I studied Medical Biotechnology at the University of Trieste, where I graduated cum laude in 2003 with a research thesis on the molecular biology and signal transduction pathways of human bone cells. During my studies, I actively contributed to the development of the Italian Association of Biotechnology Students, which I chaired in 2002-2003, and I am co-founder of the Italian Association of Biotechnologists.
A peculiar interest for space-related research and weightlessness brought me in 2004 to the ESA (European Space Agency) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. As winner of ESA’s prestigious “Success student contest” I could develop my own project proposal to study the molecular biology of human bone cells in microgravity, which resulted in my experiment being performed onboard the International Space Station in 2005.
From 2005 to 2010 I developed my molecular biology, biochemistry and NGS skills during PhD research in the lab of prof. Henk Stunnenberg at the Radboud University Nijmegen. I studied the molecular mechanisms of the human oncoprotein PRAME combining protein-protein interaction network analyses with innovative high-throughput (NGS) sequencing approaches, developing a number of related techniques and protocols in one of the pioneering NGS labs in Europe.
In 2011, I joined BaseClear (Leiden, The Netherlands), a private and independent solution provider specialized in DNA sequencing and genomic analyses. I started as Manager of the NGS department, coordinating the exponential growth of our lab and services, introducing new protocols and technologies like the Illumina HiSeq and MiSeq and PacBio long reads. Due to the growing requests for custom projects, I helped defining and setting up the Product Management and R&D group. I am very interested in new DNA sequencing technologies and coordinate our efforts testing, developing and applying the latest Oxford Nanopore Technologies and brought BaseClear to become the first certified commercial ONT service provider world-wide in December 2017.
In a few keywords: molecular biology, bioinformatics, genomics, DNA sequencing technologies, with a good pinch of philosophy and good food to keep our minds working!