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Tommaso Fellin

Associate Director LifeTech Domain
Senior Researcher Tenured - Principal Investigator
Optical Approaches to Brain Function
Research center

Tommaso Fellin graduated in Physics at the University of Padova in 1998 studying enzyme kinetics with time-resolved spectroscopy. From 1998 to 2003, as a PhD student in the Dept. of Biomedical Sciences at University of Padova, he investigated the biophysical properties of voltage-gated calcium channels and the functional consequences of mutations in calcium channels linked to human neurological disorders (supervisor, D. Pietrobon). During his first postdoctoral training period (2003-2004), he integrated electrophysiological and imaging techniques to study neuron-glia communication in brain slices (supervisors, G. Carmignoto and T. Pozzan). In 2005 he moved to the Dept. of Neuroscience at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine as a senior post doctoral researcher and continued his research on neuron-glia interaction (supervisor, P. Haydon). In 2008, he joined the department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) as a junior team leader. He is currently senior team leader at the IIT, head of the Optical Approaches to Brain Function Laboratory, and co-head (together with Dr. S. Panzeri) of the Neural Coding Laboratory. He is also recipient of the European Research Council (ERC) consolidator grant NEURO-PATTERNS and co-founder of the start-up SmartMicroOptics. He was Coordinator of the Neuroscience Area in 2019-2023. Since 2023, he serves as Associate Director for the Technologies for Life Sciences Domain at the IIT. 

The research activity of the 'Optical Approaches to Brain Function Laboratory' focuses on the study of the brain microcircuits involved in the processing of sensory information and on the development of innovative optical methods to probe their function.

Lab members:

  • Sebastiano Curreli, postdoc
  • Laura Maddalena, postdoc
  • Chiara Nardin, postdoc
  • Josien Visser, postdoc
  • Cesare Bortolami, PhD student
  • Giorgio Letti, PhD student
  • Ilaria Zanchi, PhD Student
  • Leo Juhlin, postgraduate fellow
  • Andrea Sattin, lab technician
  • Luca Sità, lab technician
  • Francesca Succol, lab technician

 Lab alumni:

  • Andrea Antonini, CEO SmartMicroOptics, Genova
  • Riccardo Beltramo, postdoc Scanziani Lab, Dept. of Biology, UCSF, San Francisco. Currently, Assistant Professor, University of Cambridge, Cambridge
  • Noemi Binini, lab technician Weber Lab, Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich, Zurich
  • Serena Bovetti, Assistant Professor, University of Torino, Torino
  • Marco Brondi, postdoc Lodovichi Lab, University of Padova, Padova
  • Marco Dal Maschio, postdoc Baier Lab, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Munich. Currently, Assistant Professor, University of Padova, Padova
  • Angela Michela De Stasi, postdoc Bacci Lab, Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière, Paris
  • Giulia D'Urso, postdoc Stoop Lab, Centre for Psychiatric Neurosciences, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne
  • Pasqualina Farisello, lab technician Martinoia Lab, Dept. of Bioengineering, University of Genova, Genova
  • Angelo Forli, postdoc Yartsev Lab, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley
  • Pedro Lagomarsino, postdoc
  • Claudio Moretti, postdoc Gigan Lab, UPMC-Sorbonne Universités, Collège de France, Paris
  • Francesco Nespoli, PhD student Naylor Lab, Imperial College & Nuance Communication LTD, London
  • Mariangela Panniello, Research and Innovation Manager, EXUS AI Labs
  • Valentina Pasquale, Research Data Management Specialist, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova
  • Matteo Pisoni, postdoc Bathellier Lab, Istitut Pasteur, Paris
  • Sara Romanzi, CrestOptics, Rome
  • Marta Salvi, lab technician, Humanitas University, Milan
  • Alejandro Sempere, post doc, Spanish Research Council
  • Lorenzo Tausani, master student Data Science University of Padova, Padova
  • Fabio Vallone, postdoc Micera Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa
  • Stefano Varani, postdoc Caleo Lab, University of Padova, Padova
  • Dania Vecchia, postdoc Chiappalone Lab, University of Genova
  • Stefano Zucca, postdoc Solomon Lab, Dept. of Experimental Psychology, University College London, London


  • Next Generation EU, Extended Parternship on Artificial Intelligence, 2023-2026.
  • Marie Skłodowka-Curie Research Fellowship Programme, 2024-2025.
  • Chan Zuckerberg Advancing Imaging through Collaborative Projects, 2023-2024.
  • EC Horizon 2020, DEEPER, 2021-2025.
  • Marie Skłodowka-Curie Research Fellowship Programme, 2021-2023.
  • Marie Skłodowka-Curie Research Fellowship Programme, 2020-2022.
  • Marie Skłodowka-Curie Research Fellowship Programme, 2020-2022.
  • REBIT-POD postdoctoral fellowship, 2019-2023.
  • NIH, Brain Initiative U19 grant, 2018-2024.
  • Marie Skłodowka-Curie Research Fellowship Programme, Seal of Excellence, 2017-2019.
  • Marie Skłodowka-Curie Research Fellowship Programme, Seal of Excellence, 2017-2019.
  • Marie Skłodowka-Curie Research Fellowship Programme, 2016-2018.
  • ERC consolidator grant, 2015-2021.
  • FET Flagship Human Brain Project (FLAG-ERA-JTC), 2015-2018.
  • NIH, BRAIN Initiative U01 grant, 2014-2017.
  • Interdisciplinary/Interdepartmental project, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 2014-2016.
  • EC FP7, DESIRE, 2013-2017.
  • Interdisciplinary/Interdepartmental project, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 2013-2015.
  • Italian Ministry of Health, Fondo Investimenti Ricerca di Base, 2012-2015.
  • Telethon Foundation, 2011-2014.
  • Compagnia di San Paolo, Program in Neuroscience grant, 2010-2013.