MSCA Individual Fellowships: Fellows and Projects

Marie Curie Fellows at Unipd

  Claudia Cecchetto - GRACE: hiGh-Resolution imAging of the barrel CortEx through VSD and LFP recordings (2019- 2021)


Claudia Cecchetto is a biophysicist specialized in in vivo electrophysiological recordings from the rodent primary somatosensory cortex. She obtained her PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Padova in 2016, where then she has worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Her doctoral thesis focused on the characterization of sensory information encoding by neuronal microcircuits in the rat brain, investigated through an innovative bi-directional and high-resolution brain-chip interface. In 2017 she has been awarded a Canon Foundation Research Fellowship and in 2018 he received a MSCA Global Fellowship. The aim of her MSCA project “GRACE” is to develop an innovative and advanced dual approach to study how parameters (i.e. velocity, amplitude, direction) of whisker deflections are encoded into the barrel cortex, combining Voltage Sensitive Dye (VSD) imaging and high-resolution electrical recordings. During the outgoing phase, she will work at OIST (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology) in Okinawa, Japan, training on VSD imaging in mice and focusing on the development of this new experimental technique, under the supervision of Prof. Bernd Kuhn. During the returning phase, she will transfer her knowledge on chronic in vivo VSD imaging of the mouse barrel cortex to the University of Padova, joining the “Neurochip Lab” under the supervision of Prof. Stefano Vassanelli.

RadioBue interview


  Martha Giovanna Pamato - SINDIA: Sulphide INclusions in DIAmonds: A Window into The Earth’s Interior Through Time 2019-2021)


Martha Giovanna Pamato is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Earth Sciences, University College London, UK. She obtained her BSc in Geology at the University of Padua in October 2008. After that, she moved to Bayreuth, Germany where she obtained her MSc (2010) and PhD (2014) in Experimental Geosciences at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut, University of Bayreuth. She was a Postdoc Researcher at the Department of Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA from September 2014 until September 2015 and she has been conducting research at the Department of Earth Sciences, University College London since November 2015.

Martha is a mineral physicist and her research aims to address fundamental questions related to the formation and evolution of the Earth. In the past years, she also started to study rare and unique natural samples forming in the deepest regions of the Earth, such as inclusions in diamond, to compare experimental data with natural information. Her research goal is to constrain the structure and composition of the deep Earth and better understand global processes with implications to the formation of the Earth and its atmosphere, and the development of life.

From April 2019, she will be a MSCA Fellow at the Department of Geosciences, University of Padua, where she will focus her research efforts on studying sulphide inclusions in diamonds in collaboration with Prof. Fabrizio Nestola.


  Hanna Lucie Sladitschek - YAP MECHANO: Elucidating the mechanism of mechanotransduction through YAP and TAZ (2019-2021)


Hanna Lucie Sladitschek received a Master’s in Molecular Biotechnology from Heidelberg University. In 2016, she obtained a joint PhD degree from EMBL and Heidelberg University (Germany) with highest honors.

Her PhD dealt with cell-fate decision making in embryonic stem cells. She then moved to Padua to join the laboratory of Prof. Stefano Piccolo (Department of Molecular Medicine) supported by an EMBO longterm fellowship. In 2018, she was awarded an MSCA fellowship to study how cells perceive the mechanical properties of their environment under the guidance of Prof. Piccolo, a pioneer in the field.

Her ultimate aim is to understand the molecular underpinnings of mechanobiology in health and disease.


  Mario Spera - HOMERICS: The History of Merging Compact-Object Binaries (2018- 2021)


Mario Spera is an Italian theoretical and computational astrophysicist. He investigates the formation and evolution of compact objects (black holes, primarily) through advanced numerical techniques.

Mario studied Physics, Astrophysics and Astronomy at “Sapienza” University, in Rome. He obtained his Bachelor degree in September 2008, and his Master degree in September 2010, both cum laude.

He also received his PhD in 2014 at “Sapienza” University, with a Thesis on the use of the latest computing technologies to the study of the dynamics of stellar systems.

In March 2014, Mario moved to the Astronomical Observatory of Padova, where he studied the formation of compact objects in different stellar systems.

