I am a Medical Doctor and I hold a Ph.D. in Biophysics. I use microelectrode array electrophysiology in brain slices, primary brain cell spheroids and stem cell-derived brain organoids to study neuronal electrical activity in health and disease at the network level. I have a strong background in epilepsy research and a multidisciplinary expertise including neurophysiology, theoretical neuroscience and neural engineering, built across several years of national and international research experience, started with my MD Thesis.
My scientific work focuses on the development of intelligent biohybrid systems for functional brain repair, that would be capable of self-reconfiguration to recover the function of diseased brain circuits by dynamically interacting with them, thus being tailored to the individual.
In the context of the H2020 MSCA-IF founded project Re.B.Us. I have pushed forward the joint exploitation of biological and artificial components based on unidirectional and bidirectional closed-loop architectures to demonstrate the feasibility of reconnecting disconnected limbic areas via biohybrid bridging approach, ultimately deploying this paradigm in a biohybrid graft-host interaction in an in vitro model of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. www.rebus-project.eu
I currently coordinate the H2020-FET-PROACTIVE project HERMES joining a multidisciplinary EU consortium of 12 partners (~70 people to date) with expertise in neurobiology, neurophysiology and biophysics, stem cell biotechnology, biomaterials, tissue bioengineering, materials science, neuromorphic engineering, machine learning and AI, ethics, policy and philosophy. www.hermes-fet.eu. The long-term vision of HERMES is healing disabling brain disorders by means of brain tissue transplants, a reality that is only possible to date for other organs of the human body. To overcome the biological uncertainty of canonical regenerative approaches, HERMES proposes an innovative solution based on intelligent biohybrids in which the symbiotic integration of bioengineered brain tissue, neuromorphic microelectronics and artificial intelligence effectively pursues a self-repair process of dysfunctional brain circuits. In light of its vision, HERMES fosters the emergence of a novel paradigm to heal rather than treat the diseased brain. This paradigm is named enhanced regenerative medicine and is rooted in the establishment of biohybrid neuronics (neural electronics), bringing together the best of biological and artificial worlds to allow for controlled brain regeneration.