at the Sapienza University of Rome in 1998, she obtained a PhD in Molecular Biology at the same university. She then moved to Holland for a post doc at the University of Utrecht, in the Department of Genetics and Cell Biology from 1998 to 2003. There she worked on the molecular mechanisms of plant hormones such as auxin. These studies reveal the crucial role of this hormone in regulating fundamental processes such as the division, polarity and fate of a cell. From 2003 to 2006 she returned to Italy as a contract professor at the Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences of Sapienza University in Rome thanks to the "Incentives for the mobility of Italian and foreign teachers working abroad" and to the assignment of the prestigious Career Development Award by the Giovanni Armenise - Harvard Foundation of Harvard University (USA). This is the first time this award has been given to a Plant Biology project. In 2008 she became a researcher at the General Department of Molecular Biology at Sapienza University and since 2010 she has been working as an associate professor in the "Charles Darwin" Department of Biology and Biotechnology. In 2010 she won a very prestigious ERC starting grant awarded by the European Reasercher Council for a value of € 1,500,000.

Scientific results

Sabrina Sabatini has established herself as an international leader in plant development biology. By studying the root of the Arabidopsis thaliana, Sabatini and her collaborators were able to understand the mechanism of action of the phytohormones, a discovery that opens up a new way to accelerate the evolutionary processes of the cultivated species. From this discovery derives, among other things, the possibility of speeding up and increasing the growth of the roots to make them sink into the ground until they reach the aquifer or, vice versa, prevent the roots from descending too deeply and avoid reaching areas with excessively high salt concentrations . Future applications of this discovery would therefore mark a turning point in the production of the much hated / loved GMOs, which could be outclassed.

Editorial work and publications

She is the author of numerous articles, including:


(2015) Pacifici E, Polverari L, Sabatini S. Plant hormone cross-talk: the pivot of root growth. Journal of Experimental Botany, 66(4):1113-21.

(2014) Heidstra R, Sabatini S. Plant and animal stem cells: similar yet different. Nature Reviews Molecolar Cell Biology, 15(5):301-12.

(2013) Perilli S, Perez-Perez JM, Di Mambro R, Peris CL, Díaz-Triviño S, Del Bianco M, Pierdonati E, Moubayidin L, Cruz-Ramírez A, Costantino P, Scheres B, Sabatini S. RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED protein stimulates cell differentiation in the Arabidopsis root meristem by interacting with cytokinin signaling. Plant Cell, 25(11):4469-78.

(2013) Mattei B, Sabatini S, Schininà ME. Proteomics in deciphering the auxin commitment in the Arabidopsis thaliana root growth. Journal of Proteome Research, 12(11):4685-701.

(2013) Moubayidin L, Di Mambro R, Sozzani R, Pacifici E, Salvi E, Terpstra I, Bao D, van Dijken A, Dello Ioio R, Perilli S, Ljung K, Benfey PN, Heidstra R, Costantino P, Sabatini S. Spatial coordination between stem cell activity and cell differentiation in the root meristem. Developmental Cell, 26(4):405-15.

(2011) Perilli S., Di Mambro R., Sabatini S. Growth and development of the root apical meristem.

Current Opinion in Plant Biology, Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 15(1):17-23.

(2011) Kim K, Ryu H, Cho YH, Scacchi E, Sabatini S, Hwang I. Cytokinin-facilitated Proteolysis of ARABIDOPSIS RESPONSE REGULATOR2 Attenuates Signaling Output in Two-component Circuitry. Plant Journal, 69(6):934-45.

(2011) Aichinger E, Villar CB, Di Mambro R, Sabatini S, Köhler C. The CHD3 chromatin remodeler PICKLE and polycomb group proteins antagonistically regulate meristem activity in the Arabidopsis root. Plant Cell, 23:1047-60.

(2010) Moubayidin L., Perilli S, Dello Ioio R., Di Mambro R, Costantino P and Sabatini S. Root meristem growth is controlled by an increase in the rate of cell differentiation relative to

cell division. Journal of Biotechnology,150, Supplement 1, S110.

(2010) Moubayidin L, Perilli S, Dello Ioio R, Di Mambro R, Costantino P and Sabatini S. The rate of cell differentiation controls the Arabidopsis root meristem growth phase. Current

Biology, 20:1138–1143.


Awards and prizes

In 2003 she won the Career Development Award from the Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation of Harvard University (USA), for the first time assigned to a Plant Biology project. In 2010 she won a prestigious ERC starting grant awarded by the European Reasercher Council.



Paola Giuseppina Sacerdote

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: basic pharmacology, clinical pharmacology, pharmacology

Keywords: acute pain, analgesic drugs, chronic pain, neuroinflammation, opioids, palliative care, physiopathology of pain, substances of abuse

Region: Lombardy


Full professor of Pharmacology at the Università degli Studi di Milano.  She teaches pharmacology courses for the Schools of Medicine ,Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Milan.

Professional career

After the Degree in Biology at the University of Milano in 1983 and a period of research experience in the Dept. of Pharmacology of the same University, she spends a 3 year period at the National Institute of Health (Bethesda, USA), where she gets a PhD degree in Neuropharmacology.  She returns in Italy at the Department of Pharmacology, where she continues her career and research experience, as staff researcher and then as Associate Professor of Pharmacology. From 2017 she is full Professor of Pharmacology at the Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences where she  is the Head of the laboratory of “ Pain Therapy, neuroimmunology and drug of abuse” composed of young Italian and foreign scientists.


Scientific results

Paola Sacerdote since many years is involved in studies focused on the relationship between the Central Nervous System and the Immune System with particular reference to inflammation and pain.

Her research interest is the study of the mechanisms at the basis of onset, maintenance and resolution of chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain, with the aim to identify novel more effective and safer therapeutic approaches. The group has demonstrated that at the  basis of pain there is a pathological interaction between neurons, glia, microglia and immune cells in the central and peripheral nervous system and  has identified the role of a new family of chemokines, the prokineticin, in pain and inflammation.

