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Results: 162

Luisa Torsi

STEM area: Chemistry

Competences: analytical chemistry, bioelectronics, diagnostics, materials science and technology

Keywords: analytical chemistry, bioelectronics, biosensors, environment, inventions, materials science, nanotechnologies, odor machine, sensors, women and science

Region: Apulia


Full professor of Chemistry at the University of Bari (Italy)

Adjunct professor at the Abo Academy University in Finland

Professional career

Torsi received her laurea degree in Physics from the University of Bari in 1989 and the PhD in Chemical Sciences from the same institution in 1993.  She was post-doctoral fellow at Bell Labs from 1994 to 1996. In 2005 and 2006 she was invited professor at the University of Anger and Paris 7, respectively.

Scientific results

One of the main feature that characterize Torsi’s scientific excursus is the proven ability to span different interrelated fields by contributing to topics such as: electronic and electrochemical sensors, organic semiconductors, analytical chemistry, solid-state device physics, material chemistry and physics, bio-chemical interactions, gathering insights through the cross-contaminations from all these fields. This attitude stems directly from the interdisciplinary education path pursued. She contributed to study organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) fundamental electronic properties, demonstrating of the two-dimensional and bi-polar transport in such devices. In 2000 she pioneered the use of OFETs as multi-parametric chemical sensors. Afterwards, the OFETs were exploited for ultra-sensitive molecular assay by means of devices capable to perform chiral differential detection at unprecedented low concentration. Lately, she engaged in a new frontier by studying how to integrate fully functioning bio-recognition elements into OFET devices to study the properties of bio-organic interfaces, also with an extremely sensitive capacity modulated electrolyte gated OFET both able to routinely reach picomolar detection levels. The understanding of the subtlest functional details of the electronic sensor proposed has enabled to reach better and better performance leading, lately, to the demonstration of single molecule detection with a large-area processable, millimeter-sized thin-film transistor.

Editorial work and publications

Torsi has authored almost 200 ISI papers, including papers published in Science, Nature Materi-als, Nature Communications, PNAS and is co-inventor of several awarded international patents. Her works gathered almost 11.000 Google scholar citations resulting in an h-index of 50 (ISI h-index: 43).

(2018) Macchia, E., Manoli, K., Holzer, B., Di Franco, C., Ghittorelli, M., Torricelli, F., Alberga, D., Mangiatordi, G.F., Palazzo, G., Scamarcio, G., Torsi, L.* Single mo-lecule detection with a millimetre-sized transistor.Nature Communications 2018, 9, Article Number: 3223; Highlighted in Nature:

(2017) Holzer., B., Manoli, K., Ditaranto, N., Macchia, E., Tiwari, A., Di Franco, C., Scamarcio, G., Palazzo, G., Torsi, L. Characterization of Covalently Bound Anti-human Immunoglobulins on Self-assembled Monolayer Modified Gold Elec-trodes.Advanced Biosystem, 2017,1, 1700055.
(2016) Macchia E, Alberga D, Manoli K, Torsi L, et al. Organic bioelectronics probing conformational changes in surface confined proteins. Scientific Reports 6,28085. 
(2015) Macchia E, Giordano F, Magliulo M, Torsi L, et al. An analytical model for bio-electronic organic field-effect transistor sensors.Applied Physics Letters, 106(2). 
(2015) Afzal A, Di Franco C, Mesto E, Torsi L, et al. Au/In2O3 and Au/ZrO2 composite nanoparticles via in situ sacrificial gold electrolysis.  Materials Express, 5(3):171-179. 
(2015) Mulla M Y, Tuccori E, Magliulo M, Torsi L, et al. Capacitance-modulated transistor detects odorant binding protein chiral interactions, Nature Communications, 6,6010. 
(2015) Palazzo G, De Tullio D, Magliulo M, Torsi L, et al. Detection Beyond Debye's Length with an Electrolyte-Gated Organic Field-Effect Transistor. Advanced Materials, 27(5):911-916. 
(2013) Torsi L et al. Organic field-effect transistor sensors: a tutorial review. Chemical Society Reviews, 42(22):8612-8628. 
(2008) Torsi L, et al. A sensitivity-enhanced field-effect chiral sensor. Nature Materials, 7(5): 412-417. 
(1995) Dodabalapur A, Katz EH, Torsi L, et al. Organic Heterostructure Filed-Effect Transistors.Science, 269 (5230):1560-1562. 
(1995) Dodabalapur A, Torsi L, Katz EH. Organic Transistors - 2 dimensional transport and improved electrical characteristics. Science, 268 (5208):270-271.


Awards and prizes

In 2010 she has been awarded with the Heinrich Emanuel Merck prize for analytical sciences, this marking the first time the prestigious award is given to a woman and to an Italian scientist. She is also the recipient of the main overall platinum 2015 prize of the Global-Women Inventors and Innovators Network. She has been also elected 2017 Fellow of the Material Research Society, one of the largest international society in this field, for pioneering work in the field of organic (bio) electronic sensors and their use for point-of-care testing. It is the first scientist to work for an Italian institution to be awarded with this recognition. In 2018 she received the silver medal of the Italian Chemical Society (SCI) awarded at the Merck & Elsevier Young Chemistry Symposium by the “SCI Gruppo Giovani”.



Daniela Trabattoni

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: clinical cardiology, invasive cardiology

Keywords: gender-specific medicine, preventive medicine

Region: Lombardy


Chief, Invasive Cardiology Unit;

Director,  Women Heart Center

Centro Cardiologico Monzino, IRCCS- Milan


Professional career

Graduation in Medicine at the University of Milan in 1992; board in Cardiology at the University of Milan in 1997.

Visiting fellow in the Intravascular Ultrasound Laboratory, Catheterization Lab, Washington Hospital Center (1997-1998).

