In 2005, I obtained my bachelor degree in Biological Sciences by the University of Palermo. I then moved to Rome to study in the University “La Sapienza” where I completed in 2008 my Master degree in Genetic and Molecular Biology. Afterwards, I decided to continue my scientific education by starting as PhD student in the laboratory of Giulio Superti-Furga at the Center of Molecular Medicine (CeMM) of the Austrian Academy of Science in Vienna. In particular, I was enrolled in the Molecular Signal Transduction programme of the Medical University of Vienna. In 2014, I completed my PhD and decided to move back to Italy where I started my first postdoctoral research period in the laboratory of Davide Gabellini at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute. In particular, I was enrolled in the San Raffaele International Postdoctoral Programme – Marie Curie Actions. In 2017, I won a postdoc position within the Italian PhDiTalents national programme which was offered by the European Insititute of Oncology - IEO in the laboratory of Tiziana Bonaldi. Starting from April 2020 I joined the laboratory of Francesco Nicassio at the Center for Genomic Sciences of the Italian Institute of Technology - IIT in Milan.
My research interest has always been focused on: protein-protein interactions; protein-RNA interactions; post-translational modification and in particular protein methylation, phosphorylation and ubiquitination; lncRNAs; microRNA; Mass spectrometry based affinity purification approaches; kinases, E3 ubiquitin-ligases; protein arginine methyltransferases.
Currently in IIT, I am studying the regulation of the expression of microRNAs in cancer cells. Indeed, the expression of miRNAs has been found de-regulated in cancer cells and altered miRNA levels contribute to cancer progression as well as tumor cell resistance to chemotherapy. The identification and characterization of the molecular machineries that regulate miRNA levels can shed light on key biological molecules that can be pharmacologically targeted for cancer therapy.