Curriculum Vitae

Education and post held

  • 2012-now  | Senior Investigator Scientist, MRC Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge (UK).
  • 2009-2011  | EPSRC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge in 2009 and then at the MRC Cancer Unit.
  • 2007-2008  |  Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, and Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge (UK).
  • 2003-2006  |  PhD in Physics, Molecular Biophysics Group, Department of Physics – Debye Institute, Utrecht University (NL), and Cell Biophysics Group, European Neuroscience Institute – Göttingen (DL).
  • 2002 |   Graduated in Physics with training in biophysics, Department of Physics at the University of Genoa (IT), and National Institute for the Physics of Matter and the Italian National Research Council, Genoa (IT)

Awards and research grants

  • 2019, CRUK Multi-disciplinary project award (PI with Dr M Alcolea at the University of Cambridge and Dr P. Greulich and the University of Southampton), “OncoLive | Optogenetic control and measurement of oncogenic mutations and signalling in organoid cultures for the biophysical modelling of early oncogenesis” (~£490,000)
  • 2013, MRC mid-career Equipment Grant, Microscopy setup for Optogenetics (£200,0000)
  • 2012, MRC Centennial Award (Project Award), “Inducible acute oncogene activation in the living cell (optogenetics)”, £7,000
  • 2012, MRC Centennial Award (Training Award), ~£2,000 to attend the Biophysical Society Meeting in Philadelphia
  • 2009, Simon S, Bertoncini C and Esposito A, Innovation Competition Award “Super-resolution fluorescence imaging of biological polymers relevant to disease” (£5,000) by CambridgeSens
  • 2008, EPSRC fellowship (EP/F044011/1 and /2) “Multiplexed measurement of molecular interactions using hyper-spectral imaging and multi-parametric detection” (~£400,000)
  • 2006, “Sergio Ciani” Award for the “best doctoral dissertation in biophysics” assigned by the Italian Society of Pure and Applied Biophysics (SIBPA)

Teaching and management

  • Leading a team comprising three post-doctoral scientists, four PhD students and academic-associated staff
  • Formally trained for line management and leadership with courses at the MRC and the University of Cambridge
  • Examiner for PhD vivas (e.g., King’s College London, University of Edinburgh and University of Cambridge)
  • Lecturer and practical courses at workshops and international schools
  • IT teaching for adult education courses at the private school “Istituto Europeo – Genova” (years 2000 and 2001)

Service to the Department

I am a highly committed lab citizen striving to improve the professional environment. Some of the relevant activities are, for example:

  • since 2017, member of the Equality Diversity and Inclusiveness Governance Group of the School of Clinical Medicine. While willing to do more, I am currently assisting the group for data mining employment information, supporting policies to improve the representation of women at conferences and outreach activities.
  • since 2011, I direct the Imaging Facilities at the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre advising the imaging facility manager and with direct involvement in bidding and procuring equipment through capital bids and EU tenders (totalling several million), and in major infrastructural refurbishments.
  • since 2009, Laser Safety Officer at the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre, where I rolled-out a major overhaul of policy and I contributed to the overall H&S decision process at the Research Centre.
  • 2014-2018, Chair of the IT committee at the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre, where I assisted and advised the IT department during major infrastructural upgrades
  • 2013-2014, Member of the Local Trade Union Side at the MRC Cancer Uni, where I helped in the transition of the Unit from the Medical Research Council to the University of Cambridge from a worker right perspective.

Service to profession

  • 2013-2017, Light Microscopy Section Committee at the Royal Microscopical Society.
  • Refereeing for international journals including Nature Methods, Biophysical Journal, Optics Express, Current Biology, Neurobiology of Disease, Journal of Microscopy, Journal of Biomedical Optics, Microscopy Research and Technique.
  • Refereeing for funding agencies, including Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council UK, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council UK, Medical Research Council UK, Dutch Technology Foundation, and Wellcome Trust UK.

