Students

 
XXXV round (from academic year 2019-2020)

 

Laurenzo Michela
Marras Luisa
Peddio Stefania
Zodio Sonia

 

 

XXXIV round (from academic year 2018-2019)

 

Palmas Vanessa
Lai Eleonora
Corrias Giuseppe
Manca Elias
Spada Martina

 

Pal Rajesh

Rajesh obtained his Master’s degree in Biotechnology from Amity University (Noida), India in 2017. His postgraduate research was focused on the topic “Cloning, expression, purification and in-silico screening of inhibitors for tRNA dihydrouridine synthase from mycobacterium tuberculosis”. During and after his post-graduation, he has worked with a protein crystallography group as an Intern, an immunology group and with a computational drug discovery group as a Junior Research Fellow. This allowed him to gain experience from interdisciplinary fields of biological science. He joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine PhD program @UNICA in 2018. He is working in Prof. Amedeo Columbano’s lab, where he is supervised by Dr. Andrea Perra at the University of Cagliari. His thesis is jointly supervised by Dr. Paolo Uva at the Center for Advanced Studies, Research and Development in Sardinia (CRS4). His research topic focuses on investigating the molecular changes in T3 treated preneoplastic hepatic lesions by Next generation sequencing (NGS). He is also involved in computational/bioinformatic analysis by developing the NGS pipelines and statistical analysis of the sequencing data.

 

XXXIII round (from academic year 2017-2018)

 

Emanuela Casula

Emanuela obtained a Bachelor degree in Biotechnology in 2015 and a Master degree in Food and Nutrition Sciences in 2017 at the University of Cagliari, discussing an experimental thesis entitled ‘Motoric operation through smartphone app in a group of obese patients’. She joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA in 2017, under the supervision of Dr. Monica Deiana. Her project focuses on oxysterols activities in the gut and on probiotics and their role against inflammation, in particular intestinal inflammation.

 

Silvia Pisanu

Silvia graduated in Food and Nutrition Sciences at the University of Cagliari in November 2015, discussing a thesis entitled “Evaluation of energy balance in a group of normal-weight individuals”. After the Master Degree, she spent a period of apprenticeship in the Nutrition and Metabolism Section of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France. She joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA in 2017 and currently works in Prof. Aldo Manzin’s laboratory, involved in several research projects based on the metagenomics analysis of human microbiota. Her Ph.D. project focuses on the interaction between gut microbiota composition, lifestyle factors and obesity.

 
 
 
XXXII round (from academic year 2016-2017)

 

Fabio Contu

foto-fabio-contuFabio studied Biology at the University of Cagliari and after spending four years working in the Microbiology lab of the Department of Biomedical Science, on July 2016  he earned a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology, discussing an experimental thesis entitled “Studies on the synergic activity of a three-drug cocktail on wild-type and cisplatin-resistant cells”.  His personal interest in cancer genetics influenced his  choice to join the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program at the University of Cagliari. Fabio currently works under the supervision of Prof. Roberta Vanni, involved in the study of cancer genetic instability and development.

 

Carla Lai

foto-carla-laiCarla holds a Bachelor degree in Toxicology and a Master degree in Food and Nutrition Science obtained from the University of Cagliari in 2015.  She worked at the Department of Life Environmental and Drug Sciences at the University of Cagliari, in development of analytical protocols and chemical characterization of nutrients. Carla joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA in 2016 and currently works  under the supervision of Prof. Alberto Angioni. Her project will be focused on the study of gut microbiome-host interactions in health and disease.

 

Eleonora Loi

dsc_0284Eleonora graduated in Biology from the University of Cagliari in July 2013. Then, she moved to Trieste where she earned a Master’s degree in Functional Genomics discussing an experimental thesis entitled “Detection of genetic variants correlated to pharmacologic treatments resistance of juvenile idiopathic arthritis”.  She has recently joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA and she’s currently working with the team of Prof. Patrizia Zavattari. Her PhD project is focused on the study of genomic and epigenomic alterations in human cancer cells.

 

 

 

 

Federico Loi

foto-federico-loiFederico graduated from the University of Cagliari Medical School in 2011, presenting an experimental thesis entintled “Disturbi neuropsichiatrici e comportamentali in pazienti affetti da malattia di Parkinson ed incidenza sulla qualità della vita”, focused on gender differences in motor and non-motor symptoms among Parkinson patients. He started his Neurosurgery residency in 2012 in the University of Sassari, which will end in July 2017. He currently works at the Neurosurgical Division (G. Brotzu Hospital), directed by Dr. Carlo Conti. He joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA in 2016, under the supervision of Professor Mario Scartozzi.  His Ph.D. project will be focused on the study of pathological pathways in the main brain tumors.