In 2017 he was awarded an independent postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Milano – Bicocca and then moved to the University of Innsbruck as postdoc to work on the ‘’ForCOB’’ project. In 2018, Mario was awarded a Marie Curie Global Fellowship and he chose the University of Padova (Padova - Italy, supervisor Prof. Paola Marigo) and the ‘‘Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics’’ (CIERA) at Northwestern University (Evanston - USA, supervisor Prof. Fred Rasio) as hosts for his research project “HOMERICS”. The main aim of his research is to shed light on the evolutionary pathways of black holes and his final goal is to provide a theoretical interpretation to present and forthcoming gravitational-wave detections.


  Rosa Rugani - SNANeB: At the roots of Spatial Numerical Association: from behavioural observation to Neural Basis (2018-2021)


Rosa Rugani is an experimental psychologist specialized in the developmental and evolutionary origin of numerical competences. After a master degree in Psychology and a PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Padova, she carried out her research activity at the Department of General Psychology of the same university and at the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences of the University of Trento. She was visiting researcher at the Center for Avian Cognition of the Saskatchewan University (Canada), at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University, North Carolina (USA) and at Department of Psychology of the University of Potsdam (Germany).

She is an expert of comparative cognition, experiment’s design, brain lateralization and numerical cognition. In 2008 she received the “Giovani Studiosi” Grant from the University of Padova to investigate the left-right asymmetries in spatial numerical processing and in 2017 she was awarded by the German Academic Exchange Service.

With her project “SNANeB”, in 2018, she received a H2020-MSCA-IF-2017 Global fellowship. Thanks to this grant she will investigate the neural basis of the numerical cognition from a comparative perspective.She will conduct her research activity both at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (USA) collaborating with Prof. Elisabeth Brannon and Prof. Michael Platt and at the Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, collaborating  with Prof. Lucia Regolin.


  Elena Salillas Perez - ReMAPMATH: Re-Mapping the Numerical Brain (2018-2020)


Elena Salillas Perez obtained her first PhD at the University of La Laguna (Spain) in 2007 and a second PhD at the University of Trieste (Italy) in 2008. She has developed diverse research lines along her career. They include research on language processing, math cognition, developmental disorders (Dyscalculia) or bilingual math. She has applied Behavioral, Electrophysiology, Experimental Neuropsychology, lesion analyses, TMS, MEG techniques to test her hypotheses.

She has developed another research line, which merges to the health sector: Two projects on presurgical mapping in two distinct types of patients (intractable epilepsy and brain tumors). They entail a collaboration with Florida Hospital for children (FH, US) and Hospital Cruces in Bilbao. They deal mainly with the mapping of language and math functions and imply different methods: ECoG and MEG in FH and fMRI, MEG and DCE in the Hospital Cruces.

Currently, she has focused on the information that the study of reorganization of math functions in brain tumor patients (LGG) can provide in the understanding of the numerical system. She develops this new line of research at the University of Padova (Department of Neuroscience) as a MSC Fellow, in collaboration with Professor Semenza and the Padova Neuroscience Center, the Azienda Ospedaliera di Padova and the IRCCS Fondazione Ospedale San Camillo in Lido.


  Anna Fabiola Marino - Global Assemby: Building up the Milky Way Halo in the era of multiple stellar populations (2018-2020)

Global Assembly

Anna Fabiola Marino received her PhD degree in Astronomy in 2010 from the University of Padova, under a joint program with the Universidad Catolica de Chile. After her PhD, she has conducted her research in some of the most prominent centers for astrophysics studies, namely the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching (Germany), and the Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics (The Australian National University). In these institutes she has closely collaborated with world-leading experts in the fields of stellar and Galactic astronomy, including Profs. M. Asplund, M. Bessell, and the Nobel laureate Prof. B. Schmidt.

In 2015 she was awarded a "Discovery Early Career Researcher Award" from the Australian Research Council. She has been recognized by the international scientific community in the field of stellar spectroscopy and star clusters research for her novel and fundamental contribution to the studies on stellar populations in globular clusters. 

In 2018 she has been awarded a MSCA European Fellowship. Her project, Global-assembly, will focus on newly discovered generations of stars in globular cluster, that are among the oldest objects in the Milky Way. Her studies will provide a chemical characterization of stars in globular clusters, and will constitute a step forward to understand the nature of these ancient stellar systems and their possible connection with dwarf galaxies. The outcome of this research will be crucial to understand the formation mechanisms of the Milky Way and the contribution given by globular clusters to the Galactic Halo assembly. She will work with Prof. Giampaolo Piotto at the Department of Physics and Astronomy.