Organizational experience and outreach

  • 2018, Session chair at Focus on Microscopy 2018, Singapore.
  • 2015, Co-chair of the “FRET, fluorophores and novel techniques for biochemical imaging” session at the MMC2015 (Manchester, United Kingdom)
  • 2011, Chair of the “Live Cell Microscopy II” session at Focus on Microscopy 2011 (Konstanz, Germany)
  • 2008, Co-organizer of the “Theodor Förster international lecture series on quantitative fluorescence microscopy”. Department of Chemical Engineering, Gurdon Institute and Cancer Research UK, University of Cambridge
  • Actively engaged in outreach activities (lectures, open days) including the Cambridge Science Festival with dedicated team activities


Dissemination (publications)

 Visit the dedicated page


Dissemination (oral communications)

  • 17.11.2018 (invited) “Live cell biochemistry by light: a single-cell biochemistry of cell fate”, International Meeting on Optical Biosensors, Ghent, Belgium. 
  • 28.03.2018 “Understanding cellular decisions: ‘old’ and ‘novel’ microscopy tools”, Focus on Microscopy, Singapore.
  • 26.03.2018 “Multi-colour FLIM for a single-cell systems biology of cell fate”, Focus on Microscopy, Singapore.
  • 13.06.2018 (invited) “Optical microscopy for systems biology”, IVSLA International School on Nanoscale Optical Microscopy – Venice, Italy
  • 11.04.2017 “Multi-colour FLIM for a single-cell systems biology of cell fate”“, Focus on Microscopy, Bordeaux
  • 16-19.10.2016 (invited) “A ‘systems biology’ of cell fate: insights into the biochemical determinants of cellular decisions and cell-to-cell variability “, Discussion Meeting on Conflict and Cooperation in Cellular Populations, Bangalore (IN)
  • 14.07.2016 “Frontiers in biochemical imaging: multiplexed FRET sensors and Optogenetics”, Frontiers in BioImaging, London (UK)
  • 04.04.2016 (invited) “Frontiers in biochemical imaging: multiplexed FRET sensors and Optogenetics”, International Discussion Meeting – Förster Resonance Energy Transfer in life sciences: FRET2, Goettingen (DL)
  • 02.07.2015 “FLIM and optogenetics: A systems microscopy approach”, MMC2015, Manchester (UK)
  • 30.03.2015 “FLIM and optogenetics: A systems microscopy approach”, Focus on Microscopy, Goettingen (DL)
  • 13.10.2014 (invited) “Beyond range: innovating fluorescence microscopy”, CMOS SPAD Applications Workshop, Edinburgh (UK)
  • 04.04.2014 (invited) “Multiplexing biochemical reactions within the cell: new approaches and sensors”, Third Workshop on High-speed Imaging Sensors, Oxford (UK)
  • 25.03.2013 “Hyperdimensional imaging and biochemical multiplexing”, Focus on Microscopy, Maastricht, (NL)
  • 13.11.2012 (invited) “Imaging cell biochemistry: from state-of-the-art to Systems Microscopy”, Biomolecular Interactions Analysis 2012 – Instruct Centre Training Course, Porto (PT)
  • 14.09.2012 (invited) “Towards system microscopy: new tools to map cell biochemistry”, Frontiers in Imaging: Ultrafast Non-linear Microscopy and Biophotonics User Group Meeting and Workshop, London (UK)
  • 26.01.2012 (invited) “Nanobiotechnologies meet Systems Biology”, ANIS3, Vipiteno (Italy)
  • 19.04.2011 “Hyperdimensional imaging microscopy and tumour imaging”, FoM2011, Konstanz (Germany)
  • 28.01.2011 (invited), “Beyond range: innovating fluorescence microscopy”, RISA2011, Trento (Italy)
  • 12.09.2010 (invited), “Imaging biochemical pathways by hyper-dimensional imaging microscopy”, SIBPA 2010, Arcidosso (Italy)
  • 26.04.2010 (invited), “High-throughput high-content screening with biophysical imaging techniques: state-of-the-art and prospects”, High Throughput Screening conference, London (UK)
  • 30.03.2010, “Multiplexed measurement of molecular interactions by hyperdimensional imaging microscopy”, FocusOnMicroscopy 2010, Shanghai, China
  • 24.02.2010, “Multiplexed measurement of molecular interactions using hyper-spectral imaging and multi-parametric detection”, Biophysical Society Meeting, San Franciso (USA)
  • 14.10.2009 (invited), “Advanced optical tools for the characterization of Plasmodium facliparum infected red blood cells”, Advanced drug delivery and diagnostics, 13-16 October, Trieste (IT)
  • 12.07.2009 (invited), “Quantitative imaging and the homeostasis of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes”, European Biophysics Congress (EBSA2009), Genoa (IT)
  • 14.04.2009, “Photon-statistics and Förster resonance energy transfer”, Focus On Microscopy 2009, Krakow (PL)
  • 20.09.2008, “Quantitative imaging and the homeostasis of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes”, SIBPA 2008, Rome (IT)
  • 14.04.2008, “Fluorescence techniques for the investigation of the homeostasis of malaria infected red blood cells”, Focus on Microscopy 2008, Osaka (JP)
  • 21.09.2006, “Fluorescence lifetime image based screening and quantitative FRET-based biosensors”, SIBPA2006, Palermo (IT)
  • 10.04.2006, “Image based screening and unsupervised fluorescence lifetime imaging”, Focus on Microscopy 2006, Perth (AU)
  • 10.10.2005, “Automated Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM) for (ultra)High-Throughput and High-Content Screening: theoretical and technological developments”, Dutch meeting on cellular and molecular biophysics, Lunteren (NL)
  • 24.06.2003, “Two-photon analysis of lead accumulation in cerebellar granule cells”, INFM Meeting, Genoa (IT)
  • 11.09.2002, “Two Photon Fluorescence Microscopy Study Of Calcium Accumulation In Cerebellar Granule Cells”, SIBPA2002, Trento (IT)