Recently the group has demonstrated in several animal models the efficacy of  stem cells and their secretome to modulate nociceptive pathways, due to the ability of stem cells to modulate endogenous cell activity and inflammation.  
Moreover, over the years, she has studied in deep the basic and clinical pharmacology of the analgesic drugs opioids.  In this context, her research group was the first to identify the role of the opioid peptide beta-endorphin in the modulation of immune responses. She analyzed the immune-pharmacological profiles of different analgesic drugs, in order to identify molecules devoid of immunosuppressive properties to propose in pain therapy. She collaborates with several National and International Clinical Centers for the treatment of pain to reach the best therapeutic approach for each patient.

Editorial work and publications

She authored about 197 scientific publications, and several textbook chapters. She participated in several Consensus Conference in the field of Pain Therapy.

BRINI A, AMODEO G, FERREIRA LM,  MILANI A,  NIADA S,  MOSCHETTI G, FRANCHI S,  BORSANI E,  RODELLA LF,  PANERAI AE,  SACERDOTE P Therapeutic effect of human adipose-derived stem cells and their secretome in experimental diabetic pain SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 29;7(1):9904.                         

CASTELLI M, AMODEO G, NEGRI L, LATTANZI R, MAFTEI D, GOTTI C, PISTILLO F, ONNIS V, CONGU C, PANERAI AE, SACERDOTE P, FRANCHI S.Antagonism of the Prokineticin System Prevents and Reverses Allodynia and Inflammation in a Mouse Model of Diabetes. PLOS ONE. Jan 5;11(1):e0146259, 2016

FRANCHI S, VALSECCHI AE, BORSANI E, PROCACCI P, FERRARI D, ZAFFA C, SARTORI P,  RODELLA LF, VESCOVI A, MAIONE S, ROSSI F,  COLLEONI M, SACERDOTE P, PANERAI AE,  Intravenous Neural Stem Cells abolish nociceptive hypersensitivity and trigger nerve regeneration in experimental neuropathy. PAIN,         153:850-861 2012

GIANNINI E, LATTANZI R, NICOTRA A, CAMPESE AF, GRAZIOLI P, SCREPANTI I, BALBONI G, SALVADORI S, SACERDOTE P, NEGRI L.              The chemokine Bv8/prokineticin 2 is up-regulated in inflammatory granulocytes and modulates inflammatory pain.PROC NATL ACAD SCI U S A. 106:14646-51.  2009      

PERGOLIZZI j,  BÖGER RH, BUDD K,  DAHAN A, ERDINE S,  HANS G,  KRESS HG, LANGFORD R,  LIKAR R,  RAFFA RB, SACERDOTE P,Opioids and the management of chronic severe pain in the elderly: consensus statement of an international expert panel with focus on the six clinically most often used WHO step III opioids (buprenorphine, fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone)   PAIN PRACTICE. 8:287-313. 2008                            

Martina Sanlorenzo

STEM area: Clinical sciences and nutrition science

Competences: dermatology, melanoma, molecular medicine

Keywords: cancer, immunotherapy, melanoma, melanoma metastasis, molecular target drugs, molecular therapy

Region: ABROAD


Researcher at the Experimental Cell Therapy Laboratory of the University of Turin (Candiolo Irccs Institute)


Professional career

After graduating in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Turin in 2010, she continued her education with a specialization in Dermatology achieved in 2016, followed by a PhD in molecular medicine. Martina Sanlorenzo began her career as a researcher in Turin in 2011, in 2012 she was a Medical fellow at the Ayder Refferal Hospital in Mekelle, Ethiopia. The following year she was a Research fellow at the Ortiz lab, of the Dermatology Department of the University of California in San Francisco and since 2013 she has also been a Medical fellow in the Melanoma and cutaneous oncology center, at the same Californian university

Scientific results

Martina Sanlorenzo in 2016 won the "L'Oreal Italia for women and science" award in partnership with Unesco thanks to her project entitled "Interaction between molecular target drugs and immunotherapy in the treatment of metastatic melanoma: preclinical model for the evaluation of potential synergism ". She is precisely through this award that it will be possible for the researcher to conduct clinical research studies that aim to integrate two therapeutic approaches, on the one hand the therapies that target the melanoma cells (one of the most aggressive and difficult to cure tumors) and by the other is those that aim to enhance the immune system's response to cancer. Sanlorenzo is therefore involved in a study where both her knowledge in the field of dermatology and those of molecular medicine are included.

Editorial work and publications

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


(2016) Dapavo P, Vujic I, Fierro MT, Quaglino P, Sanlorenzo M. The infliximab biosimilar in the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 75(4):736-9.

(2016) Posch C, Moslehi H, Sanlorenzo M, Green G, Vujic I, Panzer-Grümayer R, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S. Pharmacological inhibitors of c-KIT block mutant c-KIT mediated migration of melanocytes and melanoma cells in vitro and in vivo. Oncotarget.

(2016) Ribero S, Balagna E, Sportoletti Baduel E, Picciotto F, Sanlorenzo M, Fierro MT, Quaglino P, Macripo G. Efficacy of electrochemotherapy for eruptive legs keratoacanthomas. Dermatology and Therapy, 29(5):345-348.

(2016) Posch C, Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Oses-Prieto JA, Cholewa BD, Kim ST, Ma J, Lai K, Zekhtser M, Esteve-Puig R, Green G, Chand S, Burlingame AL, Panzer-Grümayer R, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S. Phospho-proteomic analysis reveals increased CK2α kinase activity in NRAS(Q61) mutant melanoma. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 136(10):2041-8.

(2016) Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Posch C, Ma J, Lin K, Lai K, Lee D, Vujic M, Oses-Prieto JA, Chand S, Rodriguez-Peralto JL, Burlingame A, Ortiz-Urda S. Oncogenic KIT mutations in different exons lead to specific changes in melanocyte phospho-proteome. Journal of Proteomics, 144:140-7.

(2016) Vujic I, Sanlorenzo M, Esteve-Puig R, Vujic M, Kwong A, Tsumura A, Murphy R, Moy A, Posch C, Monshi B, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S. Acyl protein thioesterase 1 and 2 (APT-1, APT-2) inhibitors palmostatin B, ML348 and ML349 have different effects on NRAS mutant melanoma cells. Oncotarget, 7(6):7297-306.

(2015) Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Ortiz-Urda S. Time-Dependent Measurement of Adverse Events-Reply. JAMA Dermatology, 151(12):1392-1393.

