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Gabriella Panuccio

Researcher - Principal Investigator
Director of the Enhanced Regenerative Medicine Lab and head of the in vitro electrophysiology unit

Research Line

Enhanced Regenerative Medicine


IIT Central Research Labs Genova


Via Morego, 30
+39 010 2896 493
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I am a Medical Doctor and I hold a Ph.D. in Biophysics. I use brain slice electrophysiology techniques (field potential, MEA, patch-clamp, sharp electrode recording) to study neuronal electrical activity in health and disease both at the single neuron and at the network level. I have a strong background in epilepsy research and a keen interest in neural engineering and artificial intelligence.

My scientific work focuses on the development of intelligent biohybrid systems for functional brain repair, namely the realization of uncoventional brain repair strategies that are tailored to the individual scale.

I have joined IIT in the context of the EU H2020 MSCA-IF founded project Re.B.Us. in which I have pushed forward the joint exploitation of biological and artificial components to obtain a biohybrid system capable of recovering the function of diseased brain circuits by dynamically interacting with and adapting to them. The project has leveraged the synergetic exploitation of closed-loop electrophysiology, neural engineering and mathematical modeling. My achievements have been recognized by the European Commission with a dedicated EC newsletter.

I am currently PI and coordinator of the EU H2020 FET PROACTIVE project HERMES, joining together 12 partners from 7 EU countries. The project aims at establishing a new paradigm for brain repair, namely Enhanced Regenerative Medicine, to shift the current approach to brain disorders from treating to healing them. HERMES merges together brain tissue bioengineering, neuromorphic engineering and artificial intelligence to generate biohybrid neuronics (neural electronics) capable of self-reconfiguration, adaptation and integration within the diseased host brain to rebuild the damaged brain matter through a controlled regeneration process beyond canonical regenerative medicine.


Intelligent biohybrid neurotechnologies for functional brain repair / Enhanced Regenerative Medicine / Epilepsy


Hybrid Enhanced Regenerative Medicine Systems – HERMES. EU H2020 FET-PROACT-01-2018. Total budget: € 8 429 857,50.

Start date: 01 January 2019 | End date: 31 December 2023.



Rewiring Brain Units: bridging the gap of neuronal communication by means of intelligent hybrid systems – Re.B.Us. EU H2020 MSCA-IF-2014. Total budget: € 180 277,20.

Start date: 16 March 2016 | End date: 15 March 2018.




2010-2011: Savoy Foundation Postdoctoral Research Award. $30,000.
Tonic GABAergic inhibition of subicular neurons during epileptogenesis in a rodent model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

2009-2010: Epilepsy Canada Postdoctoral Research Award. $30,000.
GABAergic inhibition during epileptogenesis in a rodent model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

2005-2006: Sapienza University of Rome Research fellowship. €15,000.


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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.