 

Luigi Mascia

foto-profiloLuigi graduated in Medicine and Surgery in 1989 at the University of Cagliari. He then entered the School of Clinical Immunology, achieving the post-graduate degree in 1994 discussing a thesis on “Chemo-Immunotherapy in Renal Carcinoma”. He subsequently entered the school of Clinical Oncology, achieving the post-graduate degree in 1999 discussing a thesis on “Multidisciplinary Treatment of Head and Neck Carcinomas”. He’s working at the Ospedale Oncologico in Cagliari since 1993, achieving a High Specialty Certification in Head and Neck Carcinomas in 2004 and being at present member of the Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology Unit. He joined the Molecular and Traslational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA and is presently focusing, under the supervision of Prof. Mario Scartozzi, on predictive and prognostic markers in GI malignancies, especially gastric, colon and pancreatic cancers.

 

Marco Puzzoni

fotophdMarco  graduated  in Medicine and Surgery at University of  Cagliari in 2010 discussing an experimental thesis entitled “Effects of zoledronic acid on circulating biomarkers in advanced cancer patients with bone metastases”. During Medical Oncology specialty training he was involved in translational research focusing on the predictive factors for gastrointestinal cancer treatment. He achieved the post-graduated degree in Medical Oncology at the University of  Cagliari in  2016  discussing a thesis regarding the predictive factors for anti–EGFR antibody  efficacy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. He joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA in 2016  and  currently works, under the supervision of Prof. Mario Scartozzi, at the Unit of Medical Oncology. His project will be focused on the study of the predictive factors for panitumumab efficacy in patient with colorectal cancer.

 

Maria Laura Santoru

santoruMaria Laura holds a Bachelor degree in Biology at the University of Sassari, a Master degree in Health Biology at the University of Turin, and a specialization in Clinical Pathology at the University of Sassari. Thanks to the Erasmus Placement program, she spent a work period at the HNR-MRC at the University of Cambridge, UK. She joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA in 2016 and currently works in Prof. Luigi Atzori’s Clinical Metabolomics group. Her project will be focused on the study of metabolomic changes during cellular proliferation and trasformation.

 

Maria Giovanna Vilia 

maria-giovanna-foto-unica-dottoratoMaria Giovanna holds a bachelor degree at University of Cagliari and she earned a Master Degree in Molecular and Cellular Medical Biotechology at the University of San Raffaele in Milan in November 2014, discussing a thesis entitled “Study of TIR8 in Chronic lymphocytic leukemia”.  As an undergraduate student she spent a period of traineeship in the Cytokines and Cancer Cell Signalling Group at the Imperial College in London. After the degree she works as a junior research fellow at San Raffaele Institute. She joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA in 2016 and currently works in Prof. Amedeo Columbano’ s lab. Her project will be focused on the study of the immunological issues on hepatocarcinoma.

 
XXXI round (from academic year 2015-2016)

 

Sylvain Blois

Sylvain BloisSylvain has a Master degree in Cellular Engineering and Therapeutic Strategies from the University of Reims (France) and a Ph.D. in Development and Experimentation of Antiviral Drugs at the University of Cagliari. He joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Patrizia Zavattari. His project focuses on the re-programming of altered methylation states in cancer-specific genes by epigenome editing strategies.

 

 

Lavinia Cabras

Lavinia CabrasLavinia graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Cagliari in October 2014, discussing a thesis entitled “The role of a mitochondrial chaperone TRAP1 in hepatocarcinogenesis”. She joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program in 2015 and is currently working in Prof. Amedeo Columbano’s lab. Her project will focus on the study of multistage hepatocarcinogenesis, with particular emphasis on the mechanisms underlying metabolic reprogramming of preneoplastic and neoplastic hepatocytes.

 

 

 

Carlo Lisci

IMG_0107Carlo has a degree in Biology Sciences from the University of Cagliari and a Postgraduate Degree (“Specialization”) in Human Feeding and Nutrition Science at the University of Cagliari. In 2011, he was research fellow at Lund University, Sweden, in the Department of Experimental Medical Science, Neurobiology Unit, with Prof. Anders Bjorklund and Prof. Manolo Carta. He joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Gian Luca Ferri, in the Prof. Gian Luca Ferri – Dr. Cristina Cocco NEF-Laboratory. His project focuses on the relationship between the products of the VGF gene and the metabolic changes in Parkinson’s Disease experimental models.

 

Laura Orgiano

laura_orgianoLaura graduated in Medicine in July 2008 at the University of Cagliari. During her specialty training, she spent a period in a laboratory of clinical immunology working about the interactions between NK cells and human melanoma cells, especially in those harboring BRAF V600E mutation. She finished her specialization in Medical Oncology in July 2014, discussing a thesis entitled “An open label, multicenter expanded access study of Vemurafenib in patients with metastatic melanoma BRAF V600 positive”. After that, she joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program and she’s actually working under the supervision of Dr. Clelia Madeddu and Prof. Mario Scartozzi at the Unit of Medical Oncology. Her main focus is finding new predictive and prognostic markers in melanoma patients who undergo to targeted and immune therapies.