  Saša Hrnjez - TRANSPHILEUR: TOWARD A PHILOSOPHICAL RETHINKING OF TRANSLATION: Effects of Translation in a Contemporary European Space (2018-2020)


Saša Hrnjez is a Ph.D in theoretical philosophy from the University of Turin (2015). In previous years he was a research fellow at the Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies in Naples and a DAAD post-doc research fellow at the Heidelberg University. He studied philosophy at the University of Novi Sad (Serbia), University of Turin (Italy), with short study and research stays at the Freie University Berlin. So far, he has published articles in Italian, English, Serbian and German in his main research fields: German classical philosophy (Kant, Hegel), hermeneutics, translation theory, contemporary Marxism. In 2013 he won the Young Scholar Award of the IAA for an essay on Kant’s aesthetics of the sublime. He is one of the founders of "Stvar - Journal for theoretical practices" and a member of the Editorial Staff of "Trópos. Rivista di ermeneutica e critica filosofica". Working as a translator in the field of humanities, so far he translated 20 articles from Italian, English and German and 5 books from Italian in Serbian (e.g. translation of Galileo’s Dialogue). In 2018 he has been awarded a MSCA European Fellowship “Toward a Philosophical Rethinking of Translation: Effects of Translation in a Contemporary European Space “. His research proposes a conception of translation as a self-reflexive transformational practice, investigating at the same time importance and effectiveness of translation in the contemporary European political and cultural context. Saša will conduct his research at the Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psycholog under the supervision of Prof. Luca Illetterati.


Il Bo live Interview



  Victoria Konidari – RE-mapping: Tackling early school leaving and low school performance through working with students' representational spaces. The case of 15 years old students in France, Italy and Greece.


Victoria comes from Greece. The Re-mapping project explores the question of early school leaving and low performance through students "representational spaces" and "imagined geographies". The aim is to deepen the problem of marginalization of young people, to shed light on the unidentified ontologies, lying in the shadows of the existing conceptual categories, and to propose a new language for school pedagogy.

The project will be supervised by prof. Mirca Benetton at the Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Pedagogy and Applied Psychology (FISPPA).

  Sonia Silvestri – CreScenDo: Combining Remote Sensing Technologies for Peatland Detection and Characterization


Sonia received her doctoral training in Environmental System Modelling at the University of Padova, with a focus on remote sensing and the interdependence of salt marsh morphology and halophytic vegetation. She received her Laurea in Environmental Sciences from the University Ca' Foscari in Venice. Silvestri joined the Nicholas School of the Environment (Duke University, USA) in 2011 and came back to Padova during the summer 2016. Her research has always focused on airborne and satellite remote sensing applied to soil studies, vegetation mapping, hydrology, tidal environments morphology, coastal water quality. Silvestri's main research interest is currently the quantification of organic carbon stocks in peatlands, which are the most carbon-dense environments of the world. As asserted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the conservation and protection of peatlands is of key importance to avoid increased CO2 emissions and to mitigate climate change. The MSCA fellowship will give Silvestri the opportunity to combine for the first time satellite acquisitions from passive and active sensors with geophysical data collected from airborne platforms to map the extent and the thickness of peat deposits at the regional to global scales.

The project will be supervised by prof. Antonio Vettore at the Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry (TESAF).

  Hjalte Frellesvig – HiProLoop: Scattering Amplitudes for Higgs Production at High-Order as touchstone for Automated Multiloop Feynman Calculus


Hjalte comes from Denmark. HiProLoop is about precision calculations of scattering processes at particle colliders such as the "Large Hadron Collider". Particularly the Researcher will investigate some specific processes involving the Higgs particle. His focus will be on calculational methods which are generalizable to other processes and on the classes of mathematical functions which will appear in the results.

The supervisor is prof. Pierpaolo Mastrolia at the Department of Physics and Astrophysics (DFA).

