Dr Michel Akselrod studied bio-engineering at the Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland). He specialized in neuro-engineering and obtained his PhD from the doctoral school of Neuroscience at EPFL. During his thesis, he used high resolution fMRI to map and study body representations in primary sensorimotor areas. In particular, he was interested in the plasticity of body representations in amputees and potential applications in the field of neuroprosthetics. His current research focuses on studying plasticity in multisensory body representation, as well as their link to cognitive functions and subjective experience.
Dr Elena Bellotti received her BSc and MSc in Biomedical Engineering and her PhD in Chemical and Material Science at the University of Pisa. Before joining the MINDED programme, she carried out her post-doctoral training in the laboratories of Prof. Steven R. Little at the University of Pittsburgh, where she developed and engineered polymeric microparticles and thermoresponsive hydrogels for the treatment of ocular pathologies. Her research field focuses on the development and characterization of biomaterials for controlled drug delivery to be applied in the treatment of different pathologies.
Dr Lucilla Cardinali obtained her BSc in Cognitive Psychology and MSc in Neuropsychology from the University of Bologna. She then moved to Lyon (France) where she worked, under the supervision of Dr Alessandro Farnè, on the plasticity of body representations after tool use and obtained her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from the Université Lyon 1. Before joining the MINDED programme, she has worked as post-doctoral fellow in Dr Jody Culham Lab at the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University (Canada) first, and with Monica Gori at IIT (U-VIP: Unit for Visually Impaired people) after. Her research interests focus on body and space representations and their plasticity.
Alexander Cook obtained a BSc in Chemistry from Imperial College in 2013 and carried out a research project on the development of a minimally invasive continuous glucose sensor with Professor Tony Cass. He completed an MSc in Polymer Chemistry at the University of Warwick in 2014, conducting research in the group of Professor Sebastien Perrier on the design and characterisation of self-assembling peptide-polymer conjugates. Before joining the MINDED project, Alexander carried out his doctoral activities ar the University of Warwick, also in the group of Professor Sebastien Perrier, investigating functional polymers for drug delivery applications.
Dr Ana Martins obtained her B.S. degree in Applied Biology and a M.Sc on Processing and Characterization of Materials at the University of Minho. In 2009 she completed her Ph.D. working on the development, characterization and modification with biomimetic coatings of novel scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. During her Ph.D., she received a scholarship from EXPERTISSUES for her doctoral research enabling her to perform her studies at Rice University, Houston, USA. In June of 2010 she started a Postdoc to develop her research project regarding the generation of iPS cells using non-viral vectors and cardiomyocytes differentiation at University of Minho and Columbia University. Her research interests include new conductive biomaterials for tissue engineering and disease modeling, cell culture and differentiation of iPSCs, and rare diseases.
Dr Shoshy Mizrahy received her B.Sc. in biotechnology and food engineering from the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), M.Sc. in Medical Sciences and Ph.D. in Nanomedicine from Tel-Aviv University (Israel). Her Ph.D. thesis, under the supervision of Prof. Dan Peer, focused on Hyaluronan-coated lipid nanoparticles: Physicochemical, structural and immunological considerations for optimized drug carriers. Her research interests focus on neurotropic virus inspired lipid nanoparticle for nucleic acid delivery to the CNS. Before joining the MINDED programme, she was involved in several applicative projects and held both research and business development positions in the rapidly growing Israeli biotech industry.
Dr Martina Pannuzzo obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology, Master’s degree in Biomolecular Chemistry and Ph.D. in Chemical Science from the University of Catania (Italy). During her Ph.D. studies, she was awarded several European fellowships to visit important research groups. She received a prize for the best Ph.D. thesis in Computational Biophysics for 2010-2012 from the Italian Biophysical Society. She spent three years, from 2012-2015 at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany as postdoctoral fellow and Principal Investigator in the graduate school of biomembranes. Before joining the MINDED programme, she was a postdoctoral research associate in the Physics Department (Prof. Deserno’s group) at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh (USA).Dr. Pannuzzo’s past and current research focuses mainly on the investigation of biophysical processes by atomistic and coarse grained Molecular Dynamics simulation. Some of her studies looked into the interaction of amyloidogenic peptides with biological membrane, calcium-polymer mediated membrane fusion, the computational modelling of smart polymeric materials, and dynamin mediated fission events.
Dr Arunkumar Pitchaimani obtained his MSc in Biotechnology at the Sastra University, India and his PhD in Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Tamilnadu, India. Before joining the MINDED programme, he has been working as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), India and Nanotechnology Innovation Center of Kansas State (NICKS), Kansas State University, USA, under the supervision of Prof. Santosh Aryal, PhD. His research interest focus on the Targeted brain delivery of therapeutics across blood brain barrier using Biomimetic nanoconstructs.