Let's Talk - A conversation with ERC grantees

European Research Council (ERC) grants are relevant for the scientific growth of researchers, by giving them the opportunity to consolidate research activities or to start as a PI. "Let's talk. A conversation with ERC grantees" is a series of informal interviews where researchers tell about their experience, the meaning they attribute to scientific research, their goals and the moment when they faced ERC selection for funding, but also their cultural and sport interests and the moving from a foreign country to Italy, in IIT.


Cristina Becchio is the coordinator of C’MoN Unit at IIT, investigating how intentions are extracted from body motion during interaction among people. Her research approach is at the intersection of motor cognition and social cognition, studying the relationship between the “mental” and the “motor”. She has been identifying experimental strategies for measuring the observability of other minds. She got her ERC grant in 2013, she has a background in philosophy and she is a medium-distance runner.


Mario Caironi is the coordinator of Printed and Molecular Electronics Lab of IIT in Milan. He is currently interested in high resolution printing techniques. In 2014 he got his ERC grant for the project Heroic, aiming at developing a next generation of printable, lightweight flexible and large-area electronics which can operate at high frequency. He is an engineer, a runner and a father. He likes reading books and one of his favourite is Fermat’s Last Theorem by Simon Singh.


Paolo Decuzzi is the director of the Nanotechnology for Precision Medicine Lab in IIT. He is focused on realizing nano-constructs which may be used for personalized nanomedicine, in particular for combined therapy in cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases. The passion for nano building blocks reflects in his leisure time, in fact he likes to play Lego and puzzles with his kids. He spent a long period of his career in USA, but when he got his ERC grant in 2014, he came back to Italy, in IIT.


Antionio Bicchi is Senior researcher in IIT and Professor at University of Pisa. He leads the SoftRobotics Lab for Human Cooperation and Rehabilitation at IIT in Genoa, where he has been developing prosthetic applications of the robotic hand “Soft Hand”. The “Soft Hand” can grasp things adapting its closure to the shape of objects and it is inspired by human hand design. For this project, Bicchi got ERC grants twice, in 2012 an Advanced Grant e in 2017 a Proof-of-concept grant.


Laura Cancedda is the coordinator of the Local Micro-environment and Brain Development research line in IIT, she has a scientist position at the Telethon Dulbecco Institute and she is also a scholar of the FENS KAVLI network of excellence. Her research activities focuses on the study of brain development and new genetic techniques for the treatments of neurodevelopmental disorders. She does not like the “magic” and think that being a scientist means working a lot. In 2016 she got an ERC Consolidator grant.