Executive Board


Giovanni Ferrara

IRCCS San Martino Hospital, Genoa (Italy)
Giovanni Ferrara is a senior postdoc at the Experimental Neuroscience Lab, IRCCS San Martino Hospital, Italy. He obtained his master’s degree in Pathophysiology and later his PhD in Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology at University of Parma, Italy in 2012. From 2007, his main field of investigation is neuroscience, focusing on neuroimmunology and neuroinflammation. Particularly he is characterizing the role of a membrane-spanning proteoglycan, nerve-glial antigen 2 (NG2) in neuroinflammation and the role of tolerogenic dendritic cells in MS. He also studies the immunomodulatory properties of mesenchymal stem cells and their possible role as treatment of neurological diseases.

Giuseppina D'Alessandro

Vice President
«Sapienza» University of Rome (Italy)
Giuseppina D’Alessandro graduated in December 2004 in Biotechnology at “Federico II” University of Naples. In 2008 she took a Specialization in Pharmacological Research at “Mario Negri” Institute in Milan focusing her attention on endogenous metabolism alterations in ALS models. In 2012 she took a PhD in Neurophysiology at “Sapienza” University of Rome studying Glioblastoma and its effect on tumor brain microenvironment and this is still her main research activity. In 2011 and 2015 she was research collaborator at Institute of Neurosciences for Hospitalization and Scientific Research (Neuromed) in Pozzilli (Isernia). Since October 2020 she has got a position as Assistant Professor in tenure track (RTD-B) in Physiology at the Sapienza University.

Margherita Romeo

Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Diagnostic Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University and the IUF- Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, Düsseldorf (Germany)
I obtained a master’s degree in Biomolecular Chemistry at the University of Catania in 2011. In 2014, I was awarded with the title of Biomedical Research Specialist at the IRCCS-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy. I used the nematode Caenorabditis elegans as innovative animal model to investigate the molecular mechanism involved in central or systemic amyloidosis. In 2019, I obtained a Phd at the IRCCS-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri. The project was aimed to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the ability of C.elegans’pharynx to recognize as toxicant cardiotoxic light chains that cause heart damage in patients suffering of immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis. In particular, I investigated the key role of metal ions, particularly copper,in driving the ROS-mediated proteotoxic effects of light chains. Currently, I am a post-doc at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Diagnostic Medical  Faculty, Heinrich Heine University and the IUF- Leibniz Research  Institute for Environmental Medicine in Düsseldorf (Germany). My research activity is aimed to elucidate the role of AhR in aging and to describe the AhR-mitochondria cross talk, using C.elegans as animal model.

Maria Chiara Trolese

Mario Negri Institute, Milan (Italy)
Dr Maria Chiara Trolese achieved the BSc in 2009 and the MSc in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology in 2013 at the Università degli Studi di Milano. After graduation, she earned a three-year fellowship at Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri”-IRCCS where, under the guidance of Dr Bendotti and Dr Nardo, she focussed on the involvement of the MHCI adaptive pathway in the disease progression of transgenic ALS mice. During her PhD, she analysed the implication of the MCP1-mediated immune response in the regenerative mechanisms of skeletal muscle of ALS mice. Nowadays, she is involved in the characterisation of the contribution of the peripheral immune response in governing the speed of ALS progression to identify novel disease biomarkers.

Barbara Bettegazzi

San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan (Italy)
Barbara Bettegazzi, 35 years old, married. I am currently working as a post doctoral researcher in Professor Grohovaz’s laboratory at San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, Italy, where I obtained my PhD in Molecular Medicine in 2012. During my PhD I worked mainly on Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis, studying the mechanisms regulating the expression and activity of BACE1, the main β-secretase of the brain. During my PhD I spent two years in Munich, in the laboratory of C. Haass, a pioneer in the Alzheimer’s disease field and our collaboration is still ongoing. More recently I shifted my research focus on studying whether alterations in the control of protein synthesis could contribute to the development of complex diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.

Eleonora Vannini

Neuroscience Institute – National Research Council of Italy, Pisa (Italy)
Eleonora Vannini is a researcher at the CNR Neuroscience Institute of Pisa, Italy. She defended her PhD thesis in Neurobiology at Scuola Normale Superiore in 2014. She then worked as a Post-Doc at the University of Leicester, UK, and at the Humanitas University, in Milan. Dr Vannini is interested in studying plastic rearrangements that take place in diseases such as brain tumors and epilepsy. Specifically, in the last few years she focused on developing novel therapeutic approaches to counteract gliomas.

Ilaria Prada

Italian National Research Council, Milan (Italy)
I was born 37 years ago in Milan. I graduated in Pharmacological Biotechnologies from the University of Milan and in 2011 I received the PhD in Molecular Medicine-Neuroscience at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan. I initially studied intracellular vesicle expression and trafficking in neuroendocrine cells and in astrocytes. I therefore specialised in advanced microscopy techniques at the University of Lausanne and at SISSA in Trieste. Nowadays, I continuemy research activitiesat IN-CNR as a Postdoctoral Fellow, investigating how glial extracellular-vesicles can affect neuronal function in health and disease, with a special focus on neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation.

Giovanna Calabrese

Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina (Italy)
Giovanna Calabrese obtained a PhD in Medical Embryology, Pathology and Experimental Hematology. Currently, I’m Associate Professor in Physiology at the University of Messina, Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences. My main research topic is regenerative medicine and tissue engineering applied to both neural and osteo/chondral regeneration. Specifically, my studies are focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind the repair capacity of the combination between mesenchymal stem cells, 3D biomimetic materials and growth factors, both in vitro and in animal models.

Pellegrino Lippiello

University of Naples Federico II; Dept. of Pharmacy
Pellegrino Lippiello graduated in Biotechnology at the University of Naples Federico II and during his PhD in Neuroscience, he started the electrophysiological studies. Since 2012, he joined Dr. Maria Miniaci lab at University of Naples Federico II; Dept. of Pharmacy, where he started to on work the Cerebellar plasticity on slices. In the last years, he is starting to work on Alzheimer Disease (AD) using the Tg-CRND8 mice, a mouse model of AD. He is also investigating the physiological role of G protein-coupled inwardly-rectifying potassium channel (GIRK) on cerebellar plasticity.
Scroll to Top