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Alessia Petrelli

Post Doc

Former colleague



Alessia Petrelli graduated in Biomedical Engeneering at the University of Genoa in 2007. She took the Master Degree in Bioengineering at the University of Genoa in March 2010 , with a thesis concerning the Carbon Nanotube coated multi-electrode arrays for neuronal recordings and stimulation at the Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Science department of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT).

She had a PhD student position at IIT in the Nanophysics department. Her PhD thesis work included the development of a novel bioassay based on nano volume drop patterning to quantify neuron’s connect-ability, and identify connect-ability defects. The developed bioassay was tested on neurons of mice affected by DiGeorge syndrome (a particular disease known for preventing axonal and dendritic growth).

Currently, se has a Post Doc position in the Nanomaterials for Biomedicals Group in Drug Discovery and Development. The project lead to the development of multifunctional nanostructures based on stimuli-responsive polymers (nanogel) able to sense small changes in the environment inducing great changes in their physico-chemical properties and used as pH cargo systems for IONPs and short DNA molecules.



Post-doc Researcher engaged with project CARIPLO 2013

Selected Publications

  • Alloisio S., Garbati P.,Viti F.,Dante S.,Barbieri R., Arnaldi G., Petrelli A., Nobile M.; Gigoni A., Vassalli M., Pagano A. "Generation of a functional human neural network by NDM29 overexpression in neuroblastoma cancer cells"  Molecular Neurobiology, 2016
  • Ghosh S*., Avellini T*., Petrelli A*., Kriegel I.*, Gaspari*, Almeida, Bertoni, Pellegrino T. And Manna L. “Colloidal CuFeS2 Nanocrystals: Deep Fe Intermediate Levels Lead to High Photothermal Conversion EfficiencyChemistry of Materials, 2016, 28  (13), pp 4848–4858 
  • Barthel M.., Angeloni I., Petrelli A., Avellini T., Scarpellini A., Armirotti A., Bertoni G., Moreels I, Pellegrino T. “Synthesis of highly fluorescent copper clusters using living polymer chains as combined reducing agents and ligands” ACS Nano 2015,  9  (12), 11886–11897
  • Petrelli A., De Pietri Tonelli D., Berdondini L. and Dante S “A New Assay to Quantify the Connect-Ability of Neurons and Neurite Extensions” Biophysical Journal 106(2), 2014, 793 A
  • Petrelli A., Marconi E., Salerno M, De Pietri Tonelli D., Berdondini L. and Dante S. “Nano-volume drop patterning for rapid on-chip neuronal connect-ability assays”, Lab on a Chip 2013, 13 (22), 4419 – 4429
  • Petrelli A., Canale C., Diaspro A, Dante S “Single cell adhesion on different multifunctional substrates: a new quantitative approach”, European Biophysics Journal, 2013 9th European-Biophysical-Societies-Association Congress, Volume: 42
  •  Petrelli A. an Canale C., Salerno M, Diaspro A, Dante S. “A new quantitative experimental approach to investigate single cell adhesion on multifunctional substrates“. Biosensors and Bioelectronics 48, 2013, 172-179. 


 Biophysical Society Student Poster Award at the 2013 EBSA Conference, Lisbon 13-17 July.


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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.