In 1998 she becomes staff member of the Cath Lab at the Centro Cardiologico Monzino and Assistant Director in 2014. She is elected Chief of the Invasive Cardiology Unit at the same Institute in October 2017 and Director of the Women Heart Center, she founded in 2017, focused on cardiovascular prevention in women. 

Teaching clinical cardiology at the postgraduate cardiology school, University of Milan.

She is elected committee member of the National Superior Institute of Health (ISS) for cardiovascular devices evaluation in 2011 and member of the ISS committee for a ministerial consensus document on gender-based medicine.


Scientific results

Daniela Trabattoni focuses her research interests in interventional cardiology section, evaluating factors possibly affecting PCI outcomes, according to different coronary devices use. She has studied cardioprotective tools adopted during primary angioplasty as adjunctive therapy for a faster left ventricle function recovery, after acute myocardial infarction.

She has studied potential correlations between patent foramen ovale and migraine and compared different occluder devices in PFO closure.

She actively contributed to the writing of the national consensus document on antiplatelet treatment management in patients with previous coronary stenting addressed to any surgery, by the GISE (Italian Society of Invasive Cardiology).

She has studied safety and efficacy of short-term antiplatelet therapy after drug-eluting and drug-coated stents in high-bleeding risk patients.


Actively working at international collaborative research projects:


1.      Acute and 30-day outcomes in women after TAVR: Results from the WIN-TAVI (Women’s International Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation) Real World Registry. JACC Cardiovasc Interv.2016


2.     Perioperative management of antiplatelet therapy in patients with coronary stents undergoing cardiac and non-cardiac surgery: a consensus document from Italian cardiological, surgical and anesthesiological societies.  Eurointervention, 2014;


3.      Acute procedural and six-month clinical outcome in patients treated with a dedicated bifurcation stent for left main stem disease: the TRYTON LM multicentre registry. EuroIntervention, 2013


Editorial work and publications

She is reviewer of national and international cardiology journals (G Ital di Cardiologia, J Cardiovasc Medicine, International J Cardiology, Cathet Cardiovasc Interv, Cephalalgia, Circulation Cardiovasc Interventions)


Editorial Board member: J Endovasc Therapy (2010-2013); Journal of Hypertension and Immunotherapy (2017); BMC Cardiovascular Disorders (2017)



She authored and co-authored 518 papers (114 peer-review manuscripts, 400 abstracts, 4 chapters book) on national and international journals.




1)    D. Trabattoni, AL. Bartorelli, F. Fabbiocchi, P. Montorsi, P. Ravagnani, M. Pepi, F. Celeste, A. Maltagliati, G. Marenzi, W.O’Neill. Hyperoxemic perfusion of left anterior descending coronary artery after primary angioplasty in anterior ST-elevation myocardial infarction. Cathet and Cardiovasc Interv, 2006; 67:859-865.DOI:10.1002/ccd.20704



2)    D. Trabattoni, F. Fabbiocchi, P. Montorsi, S. Galli, G. Teruzzi, L. Grancini, P. Gatto, A.L. Bartorelli. Sustained long-term benefit of PFO closure on migraine. Cath Cardiovasc Interv, 2011; 77 (4):570-574.doi: 10.1002/ccd.22826                                                                                                          


3)    D. Trabattoni,A. Bartorelli.IVUS in bifurcation stenting: what have we learned? Eurointervention suppl 2010; 6: J88-J93. doi: 10.4244/EIJV6SUPJA14                                 

4)    D. Trabattoni,F. Fabbiocchi,S. Galli, P. Montorsi, A. Lualdi, L. Grancini, Ravagnani, A.L. Bartorelli. Sex difference in long-term clinical outcome after sirolimus-eluting stent implantation. Coron Artery Dis, 2011; 22(6):442-6. DOI 10.1097/MCA.0b013e3283475056                                                             


5)    Trabattoni D, Gaspardone A, Sgueglia GA, Fabbiocchi F, Gioffrè G, Montorsi P, Calligaris G, Iamele M, De Santis A, Bartorelli AL. AMPLATZER versus Figulla occluder for transcatheter patent foramen ovale closure. EuroIntervention. 2017;12(17):2092-2099. doi: 10.4244/EIJ-D-15-00499.


6)    Trabattoni D, Fabbiocchi F, Montorsi P, Galli S, Ravagnani P, Calligaris G, Teruzzi G, Grancini L, Troiano S, Ferrari C, Bartorelli AL. A Long-term Single-center Registry of 6,893 Patients Undergoing Elective Percutaneous Coronary Intervention With the Xience Everolimus-Eluting Stent.J Invasive Cardiology, 2019; in press



Awards and prizes

Fellow of the Italian Society of Cardiology  (1995-present).

Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (2001-present)

Member of the Italian Group of Invasive Cardiology  (2001-present)

Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (2005-present)

Member of the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI) (2007-present)

Rosa Camuna award – by Regione Lombardia (2009)



Clara Troncon

STEM area: Physics

Competences: nuclear physics, particle physics

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

Region: Lombardy


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


Professional career

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

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

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

I am scientific associate at CERN since 1978.

Scientific results

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

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


Editorial work and publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awards and prizes

more than 1100 publication.

-         h-index in Google Scholar: 164

-         H-index ISI/Web of Science: 88

-         H-index SCOPUS : 86

Most prominent publications:

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

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

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

Katia Varani

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: cellular pharmacology

Keywords: anxiety, cancer, chronic diseases on an inflammatory basis, chronic pain, Huntington's korea, multiple sclerosis

Region: Emilia-Romagna


Associate Professor of Pharmacology,Department of Medical Sciences and University Center for Studies on Gender Medicine, University of Ferrara, Italy

Professional career

After graduating in Biological Sciences at the University of Ferrara in 1988, she continued her studies obtaining a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology in 1996. After that, she became Assistant Researcher in Pharmacology and from 2009 to date is Associate Professor in Pharmacology, Department of Medical Sciences, University Center for Studies on Gender Medicine, University of Ferrara.