(2015) Sanlorenzo M, Ribero S, Osella Abate S, Mariani S, Strignano P, Salizzoni M, Savoia P, Fierro MT, Quaglino P. Genetic mutations in primary malignant melanoma of the esophagus: case report and literature review. Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia.

(2015) Posch C, Cholewa BD, Vujic I, Sanlorenzo M, Ma J, Kim ST, Kleffel S, Schatton T, Rappersberger K, Gutteridge R, Ahmad N, Ortiz-Urda S. Combined Inhibition of MEK and Plk1 has Synergistic Anti-Tumor Activity in NRAS Mutant Melanoma. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 135(10):2475-83.

(2015) Ribero S, Gualano MR, Osella-Abate S, Scaioli G, Bert F, Sanlorenzo M, Balagna E, Fierro MT, Macripò G, Sapino A, Siliquini R, Quaglino P. Histological regression in primary melanoma with sentinel lymph node status: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatology, 151(12):1301-1307.

Awards and prizes

Among the numerous awards received, in 2015 she received the Euroderm Excellence and in 2016 she won the L’Oreal-UNESCO Italy - For Women in Science 2015-2016 award.




Serena Sanna

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: epidemiological statistical analysis, genetic statistical analysis

Keywords: aging, dna, genes, genetics, longevity, sardinia

Region: ABROAD


Assistant Professor at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), the Netherlands.

Professional career

Serena Sanna holds a bachelor and master degree in mathematics from the University of Cagliari, Italy (2003). After her studies, she worked at Istituto di Ricerca Genetica e Biomedica (IRGB) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), and on 2005 she moved at the School of Public Health, of the University of Michigan as “statistical geneticist”. At the end of 2007, she comes back to IRGB but continues her research studies in close collaboration with scientists at University of Michigan. On 2016, she obtains a doctorate degree in medical genetics at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, where she is at present an Assistant Professor in Genetics.

Scientific results

Serena Sanna carried out most of her research studies within the project “SardiNIA/ProgeNIA: genetic and epidemiology of aging associated conditions” on which more than 6 thousands volunteers from the east part of the Sardinia island where enrolled. Using cutting edge technologies to assess the genome of such individuals combined with novel statistical techniques, she identified hundreds of genetic factors that influence disease susceptibility (such risk for cardiovascular diseases) or that affect disease risk factors (such as cholesterol or blood pressure).

Her approach is to use statistical inferential methods to reduce at minimum the cost required to characterize the genome of an individual – in brief by only looking at a portion of his/her DNA and then look at human similarity, she is able to predict the rest of the genome. She is particularly involved in the whole-genome sequencing characterization of the entire genomes of Sardinian volunteers, with the aim to identify all existing genetic variants – including those that are Sardinian specific – that affect health and disease status.  

Editorial work and publications

(2015) Sidore C, Busonero F, Maschio A, Porcu E, Naitza S, Zoledziewska M, Mulas A, Pistis G, Steri M, Danjou F, Kwong A, Ortega del Vecchyo VD, Chiang CWK, Bragg-Gresham J, Pitzalis M, Nagaraja R, Tarrier B, Brennan C, Uzzau S, Fuchsberger C, Atzeni R, Reinier F, Berutti R, Huang J, Timpson NJ, Toniolo D, Gasparini P, Malerba G, Dedoussis G, Zeggini E, Soranzo N, Jones C, Lyons R, Angius A, Kang HM, Novembre J, Sanna S, Schlessinger D, Cucca F, Abecasis GR. Genome sequencing elucidates Sardinian genetic architecture and augments GWAS findings: the examples of lipids and blood inflammatory markers. Nature Genetics, 47:1272-1281. 

(2013) Orrù V, Steri M, Sole G, Sidore C, [....], Schlessinger D, Abecasis GR, Fiorillo E, Sanna S, Cucca F. Genetic Variants Regulating Immune Cell Levels in Health and Disease. Cell, 155(1):242-256. 

 (2011) Sanna S, Li B, Mulas A,Sidore C, Kang HM, Jackson AU, Piras MG, Usala G, Maninchedda G, Sassu A, Serra F, Palmas MA, Wood WH 3rd, Njølstad I, Laakso M, Hveem K, Tuomilehto J, Lakka TA, Rauramaa R, Boehnke M, Cucca F, Uda M, Schlessinger D, Nagaraja R, Abecasis GR. Fine mapping of five loci associated with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol detects variants that double the explained heritability. PLoS Genetics, 7(7):e1002198. 

(2008) Uda M, Galanello R, Sanna S, Lettre G, Sankaran VG, Chen W, Usala G, Busonero F, Maschio A, Albai G, Piras MG, Sestu N, Lai S, Dei M, Mulas A, Crisponi L, Naitza S, Asunis I, Deiana M, Nagaraja R, Perseu L, Satta S, Cipollina MD, Sollaino C, Moi P, Hirschhorn JN, Orkin SH, Abecasis GR, Schlessinger D, Cao A. Genome-wide association study shows BCL11A associated with persistent HbF and amelioration of the phenotype of β-thalassemia. Proceeding of the National Academy Society of the United States of America, 105(5):1620-5. 

(2008) Willer CJ, Sanna S, Jackson AU, Scuteri A, et al . Newly identified loci that influence lipid concentrations and risk of coronary artery disease. Nature Genetics, 40(2):161-9. 

Full list of publications available at:

Awards and prizes

* 2008: Best Young Scientist award given by the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG)

* 2009 and 2010: two of her publications (Peufer et al 2009; and Sanna et al 2010) were selected among the top publications from scientists of the CNR on those years. 

* Best young CNR scientist in the biomedics – given in Rome on 2013

* 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018: she is present in the list of Highly Cited Scientists released by Thomson Reuters, NY, which includes top 1% scientists in their field.

* 2018: “Guido Dorso” award received by the Guido Dorso association and Italian Senate to the best scientist from south Italy

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)

Marika Savarese

STEM area: Chemistry

Competences: innovative computational tools, theoretical and computational chemistry

Keywords: light, photochemistry, photophysics, solar cells

Region: Liguria


Researcher at the D3 Compunet Department of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa.

