I am a dedicated researcher, meticulous and well organized. Appreciated for building trust in relations and sharing creative solutions to challenging research problems. I enjoy working as part of a team, as well as, being capable of working independently and critically overseeing my own research projects. I combine a broad background in peptides and probes chemistry, cell and molecular biology, data analysis and imaging applications. I have acquired a strong background in neuroscience, with my MSc course in Medical and Pharmaceutical biotechnology and PhD programme in Neurochemistry with Molecular Neurobiology. Beside my academic studies, I expand my knowledge within the pharmaceutical chemistry field by joining Prof. Kelley's laboratory at University of Toronto for a Postdoctoral Fellowship and now continuing in the field of molecular toxicology at Karolinska Instirutet in Prof. Fadeel laboratory.
Apoptosis and cell clearance: Molecular mechanisms and implications for human disease
Apoptosis is a highly regulated process of cell deletion and plays a fundamental role in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis in the adult organism. Many human diseases can be attributed directly or indirectly to a derangement of apoptosis, resulting in either cell accumulation, in which cell eradication or cell turnover is impaired, or cell loss, in which the apoptotic program is inadvertently triggered (Fadeel & Orrenius, J. Intern. Med., 2005; Fadeel, et al., Cell Death Differ., 2008). Moreover, defective macrophage engulfment and degradation of cell corpses may also contribute to a dysregulation of tissue homeostasis (Fadeel & Xue, Crit. Rev. Biochem. Mol. Biol., 2009; Fadeel, Xue, Kagan, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2010).
One of our main areas of interest is to understand the molecular regulation of cell death and cell clearance by cells of the immune system and the relevance of these processes in chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease (principal funding: Swedish Research Council: Senior Investigator Award; and Karolinska Institutet: Strategic Professorship). We coined the term programmed cell clearance to describe the process of macrophage recognition and disposal of apoptotic cells in order to emphasize that this is a genetically regulated and evolutionarily conserved process. We are currently aiming to dissect the mechanism of macrophage clearance not only of apoptotic cells but also the disposal of organelles or other subcellular structures that are released from dying cells under various pathological conditions and which could act as danger signals to activate inadvertent immune responses. We are engaged in long-standing collaborations with several other researchers including Prof. Valerian Kagan (University of Pittsburgh) and Prof. Ding Xue (University of Colorado).
Postdoctoral Fellowship at Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Ph.D. in Neurochemistry with Molecular Neurobiology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
MSc. in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
BSc. in Biotechnology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.