IIT People Search

Tommaso Fellin

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. Since 2019, he serves as Coordinator of the Neuroscience Area 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, post doc
  • Mariangela Panniello, post doc
  • Alejandro Sempere, post doc
  • Dania Vecchia, post doc
  • Pedro Lagomarsino, PhD student
  • Matteo Pisoni, PhD student
  • Sara Romanzi, PhD student
  • Ilaria Zanchi, graduate student
  • Celeste Bortolani, lab technician
  • Marta Salvi, lab technician
  • Andrea Sattin, lab technician
  • Luca Sità, lab technician
  • Francesca Succol, lab technician

 Lab alumni:

  • Andrea Antonini, CEO SmartMicroOptics, Genova
  • Riccardo Beltramo, Scanziani Lab, Dept. of Biology, UCSF, San Francisco
  • Noemi Binini, Weber Lab, Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich, Zurich
  • Serena Bovetti, Assistant Professor, University of Torino, Torino
  • Marco Brondi, Lodovichi Lab, University of Padova, Padova
  • Marco Dal Maschio, Baier Lab, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Munich. Currently, Assistant Professor, University of Padova, Padova
  • Angela Michela De Stasi, Bacci Lab, Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière, Paris
  • Giulia D'Urso, Stoop Lab, Centre for Psychiatric Neurosciences, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne
  • Pasqualina Farisello, Martinoia Lab, Dept. of Bioengineering, University of Genova, Genova
  • Angelo Forli, Yartsev Lab, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley
  • Claudio Moretti, Gigan Lab, UPMC-Sorbonne Universités, Collège de France, Paris
  • Francesco Nespoli, data analyst, Aitek S.p.a, Genova
  • Valentina Pasquale, Research Data Management Specialist, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova
  • Lorenzo Tausani, master student Data Science University of Padova, Padova
  • Fabio Vallone, Micera Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa
  • Stefano Varani, Caleo Lab, University of Padova, Padova
  • Stefano Zucca, Solomon Lab, Dept. of Experimental Psychology, University College London, London


  • EC Horizon 2020, DEEPER, 2021-2025.
  • Marie Skłodowka-Curie Research Fellowship Programme, 2020-2022.
  • Marie Skłodowka-Curie Research Fellowship Programme, 2020-2022.
  • NIH, Brain Initiative U19 grant, 2018-2023.
  • 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.
All Publications
Martinez-Canada P., Ness T.V., Einevoll G.T., Fellin T., Panzeri S.
Computation of the electroencephalogram (EEG) from network models of point neurons
PLoS Computational Biology, vol. 17, (no. 4)
Article Journal
Forli A., Pisoni M., Prints Y., Yizhar O., Fellin T.
Optogenetic strategies for high-efficiency all-optical interrogation using blue-light-sensitive opsins
eLife, vol. 10, (no. e63359)
Article Journal
Antonini A., Sattin A., Moroni M., Bovetti S., Moretti C., Succol F., Forli A., Vecchia D., Rajamanickam V.P., Bertoncini A., Panzeri S., Liberale C., Fellin T.
Extended field-of-view ultrathin microendoscopes for high-resolution two-photon imaging with minimal invasiveness
eLife, vol. 9, pp. 1-76
Article Journal
Brondi M., Moroni M., Vecchia D., Molano-Mazon M., Panzeri S., Fellin T.
High-Accuracy Detection of Neuronal Ensemble Activity in Two-Photon Functional Microscopy Using Smart Line Scanning
Cell Reports, vol. 30, (no. 8), pp. 2567-2580.e6
Vecchia D., Beltramo R., Vallone F., Chereau R., Forli A., Molano-Mazon M., Bawa T., Binini N., Moretti C., Holtmaat A., Panzeri S., Fellin T.
Temporal Sharpening of Sensory Responses by Layer V in the Mouse Primary Somatosensory Cortex
Current Biology, vol. 30, (no. 9), pp. 1589-1599.e10