Professional career

After graduating in Chemical Science in 2008 and a master’s degree in Chemistry in 2010 at the Federico II University in Naples, she continued with her studies with a PhD she obtained in 2014 from the same University. Meanwhile, she worked for the Italian Institute of Technology at the Center for Advanced Health Biomaterials at the CRIB (Interdepartmental Research Center on Biomaterials) in Naples. After the PhD, she worked with the CTM team of Professor Adamo at the École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris (ENSCP). In the same year, 2014, she was Visiting Researcher at the Research Center for Computational Sciences of the Institute of Molecular Science of Okazaki in Japan.
Since 2015 she is a Post-doc Researcher at the IIT of Genoa.


Scientific results

Marika Savarese deals with theoretical modeling, supported by computational approaches based on the Density Functional Theory (DFT), of phenomena of chemical-physical interest; in particular, the development of new protocols for the description of phenomena concerning light-matter interaction. These approaches are useful in the fields of photophysics and photochemistry, and they are applicable, for example, in the interpretation of electronic spectroscopies and in the study of reaction mechanisms promoted by light. These models make it possible to carry out design and “in silico” screening steps (by using the computer) that allow the planning of new technological devices in a targeted way. Results in this sense have been achieved for the design and construction of new biosensors and new materials used for the construction of solar cells entirely made of material.


Editorial work and publications

She is author and co-author of numerous scientific publications including:


[2017] Savarese M, Raucci U, Fukuda R, Adamo C, Ehara M, Rega N, Ciofini I. Comparing the performance of TDDFT and SACCI methods in the description of excited states potential energy surfaces: An excited state proton transfer reaction as case study. Journal

of Computational Chemistry, 38:1084.


[2016] Savarese M, Brémond È, Rega N, Adamo C, Ciofini I. Excited State Proton Transfer and Intramolecular Charge Transfer in 1, 3 diketone Molecules: a Density Functional Theory Based investigation. ChemPhysChem, 17:1530.


[2016] Savarese M, Brémond È, Adamo C.Exploring the limits of recent exchange–correlation functionals in modeling lithium/benzene interaction.Theoretical Chemistry Accounts, 145:1.


[2016] Savarese M, Raucci U, Netti PA, Adamo C, Rega N, Ciofini I. A Qualitative Model to Identify Non Radiative Decay channels: the Spiropyran as case study

Theoretical Chemistry Accounts,135:211.


[2015] Savarese M, Brémond È, Antonov A, Ciofini I, Adamo C, Computational Insights into ExcitedState ProtonTransfer Reactions in Azo and Azomethine Dyes.ChemPhysChem,16:3966.


[2015] Bonaccorso F, Balis N, Stylianakis MM, Savarese M, Adamo C, Gemmi M, Pellegrini V, Stratakis E, Kymaki E. Functionalized Graphene as an ElectronCascade Acceptor for AirProcessed Organic Ternary Solar Cells.Advanced Functional Materials, 25:3870.


[2014] Savarese M, Raucci U, Adamo C, Netti PA, Ciofini I, Rega N (Editor's Choice). Modeling of charge transfer Processes to understand photophysical signatures: The case of Rhodamine 110.Chemical Physics Letters, 610:148.


[2014] Savarese M, Netti PA, Rega N, Adamo C, CiofiniI. Intermolecular proton shuttling in excited state proton transfer reactions: insights from theory.Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics,16:8661.


[2013]Savarese M, Netti PA, Adamo C, Rega N, CIofini I, Exploring the Metric of Excited State Proton Transfer Reaction.The Journal of Physical Chemistry B,117:16165.


[2012] Savarese M, Aliberti A, De Santo I, Battista E, Causa F, Netti PA, Rega N.Fluorescence Lifetimes and Quantum Yields of Rhodamine Derivatives: New Insights from Theory and Experiment. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A,116:7491.




Velia Siciliano

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: biotechnologies, medica biotechnology

Keywords: aystems biology, synthetic biology

Region: Campania


Group Leader, Synthetic and Systems Biology for Biomedicine Laboratory of Italian Insitute of Technology, Naple, University Federico II.

Professional career

Velia Siciliano graduated cum Laudein Medical Biotechnology, BSc and MSc degree at the University of Naples Federico II.  In 2012 she obtained a PhD in Human Genetics from the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine Naples supervised by Prof. di Bernardo (Systems and Synthetic Biology lab) 

 then moved to Boston as a Postdoctoral fellow in the Biological Engineering Department and Synthetic Biology Centre at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 2015 she won a fellowship for Junior Independent Investigator from Imperial College London. Here, in the Department of Medicine she started to build her independent research line in mammalian synthetic biology. 

In September 2017 she was appointed as Principal Investigator at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia-IIT after passing an international scientific committee evaluation through the Tenure Track program of IIT. She established a new Research Line in Synthetic and Systems Biology. She is also honorary fellow of Imperial College London where she still supervises research activities.

Scientific results

Velia Siciliano’s research is published in high impact journals including Nature Communications, Nature Biotechnology etc. She is a co-inventor of a patent with MIT.

She was recently awarded with the most prestigious research grant in Europe, the ERC Starting Grant, receiving funding for 1.5M euro from EU. She is also partner in other grants, including an ERC Advanced (coordinated by Prof. Di Leonardo, Università la Sapienza, Roma) and the Cosy-Bio  (FET-grant, from EU coordinated by Prof. Di Bernardo).

Velia Siciliano attended more than 10 conferences and meetings as invited speaker, and she is member of scientific committee of the Synthetic and Systems Biology summer school, Member of scientific committee ofMammalian Synthetic Biology workshop, and chair of the Cell Therapies + Bioengineering Conference. She was recognized as one of 10  most promising scientists under 40 in Italy by Fortune (, and one of 1000 women with most impact in Italy for science and innovation ( Velia was among the 20 women in the final selection of women of 2019 by DonnaD (La Repubblica). 

Editorial work and publications

Velia Siciliano is Review Editor in Nanobiotechnology,  Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, Bioengineering and Biotechnology and Materials) and she was invited to join the editorial board of BioDesign Research, an international, peer-reviewed, open-access journal, part of the Science Partner Journal (SPJ) family; she is ad-hocreviewer for multiple journals. 