  Alice Sosic – BICEPSvsHIV: Novel strategies for anti-HIV-1 therapy: Small molecules targeting RNA partners of the nucleocapsid protein


Alice is a medicinal chemist specialized in drug development and in the evaluation of drugs molecular mechanisms of action. She obtained her PhD in Molecular Sciences in 2013 from the University of Padova, where then she has worked as Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Her project BICEPSvsHIV, "Novel strategies for anti-HIV-1 therapy: Small molecules targeting RNA partners of the nucleocapsid protein", will focus on the development of an original anti-HIV strategy that draws the spotlight on RNA leading to new antiretroviral agents, which are urgently needed to overcome the emergence of resistance to existing drugs. During the outgoing phase, she will work at The RNA Institute (State University of New York at Albany) aimed at the development of new mass spectrometry-based technologies to investigate the structure-function relationships of viral RNAs as tools for drug discovery, under the supervision of Prof. Dan Fabris. During the incoming phase, she will transfer her knowledge of mass spectrometry of nucleic acids acquired at the RNA Institute to the University of Padova, transforming her expertise into concrete therapeutic and technical applications.

The project will be supervised by Prof. Barbara Gatto at the Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences.

Video: Look at the Horizon! Gel Electrophoresis and Mass Spectrometry to Develop New anti-HIV Drugs

  Felipe Gomez Cuba – WINDASH: Wireless with Increased Network Density, Antennas, Spectrum and Heterogeneity


Felipe Cuba is a telecommunications engineer and studied at the University of Vigo (Spain), where he also completed a Master in "Applications of Signal Processing in Communications" (2012) and gained his PhD in 2015. His doctoral thesis focused on cooperative wireless communications and in this project he will continue this line of research with the aim of designing wireless network architectures that maximize the potential benefit of increased resources and developing optimal resources allocation schemes that maximize network performance in these architectures. Following a cross-layer interdisciplinary approach, he will work and collaborate with The Wireless System Group at Stanford University (communications), and the SIGNET group at University of Padova (networks).

The project will be supervised by Prof. Michele Zorziat the Department of Information Engineering.

  Antonio Acosta-Vigil – NANOGRANITES: Nanogranite Inclusions: New Window into the Partial Melting of the Deep Earth´s Crust c


Antonio comes from Spain. He obtained his PhD from the Universidad de Granada (Spain), and had postdoc experiences at the University of Oklahoma (USA) and the University of Padova. He has always worked on the petrology and high temperature geochemistry of crustal rocks, though using different approaches (field studies, experiments, modeling). He is the PI of this project and, in collaboration with researchers of the Australian National University, University of Padova and Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra-CSIC of Spain, he will conduct experiments and different types of analyses on rocks formed in the lower continental crust of the Earth.

The project will be supervised by Prof. Cesare Bernardo at the Department of Geosciences.

Radio Bue interview with Antonio Acosta Vigil

  Sandrine Paradis-Grenouillet – THISTLE: Transformation and the management of HIStorical foresT. Landscapes of the Eugaean Hill (Padua, Italy). Fresh perspectives through spatial analyses and dendro-anthracology


Sandrine completed her BA in archaeology and MA in Archeoscience at Dijon University (France). In 2012, she obtained her PhD in geography, with hioghest honours, from the Limoges University (France). Her research covers several disciplines (geography, geohistory, geoarchaeology, archeobotany etc.) and deals with the pressure of human activities on forest areas. In this project she focuses on the evolution of historical forests in the Euganean Hills (Colli Euganei, Padua-Italy) through wood charcoal production, with the aim of developing an integrated approach to reconstruct forest landscapes on the Euganean Hills at different temporal and spatial scales. She will develop historical mapping of woodlands, conduct field surveys to identify archaeological remains into the forest and realised anthracological analysis on charcoal production site.

The project will be supervised by Prof. Chavarria Arnau Alejandra at the Department of Cultural Heritage.

  Subhabrata Maiti – NANOCARB: Self-selection of a multivalent nanosystem for carbohydrate recognition


Subhabrata obtained his PhD degree in 2013 from Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata (India). His PhD work dealt with the investigation on soft-nanocomposite system comprised with metal nanoparticles and their applications in enzyme catalysis and biomolecule sensing. He worked then at the University of Padova (Department of Chemical Science) under the guidance of Prof. Prins as a fellow of an International Mobility Programme. His NANOCARB project has the purpose to build up an original method for the development of an innovative class of carbohydrate receptors using dynamic combinatorial chemistry (DCC) on the surface of a gold nanoparticle with a broad aim towards developing a multivalent nanosystem able to recognize its target also in vivo.

