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Velia Siciliano

Researcher Tenure Track - Principal Investigator
Principal Investigator

Research Line

Synthetic and Systems Biology for Biomedicine



+39 081 19933121
+39 081 19933121


Velia Siciliano received her Bachelor degree in Health Biotechnology and her Master Degree in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Naples Federico II.

In 2012 she obtained her  PhD in Human Genetics from Open University UK in a joint program with the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine Naples (TIGEM), and she then moved to Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she worked as postdoctoral fellow at the Synthetic Biology Center and Biological Engineering Department.

She was awarded with the Junior Research Fellowship from Imperial College London where she moved in 2015 to conduct her independent research in the Department of Medicine. In 2017 she won the Proof of Concept grant from SynbiCITE London and she is a partner of a H2020 consortium grant led by Prof. diBernardo (TIGEM, Naples).

Velia joined IIT in September 2017 where she leads the System and Synthetic Biology lab for biomedicine. She is also Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Medicine of Imperial College London.

In 2018 Velia won the MIT Young Innovator Award and the Galileo Galilei Award. She was also selected as one of the 150 "Unstoppable Women" for Science and Innovation.

In 2019 Velia was selected as member of the Global Young Academy.

Velia is a reviewer for a number of scientific journals, including Nature Communication, Nucleic Acid Research, BMC Systems Biology, etc.


Synthetic and Systems Biology for Biomedicine


Development of Systems and Synthetic Biology approaches for unravelling mechanisms underlying biological pathways and diseases.

Study of microRNA contribution to T-Cell exhaustion.

Design of genetically encoded sensor-actuator devices to counteract the T-Cell exhaustion emergency and to define critical parameters that lead to dysfunction in immunotherapies.

Study of impact of exogenous genetic loads on cellular burden. 


2018 Selected as 150 "Unstoppable Women" for Science and Innovation.

2019 Velia was selected as member of the Global Young Academy.

2018 MIT Young Innovator Award 

2018 Premio Galilei Rotary International

2015 Junior Research Fellowship, Imperial College London

2014 Honorable Mention Prize for cutting-edge research, Synberc 

2006 Award from Universita’ degli studi di Napoli Federico II

2004 Award from Universita’ degli studi di Napoli Federico II


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