She is an author/coauthor in several important scientific papers, including:

[2019] Tedeschi F, Siciliano V., Mammalian synbio sensors (Hanbook of Cell Biosensor, Springer) Accepted

[2019] DipaloM, Caprettini V, Bruno G, Caliendo F, Garma L,  Melle G, Dukinova M,  Siciliano V,  Santoro F,  De Angelis F. Plasmonic optoacoustic poration and electroporation induce different dynamics at the cell/nanostructure interface  (Advanced Biosystems). 

[2019] Pennacchio FA, Caliendo F, Iaccarino G, Langella A, Siciliano V, Santoro F. 3D-patterned scaffolds modulate the biointerface at the nanoscale (Nano Letters).

[2019] Cella F. Siciliano V., Protein-based parts and devices that respond to intracellular and extracellular signals in mammalian cells (Current Opinion in Chemical Biology)

[2019] Caliendo F., Dukhinova M., Siciliano V., Engineered cell-based therapeutics: synthetic biology meets immunology (Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology)

[2018] Cella F., Wroblewska L., Weiss R, Siciliano V. Engineering of protease sensitive RNA-Binding protein in mammalian cells (Nature Communications

[2018] Siciliano V., Di Andreth B., Monel B., Beal J., Huh J.,Clayton K.,Wroblewska L.,McKeon Am., Walker BD.,Weiss R. Engineering modular intracellular protein sensor-actuator devices (Siciliano and Weiss co-corresponding. Nature CommunicationsMay 14;9(1):1881. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03984-5)

[2017] MacDonald J.T., Siciliano V. Promoter design – selecting transcriptionally silent regions. Methods in Molecular Biology(doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7223-4_18)

[2015] Wroblewska L, Endo K, Kitada T, Siciliano V, Saito H, Weiss R. Engineering mammalian cells with RNA-encoded synthetic translational circuits. Nature BiotechnologyAug;33(8):839-41. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3301.

[2014] Stanton B, Siciliano V, Ghodasara A, Wroblewska L, Clancy K, Trefzer A, Chesnut J, Weiss R, Voigt C. Systematic transfer of prokaryotic sensors and circuits to mammalian cells. ACS Synthetic BiologyDec 19;3(12):880-91. doi: 10.1021/sb5002856.

[2013] Siciliano V, Garzilli I, Fracassi C, Ventre S, Criscuolo S, di Bernardo D. miRNAs confer phenotypic robustness to gene networks by suppressing biological noise: a synthetic biology approach. Nature Communications;4:2364. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3364.

[2012] Menolascina F*, Siciliano V*, di Bernardo D.   Engineering and Control of Biological Systems: A New Way to Tackle Complex Diseases and Biotechnological Innovation. FEBS LetterJul 16;586(15):2122-8. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2012.04.050.

Awards and prizes

Premio per innovazione scientifica in synthetic biology. Synberc fall retreat (2014)

Proof-of concept grant, Synbicite (UK) (2016)

Premio Giovani Innovatori MIT Italia (2018)

Premio Galilei, 2032 Rotary International (2018)

Mortari Award, Merck (2019)



Valeria Simoncini

STEM area: Mathematics

Competences: numerical analysis

Keywords: linear algebra, matrices, multivariate statistics, numerical computation, optimization

Region: Emilia-Romagna


Full Professor of Numerical Analysis at the University of Bologna

Professional career

After graduating in Mathematics in 1989 at the University of Bologna, she continued her studies with a PhD in Computational Mathematics and Mathematical Informatics at the University of Padua, which she obtained in 1994, simultaneously with the PhD from 1991 to 1993 she was a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champain in the United States. Since 1995 has been a researcher at the Institute of Environmental Geophysical Methodologies (IMGA) of the CNR section of Modena. The following year she was a researcher at the Institute of Numerical Analysis (IAN) of the CNR section of Pavia; she held that position until 2000, when she became associate professor at the University of Bologna. Since 2010 she is a full professor at the same university.


Scientific results

Her research field includes the study of matrices, multivariate statistics and the Spectral Perturbation Theory, with applications to partial differential equations. These equations are used in different fields of science, not only in physics with the study of aerodynamics, quantum mechanics and elasticity, but also in engineering with matrix analysis and in atmospheric analysis studies. In fact, Paola Fermo also deals with the numerical modeling of phenomena concerning natural sciences and medicine such as the modeling of systems useful for electrocardiology and the study and modeling of Gene Networks, a research field that relates genetic, environmental factors and risks of contracted illnesses.

Editorial work and publications

Author of numerous scientific publications and a monograph, including:

A Guide to Empirical Orthogonal Functions for Climate Data Analysis, Navarra Antonio, Simoncini Valeria, Springer editore. 

(2017) Powell CE, Silvester D, Simoncini V. An efficient reduced basis solver for stochastic Galerkin matrix equations. SIAM Journal Scientific Computing, 39(1), A141-A163.

(2016) Simoncini V. Computational methods for linear matrix equations (Survey article). SIAM Review, 58-3, 377-441. 

(2015) Benzi M, Simoncini V. Decay bounds for functions of Hermitian matrices with banded or Kronecker structure. SIAM Journal on Matrix Analysis and Applications, 36-3,1263-1282. 

(2015) Porcelli M, Simoncini V, Tani M. Preconditioning of active-set Newton methods for PDE-Constrained optimal control problem. SIAM Journal Scientific Computing, 37-5, S472-S502. 

(2013) Krendl W, Simoncini V, Zulehner W. Stability Estimates and Structural Spectral Properties of Saddle Point Problems. Numerische Mathematik, 124(1):183-213.

(2011) Druskin V, Simoncini V. Adaptive rational Krylov subspaces for large-scale dynamical systems. Systems & Control Letters, 60, 546-560.


(2007) Simoncini V, Szyld DB. Recent computational developments in Krylov Subspace Methods for linear systems. Numerical Linear Algebra with Applications, 14(1): 1-59. 

(2005) Brezzi F, Lipnikov K, Simoncini V. A family of mimetic finite difference methods on polygonal and polyhedral meshes. Mathematical Models and Methods in Applied Sciences, 15(10):1533-1552. 