Scientific results

The research themes of Katia Varani and her group are well represented by the pharmacological, biochemical and molecular study of adenosine receptors that have an important role in the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system and the immune response. The interaction of adenosine receptors is studied in neurodegenerative diseases (Huntington's chorea, Parkinson's disease and Multiple Sclerosis), in chronic and neuropathic pain, in cardiovascular disorders such as hypertension and heart failure, inflammatory diseases and cancer. Some studies show that A3 adenosine receptors represent a possible therapeutic target for preventing the development of mesothelial pleural tumors after exposure to asbestos. Other studies have shown that stimulated A2A adenosine receptors have an anti-inflammatory role in chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Recently, preclinical studies have shown that allosteric modulators of A1 adenosine receptors are endowed of analgesic and anxiolytic properties. The development of new potential drugs acting on adenosine receptors could constitute a valid and innovative pharmacological tool that could be very useful in clinical therapy.

Editorial work and publications

Katia Varani contributed of 232 full scientific publications on international refereed journals with impact factor (total IF: 1234). She is included in the Top Italian Scientists of the VIA Academy with a ranking of 68. Google Scholar: H index = 61; Sum of the citations: 10288.

5 Selected Publications:


-Borea PA, Gessi S, Merighi S, Vincenzi F, Varani K (2018). Pharmacology of Adenosine Receptors: The State of the Art. Physiology Review 98(3):1591-1625.

-Borea PA, Gessi S, Merighi S, Vincenzi F, Varani K (2017). Pathologic overproduction: the bad side of adenosine. British J Pharmacology174:1945-1960.

-Tabrizi M, Baraldi PG, Borea PA, Varani K (2016). Medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and potential therapeutic benefits of cannabinoid CB2receptor agonists. Chemical Reviews 116:519-560.

- Borea PA, Gessi S, Merighi S, Varani K (2016). Adenosine as a multi-signalling guardian angel in human diseases: when, where and how does it exert its protective effects? Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, S0165-6147(16)00041-9.

- Preti D, Baraldi PG, Moorman AR, Borea PA, Varani K (2015). History and perspectives of A2Aadenosine receptor antagonists as potential therapeutic agents. Medicinal Research Reviews, 35(4):790-848.

Ersilia Vaudo

STEM area: Physics

Competences: astrophysics, cosmology, international relations, strategy

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

Region: ABROAD


Chief Diversity Officer, European Space Agency

Professional career

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

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

Scientific results

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

Editorial work and publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2015 - TEDX Roncade, 2015: La sfida della conoscenza

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

2019 - TEDX THBrandenburg: La prima volta che..

Awards and prizes

1983 - Accademia dei Lincei Fellowship Enrico Persico

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

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

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

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

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

Paola Velardi

STEM area: Computer science

Competences: computer technology, electronic engineering

Keywords: artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language, social networks, web, web semantics, women and science

Region: Lazio


President of the Degree Course and Professor of Computer Science at the “Sapienza” University of Rome.

Professional career

After graduating in Electronic Engineering at the “Sapienza” University of Rome in 1978, she worked as a researcher at the Ugo Bordoni Foundation until 1982. In 1983 she was a visiting scholar at Stanford University and, from 1984 to 1986, was a researcher at the IBM science centre in Rome. From 1986 to 1996 she is associate professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Ancona. Since 1996 she is a professor at the Computer Science Department of the S.MM.FF.NN faculty of the “Sapienza” University of Rome. In 2001 she won a first class competition and became a full professor at the same university, where from 2011 to 2013 she was President of the Degree Course in Computer Science, a position she took on again in November 2016. Since 2013 she has been responsible for the Master’s degree course in Computer Science, distance learning. She teaches Machine Learning and Web and Social Information Extraction at the Master’s degree in Computer Science (in English), and from 2017, also the Business Intelligence course in Management Master's Degree taught in English. She is involved in gender issues, and she has been coordinating the NERD orientation project for six years in order to increase the number of girls enrolled in computer courses.

Scientific results

In the first years of scientific activity, Paola Velardi was involved in Computer Architecture and Reliability to then address her studies to Artificial Intelligence. Later, her main research interests concerned natural language processing, machine learning, semantic modeling and semantic web, i.e. the transformation of the web into an environment where published documents are associated with information and data which specify the semantic context in a format suitable for interrogation and interpretation (for example, through search engines) and, more generally, for automatic word processing. More recently, she has been involved in the analysis of social networks, applying her studies to user profiling, the detection of trending topics (topics of discussion that become popular among users of social networks), and the study of female leadership in social networks companies, epidemiological surveillance and e-health.

Editorial work and publications

She is author of over 150 national and international publications, including:

(2016) Stilo G, Velardi P. Hashtag Sense Clustering based on Temporal Similarity. Computational Linguistics, 43-1. 

(2016) Stilo G, Velardi P. Efficient Temporal Mining of Micro-blog Texts and its application to Event Discovery. Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 30(2):372-402.

(2015) Faralli S, Stilo G, Velardi P. Recommendation of micro-blog users based on hierarchical interest profiles. Social Network Analysis and Mining, 5, 25. 

(2015) Gesualdo F, Stilo G, D’Ambrosio A, Carloni E, Pandolfi E, Velardi P, et al. Can Twitter be a source of information on allergy? Correlation of pollen counts with tweets reporting symptoms of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and names of antihistamine drugs. PloS One, 10(7):e0133706 

(2015) Faralli S, Stilo G, Velardi P. Large Scale Homophily Analysis in Twitter using a Twixonomy. Proceedings of International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2015) Buenos Aires. 

