MSCA Individual Fellowships: Fellows

Marie Curie Fellows at Unipd

H2020 MSCA - IF 2020

  Jacopo Agrimi - PINK: Intimate partner violence disrupts the brain-heart axis in women

Jacopo AgrimiJacopo Agrimi received his B.S. and M.S. in clinical psychology from the University of Pisa where he volunteered and later joined the laboratory of Prof. A. Gemignani, studying the role of the NREM sleep in processes of memory consolidation. Later, he gained a Ph.D. in Translational Medicine at the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, moving his interest toward the relationship between the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system. During October 2018, he started his postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in the laboratory of Prof. N. Paolocci. During these years, he pursued research interests/tasks consistent with the central theme of Ph.D. work, i.e., to understand the mechanism underlying the brain-heart bidirectional communication and to prevent the potential injuries (at both brain and heart level) perpetrated by external environmental factors, such as psychosocial or ischemic stress.
His project as MSCA fellow at the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Padua, under the supervision of Prof. Dal Maschio, aims at determining whether and through what mechanisms, "intimate partner violence" in young/adult female subjects predisposes to mental/mood disorders and heightens the risk of cardiovascular disease.

  Manuel Arca Sedda - GRACE-BH: Gravitational waves from crowded environments: simulating intermediate-mass black hole formation and evolution with supercomputers

Manuel Arca SeddaManuel Arca Sedda is an Italian Astrophysicist. He earned his PhD in Astronomy at the University of Rome Sapienza in January 2014. In his Alma Mater, he also received the BSc (2008) and MSc (2010).
In 2015 he worked as a Postdoc for the University of Tor Vergata, while in 2016 he received an independent postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Rome Sapienza. In 2017 he moved to the University of Heidelberg in Germany, where he joined the Astronomisches Rechen Institut under the Collaborative Research Center (SFB881) "The Milky Way System". During this period, he started pursuing research on the formation and evolution of black holes of all sizes. In 2018 he was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to pursue the research project "Black Holes at all the scales". In 2019 he joined the laser interferometer space antenna (LISA) consortium and the international astronomical union (IAU). In 2021 he was awarded an MSCA fellowship for the project "GRACE-BH", which aims at tackling the challenge to answer the question "What are the best conditions under which an intermediate-mass black hole forms in a massive stellar system?". Manuel carries out his project at the Department of Physics and Astronomy under the supervision of Prof. Mapelli, ERC grantee. His project will follow the complex phases that undermine the possible development of intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) in star clusters. To reach this goal, he will develop the most refined numerical simulations of star clusters on the market, which will feature up to 1 million stars and will represent reliably the clusters that we can admire in our skies.

  Cristiane Benincá - MTPHAGYTREAT: Study of the role of mitophagy and lysosomal biogenesis in COX deficiency: a new model for drug discovery

Cristiane Benincá

Cristiane is a biologist with a PhD in Genetics from the University of Barcelona. After a post-doctoral position at the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Madrid, she got a visiting researcher fellowship in Brazil where she became a collaborating professor at the Department of Genetics Master in the Federal University of Parana (UFPR). She also started a collaboration connecting a multidisciplinary team of specialists for the genetic diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases. The collaboration included the biggest private pediatric hospital in Brazil (Hospital Pequeno Principe), the UFPR and it was expanded to the University of Cambridge (UK), after she moved with her family back to Europe. She also became the Microscopy Facility Manager in Mitochondrial Biology Unit (University of Cambridge). In 2020 she joined the Metabolism Theme at the University of California in Los Angeles as an Assistant Project Scientist and Microscopy Core Director. She works in close relationship with a Pharma Company to find new compounds to improve mitochondrial health. In the genetics field, she keeps her collaborations in Brazil, analyzing and interpreting NGS data for the diagnosis of genetic diseases.

In 2021 she was awarded the MSCA Individual Fellowship to work with Prof. Carlo Viscomi at the Department of Biomedical Sciences in Padua. The project intends to study the role of mitophagy and lysosomal biogenesis in COX deficiency and create a new mitochondrial disease and mitophagy model for drug discovery. The successful discovery of new compounds impacting on mitophagy for this disease model can directly impact on future clinical trials. All these together will impact research on both mitochondrial disorders and other muscle degenerative diseases.