(2003) Simoncini V, Szyld DB. Theory of Inexact Krylov Subspace Methods and Applications to Scientific Computing. SIAM Journal Scientific Computing, 25(2):454-477. 

(1995) Simoncini V, Gallopoulos S. An Iterative Method for Nonsymmetric Systems with Multiple Right-hand Side. SIAM Journal Scientific Computing, 15, 917-933.



Awards and prizes

She is a member of the Editorial Board of numerous scientific journals such as the Journal of Numerical Mathematics, ESAIM: Mathematical Modeling and Numerical Analysis (M2AN), the SIAM Journal of Numerical Analysis, ETNA - Electronic Transactions Numerical Analysis and the SIAM Journal Matrix Analysis and Applications. She is also a permanent member of the scientific committee of the House Symposium, a member of the SIAM International Summer School advisory board on Numerical Linear Algebra and of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Philadelphia, USA. Referee for the evaluation of national and international projects and from 2011 to 2013 was a member of the panel for the Mathematics section of the University Research Quality Assessment (VQR) project.

Claudia Sorlini

STEM area: Natural and environmental sciences

Competences: agricultural microbiology

Keywords: bioenergies, biotechnologies applied to agriculture, environment, sustainable agriculture, women and science

Region: Lombardy


Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Microbiology, University of Milan.

Professional career

Graduated in Biological Sciences at the University of Milan, Claudia Sorlini  developed   her career up to full professor of Agriculture, Food and Environment Microbiology.  Besides her tenure at the University of Milan, she taught at the University of Molise (1990-1993) and Politecnico di  Milano (1975-1988) . She has held several assignments in the university governance: Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture  ( 2014-2010), member of the  Equal Opportunity Committee of the University of Milan, coordinator of the session Gender & Equality in Research and Science (2006 - 2013). During her tenure as dean, she has been coordinator of the  scientific committeee founding the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Makeni, Sierra Leone. Among the several external posts she has been member of the Steering Committee of the EU Scientific Programme for Expo(2014-15),vice-president of Italian Touring Club and president of the association Casa dell'Agricoltura that promotes the sustainable agriculture and the role of women farmers and researchers  in agriculture.

Scientific results

She is expert in  the field of microbial biotechnologies applied to the bioremediation of polluted sites,  bio-energy production (methane, hydrogen and fertilizers) and biofertilizers. Along with her team she set up a viable bacterial cells-based system to recover ancient stone statues and frescoes; an image of these investigations gained the cover of the American Society for Microbiology Journal. She got a specific experience in the xenobiotic pollutants biodegradation such as plastics, pesticides, solvents etc. and has been involved in the promotion of  women scientists by welcoming young female students in her scientific European  projects, and participating, as a scientific referent, to the projects, such as Stages (Structural Transformation to Achieve Gender Equality in Science, 2012-2013), which support equal gender opportunity in science.

Editorial work and publications

Claudia Sorlini is author and co-author of more than 300 publications on international and national journals and  books chapters. Among the more recents:


(2018). Vigani G., Rolli E., Dell'Orto M, Michoud G, Soussi A., Raffafu N., Borin S., Sorlini C., Zocchi G., Daffonchio D. Root bacterial endophytes confer drought resistance and enhance expression and activity of a vacuolar H+ -pumping pyrophosphatase in pepper plants.Environ. Microbiol. May 22. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.14272. 

(2018). Sorlini C. Agricoltura e alimentazione: quale futuro? Notiziario della Banca Popolare di Sondrio 137, 14-17.

(2016).Sorlini C. Cambiamento climatico, una sfida da vincere. In: Clima - il pianeta che cambia. Touring Club Italiano Milano. ISBN 978-88-365-7032-4, pag. 7-9.

 (2015). Expo 2015 EU Scientific Steering Committee - Fischler F., Wilkinson D., Benton T., Daniel H., Darcy-Vrillon B. Hefferman P., Kok E., Saarela M., Jakubczyc E., Sorlini C., Swinnen J., von Brown J. New ways of providing knowledge to tackle food and nutrition security: what should the EU do? European Union. EUR 27562 EN, doi: 10.2788/802016, Book.

(2015). Sorlini C., Dendena B., Grassi S. The mutifaceted nature of the agrifood world. In S. Veca (ed) The many faces of sustainability,  Feltrinelli, Milano, pp. 3-29.

Awards and prizes

The 2015 she received from the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, the award of the Order to Merit of Italian Republic (Commendatore della Repubblica) for the  commitment  in environmental topics and dissemination of agriculture sciences also in developing countries. The same year she was awarded  from the Mayor of Milan of the civic  "Ambrogino d'oro"; and   from Pechino 20 - Making Women Congress:  the prize called  "Donne che ce l'hanno fatta" for her  commitment in art, science and society. Finally; from  Women and Technology Association:  the award "Tecnovisionarie: Women who face  the future" for the academic relevant contribution and for coordination of European and national  environmental  agriculture and bioenergy projects.    


Maria Pia Sormani

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: biostatistics, research methods

Keywords: autotransplant, biostatistics, cancer, coronavirus, Covid-19, Covid-19 in people with multiple sclerosis, data analysis, MRI, multiple sclerosis, vaccines in people with multiple sclerosis

Region: Liguria


Professor of Biostatistics  at the University of Genoa, Italy

Professional career

She received her Master in Biostatistics at the University of Milan, her Master in Biophysics at the University of Pisa and her degrees in Physics at the University of Genoa, in Italy. She collaborated for more than ten years with the Neuroimaging Research Unit at the S.Raffaele Hospital in Milan, studying the methodological issues related to the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in Multiple Sclerosis. She worked for about twelve years at the National Institute for Cancer Research in Genoa in cancer clinical studies. She is now Professor of Biostatistics at the Medical School at the University of Genoa, where she teaches Biostatistics and Research Methods to students in medicine. 

She serves on the National MS Society Clinical Trials Advisory Committee. She is Visiting Professor at the Imperial College of London.

Scientific results

Her main research interest is on methods for clinical trials in Multiple Sclerosis, with a special focus on MRI outcomes.

Editorial work and publications

She is in the editorial Board of Multiple Sclerosis Journal and Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders. She published more than 350 papers on peer reviewed journals, with an IF>1800 and an h-index=75 (Scholar).