(2015) Faralli S, Stilo G, Velardi P. What Women Like: A Gendered Analysis of Twitter Users' Interests based on a Twixonomy. Ninth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media Workshop: Wikipedia, a Social Pedia: Research Challenges and Opportunities, Oxford. 

(2015) Di Tommaso G, Stilo G, Velardi P. Women leadership in enterprise social networks: A SNA toolkit to foster the emergence of informal leaders in organizations. International Conference on Information Society (i-Society 2015), IEEE, London. 

(2014) P. Velardi P, G. Stilo G, E. Tozzi E, Gesualdo F. Twitter mining for fine-grained syndromic surveillance. Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, 61(3):153-63. 

(2013) Velardi P, S. Faralli S, Navigli R. OntoLearn Reloaded: A Graph-based Algorithm for Taxonomy Induction. Computational Linguistics, 39(3), MIT Press.

(2013) Gesualdo F, Stilo G, Agricola E, Gonfiantini MV, Pandolfi E, Velardi P, Tozzi AE. Influenza-like illness surveillance on Twitter through automated learning of naïve language. PLoS One, 8(12):e82489.

Awards and prizes

She participated as a partner, associate partner or coordinator in various national and European projects. Among others, the national projects (MIUR law 297) CHAT, on multimodality topics, and LC3, a public-private research laboratory on the topic of communication of cultural knowledge; the SimiTur 2.0 (POR FESR 2007/2013 - CO-RESEARCH) regional projects on the theme of tourism; PARTICIPATE (Research Projects presented by Research Institutes LR 13/2008) on topics of e-collaboration and participatory interfaces in the tourist / cultural field; HomeCare4All (POR FERS Lazio 2007/2013) on issues of public health and multilingual interaction with users; and finally Fiordaliso (POR FERS Lazio 2007/2013) on the topic of analysis of female leadership in corporate social networks. She was a member of the governing committee of the European INTEROP Network of Excellence (2003-2007), on enterprise interoperability issues and the scientific committee of the "EU Virtual Laboratory for Enterprise Interoperability", an European research institute legally established in Belgium in 2007. She is a reviewer of the European community, reviewer and member of the most important conferences and journals on the topics of interest (ACL, EACL, EMNLP, ESWC, IJCAI, ICWSM, TKDD, TKDE, CL, AIIM, BIBM, WWW, etc.). She is Associate Editor of Knowledge and Information Systems.



Margherita Venturi

STEM area: Chemistry

Competences: supermolecular electrochemistry, supermolecular photochemistry

Keywords: chemical computers, disclosure, energetic conversion, energy, molecular machines, nanosciences, nanotechnologies, shows

Region: Emilia-Romagna


Full professor of General Chemistru at University of Bologna

Professional career

After graduating in Chemistry at the University of Bologna in 1971, she continued her education first as a fellow, then a contractor and finally a researcher at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Bologna until 1992. In the same year she became associate professor in the faculty of Mathematical Sciences , Physics and Natural of the same university, and is confirmed again in 1995. Since 2005 she is full professor of General Chemistry of the University of Bologna.

Scientific results

From 1972 to 1991 she worked at National Research Council of Bologna where her main research activity was focused on the field of Radiation Chemistry. In particular, she studied the electron-transfer processes involved in model systems for the conversion of solar energy in chemical energy. Her present research activity is in the field of Supramolecular Photochemistry and Electrochemistry; specifically she is involved in the realization of systems made by two or more molecules capable of performing useful functions. The aims of the research are the following. 1. The desing and construction of chemical systems where the molecular components display changes in their relative positions as a result of some external stimulus, that can be photochemical, chemical and electrochemical in nature. Such systems are called molecular machines and their importance is testified by the fact that this research topic was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016. 2. The design and construction of systems capable of transferring, switching, collecting, storing, and elaborating photochemical, chemical and electrochemical signals. Up to now several systems of this kind have been obtained, like molecular antennae, wires, plug/socket and extension devices. The results of her research are of great importance in the fields of nanosceince and nanotechnology; for example the developed systems can lead to the construction of molecular devices able to convert solar energy in chemical energy and to elaborate information (chemical computer); they can also find applications in the field of medicine, for example, to develop drug delivering systems that can open new perspectives to treat tumors.

Editorial work and publications

She is co-author of more than 250 scientific papers, including several reviews, published in the most relevant international journals. Five of them are listed below.

1.    (2015) D’Agostino S, Bergamini G, Ceroni P, Comotti A, Sozzani P, Bassanetti I, Grepioni F, Hernandez TM, Silvi S, Venturi M, Credi A. Photoinduced reversible switching of porosity in molecular crystals based on star-shaped azobenzene tetramers. Nature Chemistry, 7:634-640.

2.    (2015) Ragazzon G, Baroncini M, Silvi S, Venturi M, Credi A. Light-powered autonomous and directional molecular motion of a dissipative self-assembling system. Nature Nanotechnology, 10:70-75.

3.    (2008) Balzani V, Credi A, Venturi M. Photochemical conversion of solar Energy. ChemSusChem, 1:26-58.

4.    (2008) Balzani V, Credi A, Venturi M. Molecular Devices and Machines – Concepts and Perspectives for the Nanoworld. Wiley-VCH: Weinheim, 1-546.

5.    (2006) Balzani V, Clemente-León M, Credi A, Ferrer B, Venturi M, Flood A H, Stoddart J F. Autonomous artificial nanomotor powered by sunlight. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 103:1178-1183.