  Merel C. Breedveld - HeatWaveSS: Intra and inter-generational effects of heatwaves on sexually selected traits and reproductive success

Merel C. BreedveldMerel C. Breedveld is from the Netherlands, where she obtained her MSc in Animal Biology from the University of Utrecht. She moved to Spain where she was a PhD fellow at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid, while carrying out most of her fieldwork at the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology in the Spanish Pyrenees. Her research covers the fields of behavioural ecology, reproductive biology and evolutionary biology, and her main interests include reproductive strategies and sexual selection. She is especially interested in whether and how animals adjust reproductive strategies in response to changes in their external environment, in the consequences of environmental change on reproductive success, and in whether behavioural adjustments have the potential to mediate negative consequences. During her PhD she studied how lizards respond to variation in the seasonal timing of mate encounter on agents of sexual selection. After obtaining her PhD she moved to Germany for a postdoc position at the University of Potsdam, where she investigated how rodent mothers respond to the threat of an infanticidal male in their surroundings. During her MSCA fellowship at the department of Biology under supervision of Dr. Clelia Gasparini, Merel will be carrying out her HeatWaveSS project, investigating the effects of heatwaves on fertility, sexual selection, and transgenerational fitness using the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) as a model system. By investigating the effects of heatwaves at different levels, she hopes to offer insights into their effects on individuals and populations, thereby contributing to our understanding of the consequences of climate change and the processes underlying responses to environmental changes.

  Cristina Cassia - BEMUS: Pietro Bembo's soundscape: a musical tour in the early modern Italian peninsula

Cristina CassiaCristina Cassia graduated in Classical Literature and in Musicology from the universities of Milan and Cremona; she also holds degrees in Piano and Organ from the conservatories of Mantua and Venice. After joining the musicological team 'Ricercar', at the Centre d'Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR) in Tours (2010-2013), she earned a Ph.D. in Musicology co-sponsored by the CESR and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB - FNRS). Since 2017 she has been associated researcher of the CESR of Tours, and from 2018 to January 2021 she was part of the research team 'Polifonia Sforzesca' at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel. Her project as MSCA fellow at the Department of Cultural Heritage of the University of Padua, under the supervision of Prof. Marina Toffetti, focuses on the multiple links between the Venetian humanist Pietro Bembo (1470-1547) and the music of his time, and tries to reconstruct the soundscape that surrounded him, and his musical interests and networks.

  Isolina Díaz-Ramos - CLEA: Reviewing and integrating methods for the Conservation of European architecturaL finishes in urban hEritage townscApes

Isolina Díaz-RamosIsolina Díaz-Ramos is a Spanish conservator and restorer of wall paintings, archaeological materials and architectural surfaces. She researches on the conservation of colour in historical building heritage.
Isolina studied Fine arts at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, in Spain. She obtained her PhD in 2016 at Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, with a Thesis on the use of natural substances for the conservation of earthen surfaces on building heritage.In 2018 she was awarded by the Spanish Academy in Rome and the Foundation Bogliasco in Genoa, Italy (2019).
Her project as MSCA fellow at the Department of Geosciences of the University of Padua, under the supervision of Prof. Artioli, focuses on the conservation of architectural finishes of 19th and early 20th century European city heritage in Alexandria, Egypt, by the use of innovative paths (1) to improve the methodology for the characterization of architectural finishes, (2) to understand historic pigment use, mortar composition and render texture, (3) to produce a tool for decision making when selecting materials and pigments for the conservation of the historic aesthetic. Results will help to understand and to preserve original aesthetics by conservators, organizations and people.

  Laura Fusco - SEE: mapping the skin-immune interactionsof novel 2D materials MXENES

Laura Fusco

Laura Fusco received her B.Sc. in Medical Biotechnologies from the University of Milan (Italy), studying the effects of airborne particulate matter on human health at the IRCCS Maggiore Policlinico Hospital, Mangiagalli and Regina Elena Foundation. After receiving her M.Sc. in Medical Biotechnologies and Molecular Medicine, in 2018 she earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Trieste, with a H2020 Graphene Flagship project on the toxicological effects of graphene at the skin level, integrating her research at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm (Sweden). In 2019/2020, she served as a MSCA RISE Fellow at Sidra Medicine, Doha (Qatar), in the framework of the H2020-MSCA-RISE project CARBO-IMmap. Currently, she is a Postdoc at the University of Padua, working on the WHISKIES project, supported by the European Space Agency (ESA), which aims at investigating nanomaterials developed for wound healing in space.