Maria Grazia Speranza

STEM area: Mathematics

Competences: operative research

Keywords: algorithms, finance, linear programming, logistics, optimization, transport

Region: Lombardy


Full professor of operations research and President of International Federation of Operational Research Societies, University of Brescia

Professional career

After the Bachelor degree in Mathematics in 1980 at the University of Milan, she took a post-graduate program in applied mathematics. In 1983 she became assistant professor of operations research at the University of Milan. She became associate professor in 1987 at the University of Udine. Since 1994 she is full professor at the University of Brescia. She was dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business from 2002 and 2008. From 2016 she is deputy rector of the University of Brescia.


Scientific results

The research activity of Maria Grazia Speranza is oriented to the study of mixed integer mathematical programming models, that is optimization models where a function is minimized or maximized subject to constraints and the variables must take integer values. Such models have been applied to several problems, in particular in the area of finance, where the decision concerns the investment of a capital in securities with the objective of  minimizing the risk while guaranteeing a given average rate of return, and to the area of transportation and logistics where location or distribution decisions must be taken with the objective of minimizing the costs while guaranteeing a given service level. Most recent research concerns the value of collaboration and shared mobility.

Editorial work and publications

Maria Grazia Speranza is editor of international scientific journals such as  Transportation Science and  EURO Journal on Transportation and Logistics. She is author of more than 150 publications among which: 

(2018) Archetti C, Christiansen, M, Speranza MG. Inventory routing with pickups and deliveries,  European Journal of Operational Research,  268:314–324.

 (2018) Speranza MG. Trends in transportation and logistics,  European Journal of Operational Research, 264: 830–836.

 (2017) Guastaroba G, Savelsbergh M,  Speranza MG.Adaptive kernel search: A heuristic for solving mixed integer linear programs,   European Journal of Operational Research, 263: 789-804.

(2017) Archetti C, Boland N, Speranza MG. A matheuristic for the multi-vehicle inventory routing problem,  Informs Journal on Computing, 29:377-387.

(2016) Guastaroba G, Vigo D, Speranza MG.Intermediate facilities in freight transportation planning: a survey, Transportation Science, 50:763-789. 

Awards and prizes

In  2008-2009 she was Vice-President of IFORS (International Federation of Operation Research Societies). In  2011-2012 she was President of the EURO (Association of European Operational Research Societies). In 2014 she was President of the Transportation Science and Logistic Society of INFORMS (The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Science). From 2019 to 2021 she is President of IFORS. She is member of scientific committees of the major conferences in the area of transportation and logistics. She has been chair of the  program committee of the IFORS conference in Quebec City in  2017. She was plenary speaker at several international conferences and in particular at Optimization days 2005 in Montréal  (together with John Nash) and at the 27th European Conference on Operational Research in Glasgow in 2015.


Maria Grazia Spillantini

STEM area: Psychology and neurosciences

Competences: molecular neurology

Keywords: Alzheimer, dementia, parkinson

Region: ABROAD


Professor of Molecular Neurology at the University of Cambridge

Professional career

After graduating in Biological Sciences at the University of Florence in 1981, she continued her education with a PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge, obtained in 1993 working in the Molecular Biology Laboratory of the Medical Research Council. After a period as a CNR researcher in Rome she returned to Cambridge and since that moment her career developed within the same university: in 1997 she held the position of Lecturer of Neurology at the Clinical School, in 2002 she was Reader in Molecular Neurology and in 2007 Professor of Molecular Neurology in the Clinical School Department of Clinical Neuroscience.

Scientific results

Maria Grazia Spillantini's research concerns the mechanisms that lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and fronto-temporal dementia. Her internationally recognized scientific contributions include the identification of a particular protein (alpha-synuclein) as the main component of the characteristic protein deposits (Lewy bodies) present in the brains of patients suffering from Parkinson's disease and dementia from Lewy bodies closely related to it. Another revolutionary discovery by Maria Grazia Spillantini concerning neurodegenerative diseases is the identification of a genetic mutation in the tau protein, which is aggregated in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease and other diseases now known as tauopathies, as the cause of heredity of fronto-temporal dementia. She was the favorite pupil of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, Rita Levi Montalcini.

Editorial work and publications

She is the author of book chapters and more than 290 articles in international scientific journals, including:


(2015) Iovino M, Agathou S, González-Rueda A, Del Castillo Velasco-Herrera M, Borroni B, Alberici A, Lynch T, O'Dowd S, Geti I, Gaffney D, Vallier L, Paulsen O, Káradóttir RT, Spillantini MG. Early maturation and distinct tau pathology in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons from patients with MAPT mutations. Brain, 138:3345-59.

(2014) Yang S, Cacquevel M, Saksida LM, Bussey TJ, Schneider BL, Aebischer P, Melani R, Pizzorusso T, Fawcett JW, Spillantini MG. Perineuronal net digestion with chondroitinase restores memory in mice with tau pathology. Experimental Neurology, 265C:48-58.

(2013) Mellone M, Kestoras M, Andrews MR, Dassie E, Crowther RA, Goedert M, Tolkovsky AM, Spillantini MG. Axonal transport alterations and increased sensitivity to toxic stimuli in a novel cellular model of progressive tau hyperphosphorylation and aggregation. Journal of Neuroscience, 33:18175–18189.

(2010) Hampton DW, Webber DJ, Bilican B, Goedert M, Spillantini MG, Chandran C. Cell-mediated neuroprotection in a mouse model of human tauopathy. Journal of Neuroscience, 30:9973-9983.

(2004) Bellucci A, Westwood AJ, Ingram E, Casamenti F, Goedert M, Spillantini MG. Neuroinflammation in mice transgenic for human P301S tau protein. American Journal of Pathology, 165(5):1643-52.

(1998) Spillantini MG, Crowther RA, Jakes R, Hasegawa M, Goedert M. a-Synuclein in filamentous inclusions of Lewy bodies from Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 95, 6469-6473.

(1998) Spillantini MG, Murrell JR, Goedert M, Farlow MR, Klug A, Ghetti B. Mutation in the tau gene in familial multiple system tauopathy with presenile dementia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 95, 7737-7741.