Awards and prizes

In 2014 she received the Gold Medal Gabriello Illuminati from the Italian Chemical Society because of her contribution and involvement in teaching and spreading Chemistry as author of articles and books, as coordinator and partner of national and European projects, and as organizer of seminars, scientific exhibits, and teacher training courses. In addition, the medal recognized the fact that in 2000 she began to organize at the Department of Chemistry “Giacomo Ciamician” a show entitled Sounds, Lights, Colors and Other Special Effectsduring which the attending students (from primary to high schools) and citizens can see chemical demonstrations and understand the importance, utility, and beauty of Chemistry.



Antonella Viola

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: biology, immunology

Keywords: cancer cure, immune system, immunology, immunotherapy, inflammation, stamina cells

Region: Veneto


Full Professor of General Pathology at the University of Padua

Scientific Director at Istituto di Ricerca Pediatrica (IRP), Padua

Professional career

After graduating in Biological Sciences at the University of Padua in 1991, prof. Viola continued her education with a PhD in Evolutionary Biology, which she obtained in 1995 at the same university. She then joined the scientific community of the Basel Institute of Immunology (BII), first as visiting scientist and then as BII scientific member. In 2001 she went back to Padua as assistant professor and head of the Immunology Laboratory at the Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM). In 2007, she moved to Milan to direct the Adaptive Immunity Laboratory at the Humanitas Research Center. In 2014 she became full professor of General Pathology at the University of Padua and in 2017 scientific director of the Pediatric Research Institute (IRP). She has been a member of the scientific committee of the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) and a reviewer for the European Commission (FP7 and ERC). She has coordinated international (Prostate Cancer Research Program), European (E-rare) and national projects (AIRC, Telethon, MIUR, Ministry of Health) and has been partner of two ambitious projects of the European community, SYBILLA and MERLIN.

Scientific results

After the studies on T lymphocytes (capable of killing virus-infected cells or helping B cells in the production of antibodies), prof. Viola has expanded her research in the field of tumor immunology and, subsequently, of mesenchymal stromal cells. More recently, she decided to focus on the study of macrophages (cells responsible for phagocytizing pathogens and involved in all inflammatory processes) and she proposed to the European Commission the project “STePS”, which was awarded the ERC Advanced Grant. The results of her research are of great importance in basic research but also in other areas, from cancer immunotherapy (ability to exploit our own immune system to directly and focused treat certain diseases) to autoimmune diseases (diseases caused by improper activation of our immune system).

Editorial work and publications

Author of numerous scientific publications, including:

(2011) Molon B, Ugel S, Del Pozzo F, Soldani C, Zilio S, Avella D, De Palma A, Mauri PL, Monegal A, Rescigno M, Savino B, Colombo P, Jonjic N, Pecanic S, Lazzarato L, Fruttero R, Gasco A, Bronte V, Viola A. Chemokine nitration prevents intratumoral infiltration of antigen-specific T cells. The Journal of Experimental Medicine,208(10):1949-62.

(2010) Contento RL, Campello S, Trovato AE, Magrini E, Anselmi F and Viola A. Adhesion shapes T cells for prompt and sustained T cell receptor signaling. EMBO Journal, 29:4035-47.

(2008) Viola A & Luster AD. Chemokines and Their Receptors: Drug Targets in Immunity and Inflammation. Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 48:171-197.

(2007) Viola A & Gupta N. Tether and Trap: Regulation of membrane rafts by actin-binding proteins. Nature Reviews Immunology, 7:889-96.

(2006) Campello S, Lacalle RA, Bettella M, Manes S, Scorrano L & Viola A. Orchestration of leukocyte chemotaxis by mitochondrial dynamycs. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 203:2879-2886.

(2006) Tavano R, Contento RL, Baranda SJ, Soligo M, Tuosto L, Manes S & Viola A. CD28 interaction with filamin-A controls lipid raft accumulation at the T cell immunological synapse. Nature Cell Biology, 8:1270-1276.

(2005) Molon, Gri G, Bettella M, Goumez-Mouton C, Lanzavechia A, Martinez-A C, Manes S & Viola A. T cell costimulation by chemokine receptors. Nature Immunology, 6:465-71.

(2005) Bronte V, Kasic T, Gri G, Gallana K, Borsellino G, Marigo I, Battistini L, Iafrate M, Prayer-Galetti T, Pagano F & Viola A. Boosting anti-tumor responses of T lymphocytes infiltrating human prostate cancers. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 201:1257-68.

(1999) Viola A, Schroeder S, Sakakibara Y & Lanzavecchia A. T lymphocyte costimulation mediated by reorganization of membrane microdomains. Science, 283:680-2.

(1996) Viola A & Lanzavecchia A. T cell activation determined by T cell receptor number and tunable thresholds. Science, 273:104-6.

Awards and prizes

In 2010 she won the Cancer Reseach Institute Investigator Award (CRI, New York) and in 2008 the "Donne Eccellenti" award and the prestigious "Chiara D'Onofrio" award. In 2013 Antonella Viola received the ERC Advanced Grant and a € 2.5 million financing to continue her STEPS project. In 2016 she was elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), a prestigious recognition that was preceded in 2006 by the appointment as EMBO Young Investigator.

Lucia Votano

STEM area: Physics

Competences: experimental physics of astroparticlesm, experimental physics of particles

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

Region: Lazio


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


Professional career

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

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

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

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

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

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


Scientific results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Editorial work and publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Streamer studies in Resistive Plate Chambers

arXiv:1806.03443 [physics.ins-det].

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Ann Zeuner

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: cellular biology, molecular biology

Keywords: cancer, cancer stem cells, chemotherapy, disclosure, school, stamina cells

Region: Lazio


Biotechnology Group Leader, Department of Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (National Institute of Health), Rome, Italy

Professional career

Dr. Ann Zeuner is a 49 years old researcher who dedicated more than half of her life to cancer research. Combining her two passions, biology and science communication (for which she obtained a MS at the International School of Advanced Studies in Trieste)

Scientific results

Dr. Zeuner carries out a biomedical research of high translational relevance flanked by an active commitment in research dissemination. Dr. Zeuner's major achievements reflect her constant effort to translate basic research in useful tools to improve the knowledge and treatment of cancer.