In 2021, she was awarded a H2020-MSCA Global Individual Fellowship for the project SEE, which aims at mapping the immune-skin interactions of novel 2D nanomaterials: MXenes. During the project, supervised by Dr. Lucia Gemma Delogu at the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Padua, she will be hosted by the outgoing phase Supervisor, Prof. Yury Gogotsi (Drexel University, USA) and by Prof. Bengt Fadeel, supervising a secondment at Karolinska Institutet. SEE will provide a thorough evaluation of the skin impact and possible immunomodulation of a wide variety of MXenes, investigating key aspects for MXene safety and effective use as bioelectronics or biomedical tools applied to the skin. By exploring these crucial aspects, SEE aims at incising the strategic field of MXenes and 2D nanomaterials as well as their role in biomedicine and nanotechnology.

  Jessica Gemignani - BabyMindReader: a multivariate NIRS-EEG neural decoder to decipher newborns' inital representations of speech prosody

Jessica GemignaniJessica Gemignani, Italian fellow, obtained her M.Sc in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Pisa; in 2015, she enrolled as Marie-Curie Early Stage Researcher in the ITN Predictable, working at NIRx Medical Technologies and the Technical University of Berlin, where she obtained her Ph.D in Neurotechnology in September 2019. After a post-doc at the University Paris Descartes, she moved to Padua, to work as post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialisation (DPSS), where she will carry out her MSCA Individual Fellowship. Her research involves the use of functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) to study functional brain activity, and in particular its applications in infant research.

Her "BabyMindReader" project as MSCA fellow at the DPSS, under the supervision of Prof. Judit Gervain, will investigate the role of prenatal experience with prosody on language acquisition by means of a highly interdisciplinary approach that brings together well established experimental methods in infant language research with co-registered NIRS-EEG measurements and state-of-the-art machine learning techniques.

  Luigi Germinario - WATERISKULT: Climate change risk to underwater cultural heritage in stone

Luigi GerminarioLuigi Germinario holds a PhD in Earth Sciences (University of Padua, Italy) with added qualification of "European Doctorate", and an MSc in Diagnostics and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (University of Bari, Italy). He is currently a research fellow at the University of Padua, but counts a number of international collaborations and previous experiences at Saitama University (Japan), Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary), University of Göttingen (Germany), and Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada). His research interest is in heritage science, in particular stone weathering and durability in monuments, construction, caves, underwater sites, and geoheritage; the relevant influence of climate change, microclimate, air pollution, and water; stone provenance in archaeological sites and structures.
For his MSCA, Luigi Germinario will work at the Department of Geosciences with the supervision of Prof. Claudio Mazzoli. He will investigate the vulnerability and decay of underwater cultural heritage, in particular archaeological stone, related to key-factors of climate change and their effects on the submarine environment, with an interdisciplinary approach based on mixed field and laboratory experimentation.

  Jonathan Lambert - MitoFORMSinHF: Mitochondrial cristae form, function, and organization dependent upon metabolic sources and implication in heart failure

Jonathan LambertJonathan Lambert is an American basic cardiovascular biologist with particular research interests in mitochondrial biology and cell death. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania conducting research under his mentor, Dr. John Elrod, whose lab primarily focused on investigating mitochondrial calcium exchange in cardiovascular biology. Jonathan's thesis project defined MCUBs precise role in regulating the mitochondrial calcium uniporter complex and discovered MCUBs relevance to cardiac pathophysiology finding MCUB was upregulated following myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury as a compensatory mechanism to limit mitochondrial calcium overload and necrotic cell death. In 2019, Jonathan was awarded a European Molecular Biology Organization postdoctoral fellowship which is currently being carried out under the supervision of Prof. Luca Scorrano in the Department of Biology at the University of Padua. In this project entitled "Determining the metabolic sensing capability of mitochondrial cristae" Jonathan is employing discovery-based proteomics to find metabolically dependent regulators of cristae morphology and will further evaluate these candidates influence on cristae using super resolution microscopy. In 2020, Jonathan was awarded a MSCA-2020 Individual Fellowship for his project MitoFORMSinHF. The findings and molecular biological tools developed in Jonathan's EMBO fellowship will now be extended to the field of cardiovascular biology allowing him to investigate how mitochondrial cristae form, organization, and structure are dependent upon metabolic sources in the setting of heart failure. This project will also be supervised under the guidance of Prof. Luca Scorrano in the Department of Biology.

