During my Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Sciences at the University of Trento (Italy) I have developed a keen interest in neurodegeneration-in particular, in the relationship between metabolism, diet and altered cognitive functions in conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease and obesity. As my early career started with a computational approach to cognition, encompassing the study of calculus, cognitive ergonomy and brain plasticity mechanisms, I decided to move to the United Kingdom to be trained in bench lab-based approaches to neuroscience questions. In 2019 I completed my Master’s Degree in Translational Neuropathology at Sheffield University Medical School, where I have explored the role of insulin resistance in tau tangles formation in human neuronal cell lines. Following my Master’s I have secured a 4-years faculty scholarship at the University of Leeds to fund my PG research studies under the supervision of Dr Beatrice Filippi and Dr Susan Deuchars.
In my research project, I am interested in investigating the role of the Dorsal Vagal Complex of the brain (DVC) in energy expenditure, in particular, I am interested in the biodynamics of the brown adipose tissue (BAT) a major thermogenic and endocrine system which has recently been found to be a potential target for the treatment of obesity and associated metabolic conditions in humans.
I aim to dissect the neuronal network from the DVC that regulates brown adipose tissue activation. This is a critical question to answer to start revealing the role of the brainstem in energetic expenditure, which is still largely unexplored. The understanding of the basic physiological mechanisms that control such function is at the foundations of potential future therapeutic approaches to obesity and energy metabolism alterations in disease.
Techniques employed: Western blot, IHC, IF,RNA extraction and cDNA synthesis, qPCR, viral transfection, animal models including feeding studies, recovery and non-recovery procedures and brain surgeries under total anaesthesia.
- PhD Biomedical Sciences (2019/23)
- MSc Translational Neuropathology (Neuroscience)
- BSc Cognitive Psychology/Neuroscience