1) Mirroring the success of a professional life devoted to cancer research, the PI has published 48 papers in  high level journals including Nature, Science, Blood, Cancer Research, Cell Stem Cell. Importantly, 13 of these publications (excluding reviews) are research papers where the PI is first, last or corresponding author, indicating a profound personal commitment in the projects.

2) The PI dedicated great effort to scientific challenges having practical implications for the treatment and quality of life of cancer patients. Specifically, she has patented a new method to prevent chemotherapy-induced anemia and thrombocytopenia in cancer patients (Zeuner A. et al. Pat. N. US7994125 B2, 8/9/2011) and she recently developed a new class of compounds with anti-cancer stem cell activity and minimal toxicity against normal tissues (Zeuner A. et al. Pat. N. 102014902292046, approved Jan. 2017).

3) The PI has a strong commitment in promoting international cooperation among research and clinical groups in the field of oncology. For this reason, she was appointed by the Italian Ministry of Health as leader of the COLOMED (COLOrectal cancer in MEDiterranean countries) project, with the goal of creating a network of research and clinical centers working on colorectal cancer (CCR) in Mediterranean countries. COLOMED ( has been actively involved in creating strategic partnerships, broadening scientific cooperation, promoting the investments of resources in CCR research and fostering the transfer of technology and personnel among Mediterranean centers.

4) The PI strongly believes in the importance of science communication as a fundamental link between academic research, patients and the general public. She takes an active part in this commitment by writing articles for journals and magazines and by providing support to educational and charity initiatives in the field of cancer and cord blood donation.

5) The PI is particularly devoted to scientific dissemination toward schools. Every year she hosts in her laboratory high-school students within Ministry of Education projects (PON and Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro) and she published a book for schools on stem cells (“Le cellule staminali”, 80 pages, edited by the italian National Institute of Health and freely distributed on print and web,, which encountered a considerable success not only among students but also among the general public. The book was reprinted several times and is now undergoing an updated re-edition together with publication of an English version.

Editorial work and publications

(2017)   Colorectal cancer: towards new challenges and concepts of preventive healthcare. Colace L, Boccia S, De Maria R, Zeuner A. Ecancer medical science. 2017 Nov 28;11:ed74. doi: 10.3332/ecancer.2017.ed74. eCollection 2017.

(2015) Francescangeli F, Contavalli P, Gambara G, De Angelis ML, Baiocchi M, Pagliuca A, Fiorenzano A, Prezioso C, Boe A, Todaro M, Stassi G, Castro NP, Watanabe K,         Salomon DS, De Maria R, Minchiotti G, Zeuner A. Dynamic regulation of the cancer stem cell compartment by Cripto-1 in colorectal cancer. Cell Death Differ. 2015 Oct;22(10):1700-13.

(2014)  Zeuner A, Todaro M, Stassi G, De Maria R. Colorectal Cancer Stem Cells: From the Crypt to the Clinic. Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Dec 4;15(6):692-705.

(2014) Zeuner A, Francescangeli F, Contavalli P, Zapparelli G, Apuzzo T, Eramo A, Baiocchi M, De Angelis ML, Biffoni M, Sette G, Todaro M, Stassi G, De Maria R. Elimination of quiescent/slow-proliferating cancer stem cells by Bcl-XL inhibition in non-small cell lung cancer. Cell Death Differ. 2014, 105.

(2013) Todaro M, Turdo A, Bartucci M, Iovino F, Dattilo R, Biffoni M, Stassi G, Federici G, De Maria R, Zeuner A. Erythropoietin activates cell survival pathways in breast cancer stem-like cells to protect them from chemotherapy. Cancer Res. 2013 Nov 1;73(21):6393-400.

(2012)  Francescangeli F, Patrizii M, Signore M, Federici G, Di Franco S, Pagliuca A, Baiocchi M, Biffoni M, Vitiani LR, Todaro M, De Maria R, Zeuner A. Proliferation State and Polo-like Kinase1 Dependence of Tumorigenic Colon Cancer Cells. Stem Cells. 2012 Sep;30(9):1819-30.

(2011) Bartucci M, Dattilo R, Martinetti D, Todaro M, Zapparelli G, Di Virgilio A, Biffoni M, De Maria R, Zeuner A. Prevention of chemotherapy-induced anemia and thrombocytopenia by constant administration of stem cell factor. Clin. Cancer Res. 2011 Oct 1;17(19):6185-91.

(2009) Zeuner A., Pedini F., Francescangeli F., Signore M., Girelli G., Tafuri A., De Maria R. Activity of the BH3 mimetic ABT-737 on polycythemia vera erythroid precursor cells Blood, 2009, vol 113, pag. 1522-5.

(1999) De Maria R*, Zeuner A*, Eramo A, Domenichelli C, Bonci D, Grignani F, Srinivasula SM, Alnemri ES, Testa U, Peschle C. Negative regulation of erythropoiesis by caspase-mediated cleavage of GATA-1. Nature, 1999, vol. 401, pag. 489-493. *Equal contribution

(1997) De Maria R, Lenti L, D'Agostino F, Zeuner A, Tomassini B, Rippo MR, Testi R. Requirement for GD3 ganglioside in CD95- and ceramide- induced apoptosis. Science, 1997, vol. 277, pag. 1652-1655.