(1997) Spillantini MG, Schmidt ML, Lee VMY, Trojanowski JQ, Jakes R, Goedert M. a-Synuclein in Lewy bodies. Nature, 388, 839-840.

(1997) Spillantini MG, Goedert M, Crowther RA, Murrell J, Farlow MJ, Ghetti B. Familial multiple system tauopathy with presenile dementia: a disease with abundant neuronal and glial tau filaments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 94, 4113-4118.

(1989) Spillantini MG, Aloe L, Alleva E, De Simone R, Goedert M, Levi-Montalcini R. Nerve growth factor mRNA and protein increase in hypothalamus in a mouse model of aggression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 86: 8555-8559. 

Maria Grazia Spillantini is also a member of the Editorial Board of Brain Pathology, Synapse, Neuropathology and Applied Neurology and associate editor of Brain and NPJ Parkinson's disease.





Awards and prizes


Maria Grazia Spillantini received numerous awards and recognitions including, in 1985, the Greppi Prize for research on migraine, in 1993 the Stephen Newburgh prize for biomedical research, in 1995 and 1998 the Moore prize of the American Society of Neuropathology. In 2000 she obtained the Potamkin prize of the American Academy of Neurology. Since 2002 she has been Honorary Citizen of Caprese Michelangelo in the province of Arezzo and a lifetime member of Peterhouse (the oldest collage of the University of Cambridge) and a member of Clare Hall since 1994. In 2003 she won the "Alessandro Agnoli" award from LIMPE. On the occasion of International Women's Day, 8 March 2012, she was awarded the Pieve Donna prize in Pieve Santo Stefano, and the following year she received the Simply Woman Award for scientific research. In 2010 she was appointed a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences of London, in 2013 she became a member of the Royal Society of London and in 2015 received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Italian Association of Frontotemporal Dementia, the Cotzias prize of the Spanish association of Neurology and the Van Andel Award for outstanding results in Parkinson's disease.


Giuseppina Marilia Tantillo

STEM area: Clinical sciences and nutrition science

Competences: food safety, veterinary medicine

Keywords: apiculture, biomolecular analysis, chemical risk, commercial frauds, coronavirus, Covid-19, Covid-19: impact on the food packaging, Covid-19: persistence of the virus on the industries, food technology, nutritional quality, sanitary controls

Region: Apulia


Full Professor at the Department of Interdisciplinary of Medicine (DIM) of University of Bari within the Scientific-Disciplinary Sector VET/04 “Food Safety”. Disciplines Taught including “Food Laboratory and Food Industry practices”, “Chemical analysis of foods and food products”, “Technology and hygiene of milk, meat, fish, eggs and honey”, “Food microbiology”.

Lecturer in various research PhD courses. Formerly lecturer in various Italian Public Institutes specialized in “Public  Health Services”, “Food Science”, “Meat Hygiene and Technology”

Formerly Lecturer in Food Processing Training Programmes (courses held in local Health Agencies, Desease Prevention Institutes and Food Industries)

Professional career

From 2004  to 2014 Director of Specialisation School in “Hygiene and Technology of milk and dairy products” at the University of Bari and from 2014 to 2017 Director of the Specialisation School “Food inspection” at the University of Bari.

From 2002 to 2010 Coordinator of the Doctoral School “Produzione, qualità e sicurezza degli alimenti di origine animale”.

From 2002 to 2005 President of the 1st degree course in “Scienze zootecniche e Sanità degli alimenti”.

From 2005 to 2008 President of the 2nd degree course in “Igiene e Qualità degli alimenti”.


Scientific results

Professor Tantillo leads many specialistic academic courses on:

-      microbiological, biomolecular and chemical characterization of food products;

-      Good Practices and HACCP procedures in food chain production.

Professor Tantillo is expert in food safety control by DNA-based, microbiological and chemical methods.

The research fields include: detection of xenobiotic compounds (mycotoxins, dioxins, PCBs, PAHs, Marine Biotoxins) in foodstuff by advanced chemical techniques; development of analytical techniques for the analysis of mycotoxins in food and feed; food microbiology; quality of honey and beehive products; hygienic-sanitary quality of traditional products.

Professor Tantillo is Scientific Coordinator of several national and international Research Projects, aimed to guarantee food safety, to assess the nutritional and functional quality of food, to develop technological innovations for food preservation, and to detect food frauds using molecular-based technologies.


Editorial work and publications

[2018 ] Terio, Valentina, Bottaro, Marilisa, Di Pinto, Angela, Fusco, Giovanna, Barresi, Teodosio, Tantillo, Giuseppina, Martella, Vito (2018). Occurrence of Aichi virus in retail shellfish in Italy. FOOD MICROBIOLOGY, vol. 74, p. 120-124, ISSN: 0740-0020, doi: 10.1016/


-          [2017 ] Terio V, Bottaro M, Pavoni E, Losio M N, Serraino A, Giacometti F, Martella V, Mottola A, Di Pinto A, Tantillo G. Occurrence of hepatitis A and E and norovirus GI and GII in ready-to-eat vegetables in Italy. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 249:61-65, ISSN: 0168-1605, doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro. 2017.03.008.


-          2017] Di Pinto A, Terio V, Marchetti P, Bottaro M, Mottola A, Bozzo G, Bonerba E, Ceci E, Tantillo G. DNA-based approach for species identification of goat-milk products,Food Chemistry, 229:93-97, ISSN: 0308-8146, doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem. 2017.02.067.


[2016] Mottola A, Bonerba E, Bozzo G, Marchetti P, Celano G V, Colao V, Terio V, Tantillo G, Figueras M J, Di Pinto A. Occurrence of emerging food-borne pathogenic Arcobacter spp. isolated from pre-cut (ready-to-eat) vegetables. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 236:33-37, ISSN: 0168-1605, doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro. 2016.07.012


[2015] Di Pinto A, Bottaro M, Bonerba E, Bozzo G, Ceci E., Marchetti P, Mottola A, Tantillo G. Occurrence of mislabeling in meat products using DNA-based assay, Journal of Food Science and Tecnology, 52:2479-2484, ISSN: 0022-1155, doi: 10.1007/s13197-014-1552-Y.