  Ana Paula Mendonça - PHERADOA: Pharmacological therapy to curtail visual loss in ADOA mouse model

Ana Paula MendonçaAna Paula Mendonça is a Brazilian fellow and obtained her Ph.D. in 2019 in biological chemistry at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), where she worked on mitochondrial metabolism in brain cells under redox, metabolic, and social stress. In the last year of PhD (2018-2019), she made one year training in Universität Bremen (Germany) as a guest researcher funded by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
She has been awarded a H2020-MSCA-2020 Individual Fellowship, PHERADOA, which focuses on identifying a pharmacological therapy that curtails ADOA visual loss. This project will be carried out at the Department of Biology, University of Padua, under the supervision of Prof. Luca Scorrano.

  Giovanna Miolli - InRatio: INCLUSIVE RATIONALITY. Rearticulating Philosophy’s Social Role Through a Dialogue Among Dialectic Hegelian Conceptual Tools, Contemporary Metaphilosophy, and Gender Perspectives

Giovanna Miolli Giovanna Miolli is currently a MSCA Seal-of-Excellence Fellow at the University of Padua and Adjunct Professor of Philosophical Anthropology at the University of Genoa. She is a member of the International Research Group on Classical German Philosophy 'Hegelpd' at the University of Padua. She has studied and carried out research projects at the University of Padua, Humboldt University Berlin, the University of Sydney and the University of Münster. Her research areas include classical German philosophy (especially Hegel), contemporary metaphilosophy, feminist philosophies and the philosophy of education. Since 2017 she has been Educational Project Manager at the Association of Philosophical Studies Verifiche ( and in 2018 she co-founded the philosophical collective Bee Philosopher. Her position includes the design and implementation of philosophical workshops for children and adolescents. She will carry out her MSCA project InRatio at the Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology under the supervision of Luca Illetterati and in collaboration with the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires. Her project aims to propose a rearticulation of philosophy's (educational) role within contemporary democratic societies. The research aims to turn three main prejudices against philosophy upside down (i.e. lack of scientificity, abstractness, uselessness) and emphasise philosophy's contribution to societal challenges.

  Angela Moriggi - VERVE: co-creative Visioning procEsses for tRansformative social innoVation in rural arEas

Angela Moriggi Angela Moriggi, Italian, will obtain her PhD title in Rural Sociology, at Wageningen University and Research, in June 2021 – funded by a Marie Curie ITN Fellowship (SUSPLACE project) and by a Kone Foundation working grant. Angela is a social scientist working for sustainability since 2013, as part of inter- and trans-disciplinary projects. Her research has focused on various dimensions of social change (e.g. public participation and civil society environmental activism, social entrepreneurship, gender-related climate change adaptation, etc.). She has extensive fieldwork experience in Finland, China, and Italy. She is an expert in participatory, visual, and arts-based methodologies to engage different societal stakeholders, and to promote transformative learning approaches in academia. She is the co-founder of the collective Re.imaginary, and the co-author of the children's book and science communication project 'Once Upon the Future: Everyday Adventures that Change the World'.
Angela's MSCA IF project 'VERVE' will be carried out at the Dept. of Land, Environment, Agriculture, and Forestry under the supervision of Prof. Laura Secco. VERVE aims at exploring and enabling transformative social innovation in European rural areas. It will test a novel methodology to shape future regenerative sustainability pathways for local governance processes, by employing an action-oriented approach and empowering youth and women. It will do so in partnership with a Local Action Group acting as a social innovation catalyst in the case study area of Belluno (Italy).

