Scientific Committee


– Oral selection, talk evaluation and Lecturers invitation –

Stefano Angiari

Stefano Angiari

Division of Immunology, Otto Loewi Research Center, Medical University of Graz (Austria) • I obtained a master’s degree in Molecular Biology in 2007 and a Phd in Cellular and Molecular Pathology and Biology in 2011. I started my research activity at the University of Verona (Italy), where I studied the molecular mechanisms controlling leukocyte trafficking in the central nervous system during neuroinflammation, as well as the immuno-modulatory and neuroprotective properties of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) and ASC-derived nanovescicles. I then moved to the Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), to develop a research project investigating the metabolic regulation of adaptive immune responses. Recently, I’ve established my independent research group at the Medical University of Graz (Austria), where I focus my research activity on the regulation of T cell function in inflammation and autoimmunity.

Ganna Balagura

University of Genoa(Italy) IRCCS G. Gaslini Institute, Genoa (Italy) • Ganna Balagura graduated in Medicine and Surgery at Università degli Studi di Genova (2016) and she is in her last year of PhD in Pediatric Neurology at "G. Gaslini" Institute in Genova. The focus of her research are genetic epilepsies and neurodevelopmental disorders, i.e. synaptopathies. Her work spans from clinical phenotyping of the patients with genetic epilepsies and bioinformatic tools for deep phenotyping (Human Phenotype Ontology), to experimental studies around the pathomechanisms of these genetic disorders, to precision medicine approaches. Ganna is now based in Amsterdam, at Matthijs Verhage's Lab (Functional Genomics department,  Vrije Universiteit). Her current project consists into investigating a novel therapeutic tool based on non-coding RNAs for the treatment of developmental and epileptic encephalopathies caused by gene haploinsufficiency. She is testing these new compounds on human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells.

Enrica Boda

Neuroscience Institute «Cavalieri Ottolenghi», Dept. of Neuroscience, University of Turin (Italy) • Enrica Boda, 40 years old. Enrica is a neurobiologist and works as an Associate Professor in Human Anatomy at the University of Turin. Her research activity is based at the Neuroscience Institute of the Cavalieri Ottolenghi Foundation (NICO, Orbassano, Turin) and is focused on the molecular mechanisms regulating the self-renewal and differentiation of neural progenitor cells (oligodendrocyte progenitors and neural stem cells) in health and disease, with a special focus on de-/dis-myelinating diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Giulia D'Arrigo

Giulia D’Arrigo

Neuroscience Institute - National Research Council of Italy, Milan (Italy) • Giulia D’Arrigo is a post-doc working in the lab of Dr Claudia Verderio at the CNR Institute of Neuroscience of Milan. She graduated in Neurobiology at the University of Pavia in 2015 and obtain in 2019 the PhD in Functional and Structural Genomics at the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste (SISSA) in collaboration with the CNR Institute of Neuroscience in Milan. During her master internship in Neurobiology, she collaborated to demonstrate the transfer of miRNAs from glial inflammatory extracellular vesicles (EVs) to neurons. While attending her PhD program, she studied the dynamics of EV-neuron interaction exploiting optical manipulation, a technique that allows to trap and deliver single particles in a suspension of cultured cells in vitro and investigated the mechanisms by which EVs can interact and move following the neuronal network. Currently, she is studying the involvement of microglia-derived EVs in mediating the synaptic pruning, a process by which excessive synapses are eliminated in the developing brain.

Francesco Di Lorenzo

Santa Lucia Foundation Scientific Institute, Rome (Italy) • Specialized in 2018 in Neurology at Tor Vergata University, my main clinical and scientific interests are in Neurodegenerative diseases (especially Alzheimer`s Disease and Fronto-Temporal Dementia) and Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation tools (such as TMS, tDCS, tACS, TMS/EEG). These novel techniques are able to investigate in vivo the mechanisms of cortical plasticity in humans and patients paving the way for future neuromodulation protocols.

Manuela Medellin

Manuela Medelin

Aptuit Srl, an Evotec company, Verona (Italy) • I was born on 9th of June 1985 in Trieste. Following my Master degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technologies in April 2010, I continued my experimental training in Pharmacology at the Goethe University in Frankfurt for few months. Afterwards, I decided to explore a different scientific field and started my PhD in Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences –specializing in Neurobiology, back again at the University of Trieste. In 2014 I continued my research activities in SISSA as a Postdoctoral Fellow mainly focusing on characterizing neuronal networks in both physiological and pathological conditions and how these are affected when interfaced with nanotechnologies.

Giovanni Nardo

Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS (Italy) • Dr Nardo's competence is in the field of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular MNDs. He has a broad background in Neurobiology and Molecular Biology with specific training and expertise in studying animal models of neurodegenerative diseases. Dr Nardo obtained a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Parma (Italy). During this period, he focused on the molecular diagnostics of ALS. Subsequently, he moved to the United Kingdom as a Postdoc at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SiTRAN), where he was involved in characterising ALS pathogenesis in transgenic mouse models under the supervision of Dr Bendotti and Professor Dame Pamela J. Shaw. Dr Nardo has long-standing experience in ALS mouse models and immune processes. Recently, he gave new insight into ALS pathobiology by investigating the immune system in mice and patients. Also, he was a partner in an EU-JPND project for the study of small non-coding RNA in ALS, and recently, he was granted by FightMND (AUS) to study the effect of Compound K as positive allosteric agonist of the purinergic P2X7 receptor in ALS mice in collaboration with the University of Queensland. Actually, he is the Head of the Neuromuscular Diseases Unit in the Molecular Neurobiology lab at the Mario Negri Institute in Milan, where he focuses on peripheral immune response in MNDs.

Rosa Paolicelli

Rosa C. Paolicelli

Department of Physiology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland • Rosa C. Paolicelli earned her bachelor of Medical Biotechnology at the University of Bologna, Italy, in 2006, and her MSc in Molecular Neuroscience at the University of Bristol, UK, in 2007. She graduated in 2011 with a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology, from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), and then worked as postdoc at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, in the Department of Systems and Cell Biology of Neurodegeneration. From 2018, Rosa is Assistant Professor at the Department of Physiology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Her lab focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating microglia-synapse interaction in physiological and pathological contexts.

Simona Schiavi

University of Genoa (Italy) • Simona is a Post-Doc working at the University of Genoa with Prof. Matilde Inglese. She obtained her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics to Medicine at École Polytechnique of Paris studying how to derive microstructural tissue information from diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) signal. In the past few years she participated in the development of a new technique to perform microstructural informed tractography whose aim is to increase the specificity of tractography and derive a more veridical brain structural connectivity. Currently, she is involved in several projects in testing the effectiveness of both dMRI microstructural imaging and tractography based structural connectivity to assess and predict the development of neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis.

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