Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) coordinates HERMES and provides expertise in vitro electrophysiology and tissue engineering. IIT will design biocompatible biomaterials for brain tissue bioengineering and will contribute in vitro electrophysiology to characterize the electrical activity of the bioengineered brain tissue and its interaction with mammalian brain tissue and with the neuromorphic neuroprosthesis.

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Enhanced Regenerative Medicine

IIT is a scientific research center established in 2003 by Italian law with the mission of promoting excellence in both basic and applied research and of facilitating national economic development. Scientific activities started in 2006 fostering an interdisciplinary scientific vision based on the concept of translating evolution into technology, i.e., mimicking natural solutions to develop new technologies.

IIT is currently populated by over 1500 people, mainly young actors aged 35 years on average. Research is carried out in the Central Research laboratory in Genova (IIT headquarters), in 11 satellite centers across Italy and in 2 outstations in the US.

IIT participates in HERMES with the Laboratory of Enhanced Regenerative Medicine, located at the IIT headquarters in Genova. The scientific team is made of young emerging scientists with expertise in diverse disciplines including medicine, biophysics, in vitro electrophysiology, tissue engineering and biomaterials.

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This is the IIT team of the project, click on the name to expand the bio:

Gabriella Panuccio | PI & Coordinator
Gabriella Panuccio, picture

I am a Medical Doctor and I hold a PhD in Biophysics. I use electrophysiology techniques (field potential, MEA, patch-clamp, sharp electrode recording) to study neuronal electrical activity in health and disease both at the single neuron and at the neuronal network level. I have a strong background in epilepsy research and a keen interest in neural engineering. I have built my multidisciplinary expertise across 15 years of national and international research experience, starting with my Master’s Thesis.
My current research focuses on the development of intelligent biohybrid systems as functional brain repair strategies that are tailored to the individual scale.

Gemma Palazzolo | co-PI

I am co-PI in the research line of Enhanced  Regenerative Medicine where I lead the tissue engineering unit. I am a biotechnologist and I hold a PhD in cancer biology.
During my years as Postdoc, my background in cellular and molecular biology has been widen to embrace biomaterials and tissue engineering, applied to different fields including neuroscience.
My research activity focuses on exploiting biomaterials to engineer a bioinspired extracellular matrix the supports cell organization into nervous tissue  and promote brain repair and understanding how the cell-biomaterial interaction influences cell fate.

Davide Caron | Phd Student

I am a Biotechnologist and a Radiology Technician with expertise in cellular neurobiology, neurogenesis, cancer biology and (f)MRI. In my former work, I have focused on establishing an encapsulated-cell based therapy for temporal lobe epilepsy treatment. In HERMES, I am contributing to open-loop and closed-loop MEA electrophysiology applied to hippocampal organoids and brain slices

John Wesley Ephraim | Phd Student

I am a biomedical engineer with a background in bionic/biomimetic materials. During my Master's degree, I have worked in the field of tissue engineering for spinal cord repair and regeneration.

In HERMES, I work on the development of the biomimetic extracellular matrix for hippocampal organoids bioengineering

Mahnaz Asgharpour | Post-Doc

I am a biomedical engineer with expertise in modeling of brain circuits, EEG signal processing and information theory applied to seizure prediction. My research interest focuses on the deployment of chaos theory in a reverse engineering approach to devise accurate and effective closed-loop stimulation algorithms for seizure prevention.

In HERMES, I will support in vitro electrophysiology and advanced signal processing for electrophysiology signal analysis, machine learning and AI.

Past members:

Fiamma Romagnoli | Post-Doc

I am a biologist with a PhD in Neurobiology.
I have a background in electrophysiology, cell imaging and optogenetics, and I am currently a Post-Doc in the electrophysiology unit of the Enhanced Regenerative Medicine Laboratory.

Giulia Della Rosa | Post-Doc

I am a pharmaceutical chemist and I hold a Ph.D. in Physics and Nanoscience, with a thesis on biomimetic synthesis and characterization of hybrid organic/inorganic materials for controlled drug delivery and imaging.

In the tissue engineering unit my research activities focus on the design of bioinspired and bioactive exrtracellular matrices to support brain tissue regeneration.



Natalia Gostynska | Post-Doc
I am biomedical scientist with background in regenerative medicine.
I am currently a Post-Doc in the tissue engineering unit of the Enhanced Regenerative Medicine Laboratory, where I focus on biomaterial development, neural cell culture and tissue engineering.