I studied Biotechnology at the University of Milan, Italy. During my degree I completed a 2-year internship at the Mario Negri Institute under the supervision of Dr Caterina Bendotti, where I developed a deep interest in motor neuron disease (MND). In 2005 I joined the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield, UK, and won the MND Association Prize studentship that funded my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Dame Pamela Shaw and Dr Janine Kirby. During my PhD I used laser capture microdissection and microarray analysis to interrogate the pathways involved in the response of motor neuron to stress, from expression of mutant SOD1 to intense exercise (Journal of Neuroscience 2007 and Journal of Neurochemistry 2009).
I was then awarded the Peake Fellowship to investigate the crosstalk between motor neurons and astrocytes in MND using microarray analysis and cellular models (Brain 2011) in Sheffield at the Institute for Translational Neuroscience.
I had the great opportunity to deepen my knowledge on glia and gene therapy in Prof Kaspar’s lab in Columbus, Ohio, USA from 2012 to 2014 when I was awarded the prestigious International Outgoing Marie Curie Fellowship funded by the European Union. In Prof. Kaspar’s lab I had the opportunity to contribute to the development of new cell models to study ALS in vitro (Neuron 2014 and PNAS 2014 and 2016) and explore different routes of delivery for gene therapy clinical trials in MND (Molecular Therapy 2013) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) (Molecular Therapy 2014).
In 2015 I obtained my Lectureship in Translational Neurobiology at SITraN, where I have set up my research group with a specific focus on glia toxcity in MND and precision medicine.