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.
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.