Monica Zoppé

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: grafical representation of cellular, molecular and structural biology, interdisciplinary research, molecular biology, structural biology, women and science

Keywords: 3D Computer Graphic, gender and science, molecular animation, structural biology

Region: Lombardy


Researcher at Institute of BioPhysics of the Italian National Council of Research, Milan

Professional career

After graduating in Biology, in 1987 in Milan, she moves for a series of post-docs in different laboratories in Italy (CNR, ICGEB of Trieste) and abroad (UK, Biochemistry Department at the University of Birmingham, and USA, at the Salk Institute, in the laboratory of Inder Verma).

After 15 years in several laboratories, she gets a position as a researcher at the Institute of Clinical Physiology (IFC) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) of Pisa. Here after a short period, following a serious accident, of which she is not responsible, she is forced to leave the laboratory.

She then embarks on a new phase of her scientific career, dedicating to Biological Representation, with the idea of virtually recreating the cellular world using the techniques developed in the field of Computer Graphics (film, video and video games). Today the discipline is recognized as 'Molecular Graphics'. In 2006 she founded the Scientific Visualization Unit at IFC, and obtained the first funding, with which she obtained the scientific results listed below. In 2019 she moves to Milan at the Institute of BioPhysics of the CNR. In this period, she starts a collaboration with groups of Cuban computer scientists, bioinformaticians and biologists, with whom she has active and funded projects, always related to the visualization, in this case of the Dengue virus.

Today Monica Zoppé is considered a pioneer of the 'Art and Science of Scientific Visualization', and is recognized as one of the major theorists of the field, often invited to mostly international conferences and meetings.

In parallel, she also actively participates in the Donne e Scienza (Women and Science) association, she is a member of the board since few years. It is in the context of this activity that she contributed substantially to the organization of the European #WeTooInScience congress, held in Pisa in 2018.

Scientific results

The results obtained in the experimental biology field are documented in the publications available online on the ORCID website.

For the works in the 'Molecular Graphics' field, the main result is the transposition into a graphic system, therefore visible, of the molecular world which is a very rich world, indeed in cells operate specific and different forces: for example, gravity does not count while thermal vibration counts, and many of the forces at play can be calculated as potentials (electrical, lipophilic, osmotic and thermodynamic flows), for which we have no visual perception. 

In detail, the main results obtained in this area can be summarized as follows:

  • development of the theoretical and operative bases of the new discipline, scientific visualization, dedicated to the narrative of the cellular and molecular biology
  • foundation of the interdisciplinary working group Scientific Visualization:;
  • development and release of multiple versions of BioBlender, a tool that allows one to introduce rigorous scientific data in Blender, one of the most advanced Computer Graphics tools, and the only completely Open Source, developed for cinema and video games;
  • Production of a series of short cellular animations, all freely available on the website and on the major channels, which have obtained important awards both in the scientific, cinematographic and technical fields (see list);
  • introduction to the concept of a visual code with which to represent invisible, not unknown, elements.

Editorial work and publications

[2019] Zoppè, Monica G. Improving Gender Diversity in ScienceIn #WeTooInScience - Sexual Harassment in Higher Education Institutions and Research Organizations, CNR-IRPPS e-Publishing 235–41. Rome, Italy.

[2019] Zoppè, M., Loni,T., Carlone,I., Cianchetta,S.. Making of The Dark Anim: Technical and Scientific Notes. In 2019 International Conference on Cyberworlds (CW), 45–52. Kyoto, Japan: IEEE, 2019

[2018]  Caudai, C., Salerno, E., Zoppè, M. and Tonazzini, A.  ChromStruct 4: A Python Code to Estimate the Chromatin Structure from Hi-C Data. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. 

[2017] Zoppè, M  Towards a perceptive understanding of cellular biology.  Nat Meth 14(7): 662-665 .

[2015] Zoppè, M  La sindrome dell’impostore: Non sono davvero brava come sembra. In: Scienza, genere e società. Prospettive di genere in una società che si evolve. S. Avveduto, M. L. Paciello, T. Arrigoni, C. Mangia, L. Martinelli (eds.). Roma: CNR-IRPPS e-Publishing. 

[2015] Zoppè, M. and Loni, T. The Representation of Electrostatics for Biological Molecules. In: W. Rocchia and M. Spagnuolo (eds.), Computational Electrostatics for Biological Applications, Springer International, Switzerland. 215-225.

[2014] Zoppè, M. Comunicare l’invisibile. La rappresentazione visiva di concetti biofisici / Communicating the Invisible. The Visual Representation of Biophysical Concepts. In: Scrittura e immagini nel dominio della scienza / Text and Image in the sicentific realm. A cura di/Edited by: R. Falcinelli, A. Filippini, G. Liberti, L. Perondi e L. Romei. Progetto Grafico, 25:50 

[2012] Andrei, R., Callieri, M., Zini, M.F., Loni, T., Maraziti, G. and Zoppè, M. Intuitive representation of surface properties of proteins using BioBlender. BMC Bioinformatics, 13(Suppl 4):S16

[2011] Zoppè, M. Vedere l'invisibile. Le Scienze – Italian version of Scientific American. Roma, 515: p. 64-9. 

Selection of VIDEO

[2015] The Dark Anim, (5', 23''). A description of the serotoninergic synapse, and its activity in the healthy and depressed states. With subtitles in English, French and Italian.

[2012] TSH receptor on Red Blood cells, 2011 (3', 48''). Thyrotropin is a hormone that elicit response from thyroid gland. However, its receptor is also found on the surface of red blood cells. After binding, the dimeric receptor splits into two subunits, each of which leaves the lipid raft to associate with other proteins of the cellular surface. 

[2010] PROTEIN EXPRESSIONS - Study N.3 (5', 01''). The video, also produced in 3D, is the final one in a series of tests in the development of BioBlender. It shows several moments of cellular life, from the surface to the cytoplasm and back to cell periphery and out. Watched >70.000 times (Vimeo statistics).