Dissemination (other invited lectures)

  • 24.03.2019, “The cell: a living computer in a droplet of water”, Cambridge Science Festival
  • 19.07.2018, “Live cell biochemistry by light: a single-cell systems biology of cellular decisions”, King’s College London, host: Dr. Suzan Cox
  • 29.03.2018, “Live cell biochemistry by light: single-cell systems biology of cell fate”, Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore, host: Prof. G.V. Shivashankar
  • 22.11.2017 “Developping light microscopy to establish a single-cell systems biology of cell fate” University of Leeds, host: Dr Sally Peyman
  • 06.10.2017 “Live single-cell biochemistry by light: understanding cellular decisions”, Babraham Institute, Cambridge, host: Dr Simon Cook and Dr Simon Walker
  • 17.05.2017 “Multi-colour FLIM and optogenetics for a single-cell systems biology of cell fate”, Leica  Technoseum, Mannheim.
  • 19.02.2016, “Live cell biochemistry by light”, CI CRUK, Cambridge, host: Dr. Stefanie Reichelt
  • 28.10.2015, “Optogenetic tools to understand how biochemical networks determine cell fate decisions”, Research Interfaces Workshop, Cambridge
  • 30.10.2013, “Probing biochemical networks to understand cell fate decisions”, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, host: Prof. Alfonso Martinez-Arias
  • 17.10.2011, “Innovating detection systems: hyper-dimensional imaging microscopy”, Cambridge Leica Workshop
  • 03.02.2011, “Towards systems microscopy: new tools to map cell biochemistry”, Center for Applied Photonics, Konstanz (Germany), host: Prof. Elisa Ferrando-May
  • 23.07.2010, “Optical sensors and current developments in the healthcare sector”, Lecture for Beijing University of Chemical Technology students, Dept. Chem. Eng and Biotech., Uni. Cambridge (UK), host: Dr. A. Fisher
  • 18.06.2010, “Imaging biochemistry inside the cell”, Microscopy and Molecular Imaging in Cambridge Forum, Cambridge (UK), host: Dr. Sumeet Mahajan
  •  30.10.2008, “Imaging biochemical pathways in the living cell”, Cluster of Excellence Macromolecular Complexes, Frankfurt (Germany), host: Prof. Jürgen Bereiter-Hahn
  • 18.06.2008, “Imaging biochemical pathways in the living cell”, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento (Italy), host: Dr David Stoppa
  • Advanced Microscopy Workshop ENI-Göttingen, lecturer and practical courses (years 2004 and 2005)