Scientific Committee


– Oral selection, talk evaluation and Lecturers invitation –

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.

Stefano Angiari

Stefano Angiari

Division of Immunology and Pathophysiology, 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’ll focus my research activity on the regulation of T cell function in inflammation and autoimmunity.

Jose Lifante Cañavate

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Madrid, Spain • I obtained a bachelor's degree in Biology and a master's degree in Biotechnology at the Universidad Autonoma of Madrid, Spain. Then I moved to Genoa to work as an external researcher at the laboratory of neuroimmunobiology, department of neuroscience, University of Genova. The aim of my project was to investigate possible changes in neuroglia activation states through pharmaceutical modulation with Fingolimod -a novel oral treatment approved for the treatment of relapsing-remmiting form of multiple sclerosis- and to understand if this modulation could lead to a potential amelioration of neuroinflammation, ultimately reducting neurodegeneration in the mice model of Multiple Sclerosis experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Straightforward I achieved a PhD position at the Pharmacology and Physiology Department of the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid. The main goal of the project is to develop a protocol to efficiently deliver fluorescence nanoparticles to the brain, and to understand if this could be an effective tool able to monitor subtle temperatures changes in the context of central nervous system diseases such as Alzeimer and glioblastoma. These could ultimately lead to a novel brain diagnostic technique that could allow to improve detection times in early stages of these conditions.

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

University of 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.

Alessandra Musella

Alessandra Musella

University of Rome San Raffaele (Italy) • I’m a senior researcher, working in Università Telematica San Raffaele, Rome, Italy. I graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technologyat “Sapienza” University of Rome, Italy (2006). Immediately after graduation, I started working as electrophysiologist in Prof. D Centonze’s laboratory at “Tor Vergata” University and at IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia. In 2012, I received my PhD degree in neuroscience and, in 2014, I obtained a 3-year-grant form Italian Ministry of Health. My research interests are related to the role of synaptic transmission in the pathophysiology of Multiple Sclerosis and of its experimental model, and to the mechanisms of the neurodegenerative damage in neurological diseases. On these topics, I have published about 53 original peer-reviewed papers.

Giovanni Nardo

Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS (Italy) • Dr. Giovanni Nardo, obtained his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Parma (Italy). During this period, he focused on the molecular diagnostics of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Subsequently, he moved in the United Kingdom as a postdoc at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITRAN) where he was involved in the characterization of ALS pathogenesis in transgenic mouse models. After two years, he became principal investigator at the Mario Negri Institute in Milan by obtaining a two years grant from the Thierry Latran Foundation. Now he’s working as a senior researcher at the Mario Negri Institute where he investigates the correlation between the inflammation and ALS.

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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