Awards and prizes

The video PROTEIN EXPRESSIONS- Study n.3  has been awarded in several occasions:

[2009] Suzanne Award of the  Blender Foundation, Amsterdam 2009

[2010] Prize of the Jury, at Melzo Film Festival, Milan. Italy. 2010

[2011] Selected as finalist at DogVille-Viladecan Film Festival, Barcelona, Spain. 2011

[2012], First prize.  NANOPLANET was awarded the First Prize in the  ‘Art&Science contest’ at BioPhysical Society meeting, San Francisco (CA. USA).

[2013]  The video The Challenge of HIV Research, reached the Fourth classification in the 'AutoPACK visualization contest’ by the Computer Graphics Society – Autodesk.

[2018] Invitation to the restricted Shonan Meeting on ‘Web Molecular Graphics: Emerging

Technologies & Standards’, Japan. 

Francesca Zoratto

STEM area: Biomedical sciences and biotechnology

Competences: behavioural neuroscience, ethology

Keywords: animal behaviour, basic research, collective anti-predator behaviours, gamble, human behaviour, preclinical research, predation, risk appetite

Region: Lazio


Researcher (fixed term) at the Centre for Behavioural Sciences and Mental Health of the Italian National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità; Rome, Italy)

Professional career

My main expertise pertains to the study of animal behaviour and closely related disciplines (e.g. psychobiology, neuroethology, psychopharmacology). I graduated at the University of Parma (Italy) in 2008 with a thesis in Ethology and subsequently obtained a PhD in Ethology at the University of Florence (Italy) in 2013 with a research project on impulsivity and gambling proneness in rats. In 2014 I had a 14-month contract at the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital (Rome, Italy) within the research area “Multifactorial diseases and complex phenotypes”. The following year I received a scholarship from the Noopolis Foundation to perform research activities at the section of Behavioural Neuroscience of the Italian National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità; Rome, Italy). Thanks to a L’ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science 2016 Award, I carried out research activities as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Unit of Cognitive Primatology and Primate Centre, where I focused my research on the social modulation of risky decision-making in non-human primates and rodents. Currently, I am working as a research scientist at the Centre for Behavioural Sciences and Mental Health of the Italian National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità; Rome, Italy), within a group that has a consolidated experience and tradition in the behavioural phenotyping of animal models, with a special focus on critical periods such as infancy and adolescence.

Scientific results

My primary interest is the study of animal behaviour in a functional and evolutionary perspective. For my research projects, I have dealt with multidisciplinary research topics at the intersection between laboratory work and natural settings, studying different species and combining data from different fields.

Currently, my research is mainly devoted to the development and validation of animal models of human neurobehavioural disorders, with particular reference to conduct and impulse control disorders and behavioural addictions (i.e. gambling disorder). The propensity to risk and gamble is not only found in human beings, and the study of animal behaviour can help to better understand the psychobiological mechanisms on which our addictions are based. Increasing the knowledge in this field is intended to provide more elements of understanding to the medical community, but also to develop proposals for the political class to study more effective strategies in the prevention and treatment of pathological gambling.


Editorial work and publications

Up to now (January 2019), I have co-authored about 40 papers in international peer-reviewed scientific journals including:

-          Zoratto F., Sbriccoli M., Martinelli A., Glennon J.C., Macrì S., Laviola G. 2018. Intranasal oxytocin administration promotes emotional contagion and reduces aggression in a mouse model of callousness. Neuropharmacology 143:250-267

-          Zoratto F., Oddi G., Gori E., Micucci A., De Petrillo F., Paglieri F., Adriani W., Laviola G, Addessi E. 2018. Social modulation of risky decision-making in rats (Rattus norvegicus) and tufted capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.). Behavioural Brain Research 347:37-48.

-          Zoratto F., Cordeschi G., Grignani G., Bonanni R., Alleva E., Nascetti G., Mather J.A., Carere C. 2018. Variability in the “stereotyped” prey capture sequence of male cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) could relate to personality differences. Animal Cognition 21(6):773-785.

-          Zoratto F.*, Romano E.*, Pascale E., Pucci M., Falconi A., Dell’Osso B., Maccarrone M., Laviola G., D’Addario C., Adriani W. 2017. Down-regulation of serotonin and dopamine transporter genes in individual rats expressing a gambling-prone profile: a possible role for epigenetic mechanisms. Neuroscience 340:101-116. (*equally contributed to this work as co-first authors)

-          Canese R.*, Zoratto F.*, Altabella L., Porcari P., Mercurio L., De Pasquale F., Butti E., Martino G., Lacivita E., Leopoldo M., Laviola G., Adriani W. 2015. Persistent modification of forebrain networks and metabolism in rats following adolescent exposure to a 5-HT7 receptor agonist. Psychopharmacology 232(1):75-89. (*equally contributed to this work as co-first authors)

-          Zoratto F., Laviola G., Adriani W. 2013. Gambling proneness in rats during the transition from adolescence to young adulthood: a home-cage method. Neuropharmacology 67:444-454.

-          Koot S.*, Zoratto F.*, Cassano T., Colangeli R., Laviola G., van den Bos R., Adriani W. 2012. Compromised decision-making and increased gambling proneness following dietary serotonin depletion in rats. Neuropharmacology 62(4):1640-1650. (*equally contributed to this work as co-first authors)

-          Zoratto F., Carere C., Chiarotti F., Santucci D., Alleva E. 2010. Aerial hunting behaviour and predation success by peregrine falcons Falco peregrinus on starling flocks Sturnus vulgaris. Journal of Avian Biology 41(4):427-433.


Awards and prizes

Francesca Zoratto has received numerous awards and recognitions for her academic career. In 2016 she received a L’ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science 2016 Award from the “Fondation L’ORÉAL” in collaboration with L’ORÉAL Italia and the Italian National Commission for UNESCO.