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Claudia Testi

Post Doc
Brillouin Microscopy for Life Sciences

Research Line

Nanotechnologies for Neurosciences




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Claudia Testi is a biophysicist interested in studying biological phenomena with innovative and new physical techniques. She has always worked in highly interdisciplinary research teams and her expertise spans from biological samples preparation (as cells, proteins, chemicals) to data acquisitions to data analysis using custom-written Matlab programs.

She received her Magistral Degree in Physics (curriculum: Biophysics) at Sapienza University (Rome, Italy) with summa cum laude (110 e lode) in 2015. 

From 2015 to 2018 she was a PhD student in Sapienza and worked in the Italian Institute of Technology, Center for Life Nanoscience (IIT CLNS@Sapienza) under the supervision of prof. Alberto Boffi. During these three years, she used different kinds of microscopes (confocal, spinning-disk and two-photons) for applications on biological systems; she was also trained in super-resolution optical microscopy techniques. Moreover, she was a visiting PhD student for several months in Columbia University Medical Center under the supervision of Prof. Filippo Mancia and in the Advanced Science Research Center in the City College of New York (ASRC CUNY) under the supervision of Prof. Amedee des Georges. Within this collaboration, she learnt and used a new and important technique, the cryo-electron microscopy, to achieve the sub-nanometric three-dimensional structure of proteins and macromolecules complexes. In particular, she worked on sample preparation, acquisition and data analysis on modern cryo-electron microscopes and GPU-equipped computer clusters that are available in international high-level scientific institutions.

This expertise resulted in several invited talks in international conferences on this topic and in three scientific publications: in particular, she is the co-first author of a Nature Communications paper exploiting for the first time the sub-nanometer structure of the complex made by two proteins (Ferritin and Transferrin Receptor 1) whose biotechnological applications are critical for cancer research. Importantly, this is the first cryo-EM structure ever solved in an Italian consortium and will lead to a new awareness of the Italian scientific community on this new and revolutionary biophysical technique .

She received her Ph.D. in December 2018 with summa cum laude.

She began her Post-Doc in IIT CLNS@Sapienza in January 2019 on "Brillouin microscopy applications for Life Science", in a Joint Lab together with Crest Optics, a leading Company in the development and manufacturing of advanced systems for microscopy. As such, her main focus is now the development and validation of the novel optical and analytical tool of Brillouin microscopy to map the mechanical properties of cells and tissues with unprecedent temporal and spatial abilities.


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