The project will be supervised by Prof. Prins LeonardJanat the Department of Chemical Sciences

  Beatrice Scutaru – TransHI-Rom: Risk and Migration. A Transnational History of Romanian Migration (2002-2013)


Beatrice comes from Romania. She completed her BA and MA at the University of Angers (France). In September 2013, she received her PhD, with first-class honours, from the Universities of Angers (France) and Alexandru-Ioan Cuza - Iasi (Romania). She then worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre de Recherches Historiques de l'Ouest (University of Angers). Her project TransHI-Rom, "Risk and Migration. A Transnational History of Romanian Migration (2002-2013)", will analyse how evaluations of and responses to risk shape the migration process. Drawing on empirical research, the study will demonstrate the relevance of "risk" in undertaking the migration process and will provide a more complete history of Romanian migration during the last decade. T

he project will be supervised by Prof. Antonio Varsoriat the Department of Political Science, Law, and International Studies.

RadioBue interview with Beatrice Scutaru

Unipd Fellows in Europe and around the World

  Francesco Cerchiaro – REMix: Christian-Muslim families dealing with religious pluralism in everyday family life: Religious reconstruction in religiously mixed marriages

Francesco Cerchiaro is a post-doc fellow at the University of Padova (Italy) (FISPPA Department), where he obtained his PhD in Social Sciences in 2013. The PhD thesis, focused on mixed families, intersects sociology of family, culture and religion. His research interests include cultural change and multiculturalism in Europe. His approach is characterized by the use of qualitative methods, in particular of “life stories” and ethnographic observation. He was also involved in researches on the second generations of immigrants in Italy and their quest for citizenship’s recognition.

Some of his contributions were published in Italian and International journals as Quaderni di sociologia and Social Compass. Recently he devised a monograph entitled “Amori e confini. Le coppie miste tra islam, educazione dei figli e vita quotidiana”. [Love and borders. Mixed couples amongst Islam, children’s education and everyday life”] (Guida Ed. 2016).

With his “ReMix” project he will be a Marie Curie fellow at the Katholieke Universiteit (Leuven - Belgium). The research will investigate the daily life of Christian-Muslim families in the Flemish region. The study on this type of marriages will be a key to examine the wider social changes related to family, Islam and religious pluralism in Europe.

  Elisa Di Rosa – MOTIVAGEING Motivation-cognition interaction in ageing and Parkinson’s disease

Elisa completed her MA in Neuroscience and Neuropsychological Rehabilitation in 2010 at the University of Padova. In 2014 she obtained her PhD in Psychological Sciences, and then worked as Postdoc at the University of Padova (Department of General Psychology and Department of Neuroscience). She has been visiting PhD student at the Institute of Neuroscience - Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), and visiting post-doc at the Department of Experimental Psychology- Gent University (Belgium) and at the Department of Psychology- Ryerson University (Toronto-Canada).

Her research activity mainly concerns the study of executive functions, with a special focus on healthy ageing and Parkinson's disease, and though using different approaches (behavioural and electrophysiological methods, non-invasive brain stimulation).

In 2017 she has been awarded a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship. The broad aim of this project (MOTIVAGEING) is to study the interaction between motivation and cognitive functions, in both healthy ageing and Parkinson's disease. Thanks to this fellowship she will work at Washington University (St.Louis - Missouri) with Prof. Todd Braver, at the Department of General Psychology of University of Padova, with Prof. Daniela Mapelli, and at Keele University (United Kingdom) with Prof. Nicky Edelstyn. 

  Giulia Tessari - STEADY: SaTEllyte synthetic Aperture radar interferometry to model Dam stabilitY

Giulia completed her MA in Environmental Engineering at the University of Padova and in 2015 she obtained her PhD in Earth Sciences from the Department of Geosciences of the University of Padova. Her research interests concern the use of Remote Sensing Techniques, and particularly space-borne SAR Interferometry, to monitor geological hazards and instability phenomena such as landslides, subsidence, sinkholes and even man-made structures such as buildings and infrastructures affected by possible damages. Furthermore, she is interested on modelling the sources that cause these hazardous events to understand the triggering factors. Her project, STEADY, will lead to apply these techniques focusing on dam stability, in order to define a specific tool of analysis, supported and supervised by Dr. Paolo Pasquali, the president and technical director of Sarmap SA. This Swiss company builds and provides an innovative remote sensing software dedicated to the generation of digital information for a better management and risk assessment of Earth's resources.

MSCA IF Fellows: previous years

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