  Antonella Pasquato - SPOTLESS: Screening of small molecules to fight SARS-CoV-2 by combining novel approaches and sustainability

Antonella PasquatoAntonella Pasquato is an Italian fellow who obtained her PhD in chemistry at the University Federico II of Napoli studying HIV derived biomolecules. After a first experience at the University of Padua on the biochemical characterization of synthetic peptides, she decided to move abroad. During her four years postdoc at IRCM, Montreal Canada, Antonella specialized in cellular enzymology. She then joined a virology research center in Lausanne, Switzerland. Over the following ten years, she investigated the ability of emerging viruses to exploit cellular enzymes. Ultimately, she specialized in the development of screening assays to identify antivirals. She returns to Italy as a MSCA fellow presenting a project focused on the investigation of the SARS-CoV-2 spike maturation by cellular enzymes. These studies will provide key information for the following development of an innovative platform to search for anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs. Antonella 's work will cover sustainability aspects in the context of research, as well. The project will be carried out at the Department of Industrial Engineering (DII) of the university of Padua under the supervision of prof. Monica Dettin.

  Agnese Serafini - Myco_Metabolism: How iron and manganese affect the central metabolism in pathogenic mycobacteria

Agnese Serafini Agnese Serafini is an Italian scientist who specialised in the microbiology field.
During her PhD at the University of Rome "La Sapienza", she developed her interest in the study of microbial physiology. From 2006 to 2008 she collaborated with the Crystallography Institute of the CNR. During her postdoc in the laboratory of Prof. Riccardo Manganelli at UNIPD (2008-2014), she was fascinated by the physiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the etiological agent of tuberculosis. She was one of the first scientists to explore the role of the novel ESX-3 type VII secretion system in M. tuberculosis. In 2015, she joined the Dr Luiz Carvalho lab at the National Institute for Medical Research (London, UK) that in 2016 became part of the new Francis Crick Institute. Here, she furthered the studies on the physiology of mycobacteria. She identified the carbon metabolic pathways for assimilation of lactate and pyruvate carbon source in M. tuberculosis, shifting the paradigm that lipids are the main carbon and energy source for M. tuberculosis in vivo.
During the MSCA Fellowship, at the University of Padua, she will explore how the variations of metal availability (mimicking the mechanisms of innate immune cells), like iron and manganese, affect the activity of central metabolism in M. tuberculosis and Mycobacterium abscessus. The project will be developed at the UNIPD (Padua, Italy) under the supervision of Prof Riccardo Manganelli and at the Francis Crick Institute (London, UK) under the supervision of Dr Luiz Carvalho.

  Eleonora Zampieri - AMBIRE: AMbitious Bids: Investigating Roman Elections (78-46 BC)

Eleonora Zampieri Eleonora Zampieri, Italian Fellow, was awarded her MA in Classical Archaeology at the University of Pada, where she also obtained her degree in Moral Sciences at the Scuola Galileiana di Studi Superiori. She then moved to the UK in order to study for her PhD (awarded in 2017) at the University of Leicester; there, she investigated how political propaganda was carried out via architectural display by Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great in Rome during the mid-first century BC.
During her MSCA IF project at the Department of Historical, Geographical and Ancient World Studies, under the supervision of Prof. Luca Fezzi, she will explore the reasons whereby Roman magistrates in Rome between 78 and 46 BC won the elections; that is, what made them successful candidates in a period of political crisis. AMBIRE will address the gap in modern research concerning less prominent actors in Roman Late Republican politics and advance the understanding of the interaction between candidates and electors.

  Peihao Sun - GlassX: Structure and dynamics of glasses: using novel X-ray tools to push the boundaries of how we understand them

Peihao SunPeihao Sun grew up in China. After finishing his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (USA), he continued to pursue a PhD degree in physics at Stanford University (USA). During his PhD, he worked on a number of projects using X-rays to study the properties of condensed matter systems, in particular disordered materials such as liquids and glasses.

Peihao is excited to come to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University of Padova, where he will carry out his MSCA-IF project under the supervision of Prof. Giulio Monaco. In his project “GlassX”, he will utilize state-of-the-art X-ray instruments to study the structure and dynamics of glasses, aiming to shed light on some of the long-standing open problems in glass physics.


International Research Office

via Martiri della libertà 8, 35137 Padova, Italy
tel. +39 049.827 1947 / 1948 / 1945
fax +39 049.827 1911