 

Claudia Orrù

ClaudiaClaudia graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Cagliari in July 2015, discussing a thesis entitled  “Effect of Alpha-Lipoic Acid on NRF2/KEAP1 pathway on a dietary induced animal model of steatohepatitis”. She joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program in 2015 and is currently working under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Perra at the Unit of Oncology and Molecular Pathology. Her project will be focused on the role of the transcription factor NRF2 in multistage hepatocarcinogenesis.

 

Monica Serra

Foto Monica SerraMonica earned a degree in Experimental and Applied Biology at the University of Sassari in July 2014, discussing a thesis entitled “IL28B gene polymorphisms associated with sustained virological response induced by hepatitis C treatment with new antiviral drugs (Boceprevil e Telaprevil)”. She carried out her undergraduate experimental work at the Molecular Biology Laboratory of ASL 1, under the supervision of Prof. P. Enrico. Recently, Monica joined the research group of Prof. Ezio Laconi as a Ph.D. student in Molecular and Translational Medicine, focusing her studies on the modulatory role of the tissue microenvironment in the emergence of neoplastic disease.

 

Róbert Szabó

profileRóbert graduated in Virology at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia in May 2013, discussing the thesis “Molecular Evolution of Hantaviruses in Central European Region”. As a PhD. student in “Virology” at Virological Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences has been continuing in the same field of study under the supervision of Dr. Boris Klempa. During this time he received an additional pedagogical education at the same university. In 2015 he received a doctoral cotutelle agreement and joined a PhD. program in “Molecular and Translational Medicine” at the University of Cagliari in laboratories of Biomedical Sciences under the supervision of Prof. Alessandra Pani. His research activities are aimed to the molecular epidemiology and antiviral screening against zoonotic viruses causing hemorrhagic fevers.

 

Laura Tronci

Laura TronciLaura holds a Master degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology  and a Bachelor degree in Toxicology at the University of Cagliari. Thanks to the Erasmus Placement program, she spent a period of apprenticeship in the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Roehampton in London, UK. She joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA in 2015 and currently works in Prof. Luigi Atozri’s Clinical Metabolomics group.  Her project will be focused on the study of metabolic alterations in cancer.

 

 

XXX round (from academic year 2014-2015)

 

Federica Cannas

423630_100687866753050_336655515_nFederica graduated at the University of Cagliari in July 2013, discussing a thesis entitled “Changes in neuronal excitability and long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of C57BL/6J mice exposed to social isolation”. As an undergraduate student, she worked at the Department of Life and Environmental Science and Environment. She earned a Master Degree in Forensic Genetics and attended  Postgraduate courses on Forensic Science at the University of Roma “Tor Vergata”. She recently entered the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program at the University of Cagliari and joined the team of  Prof. Carlo Carcassi. Federica is currently studying the role of telomere length dynamics in human diseases.

 

Martina Cocco

P16-02-15_19-06After a Bachelor’s degree in Experimental Biology,Martina attended for six months an internship in Analysis Laboratory at the Oncological Hospital “A.Businco” in Cagliari. In July 2012 she obtained a degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Cagliari,discussing the thesis entitled ”NMP1 mutation: morphological  and prognostic connections with the Internal Tandem Duplication of FLT3”,developed after the study of patients affected by Acute Myeloid Leukemia. At the moment she is enrolled in the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D program at University of Cagliari under the supervision of Dr.ssa Clelia Madeddu. Martina is currently studying the phenotype/activation of macrophages M1 and M2 subpopulations related to aspects of immunology,inflammation and metabolic pathways in the microenvironment in patients with ovarian cancer.

 

Matteo Massidda

massidda matteoMatteo graduated in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Cagliari in March 2014, discussing the thesis “Application of Ion Torrent technology to Non Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis of β-thalassemia using cell-free fetal DNA from maternal plasma”. As a Ph.D. student in Molecular and Traslational Medicine, Matteo decided to continue his studies in the same field joining the research group of Prof. Maria Cristina Rosatelli, involved in the development of protocols for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis of fetal sex, RhD status and β-thalassemia. The goal is to replace, in the near future, the current invasive procedures for prenatal diagnosis, which are associated with a 0.5- 1% risk of miscarriage.

 

Antonio Murgia

Immagine1Antonio Murgia has a master degree in Food and Nutrition Science (University of Cagliari). He was fascinated by metabolomics (both GC-MS and LC-MS) not only in respect of clinical applications but also as a potential tool for solving safety and authenticity food issues. Antonio is now conducting a doctoral research in the group coordinated by Prof. Pierluigi Caboni applying a metabolomics approach to the study of the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) working on hyphenated analytical techniques such as GC-MS and high resolution LC-QTOF-MS.

 

 

 Elisabetta Puliga

elisabetta puligaElisabetta graduated in Molecular and Cellular Biology  at the University of Cagliari in July 2014, discussing a thesis entitled “Population Genetics of Papilio hospiton Genè (Lepidoptera): characterization of microsatellite loci”. Thanks to the Erasmus Placement program she spent a period of apprenticeship in the Genetics Laboratory of the Department of Tropical Ecology and Animal Diversity in Vienna, Austria. She joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA in 2014 and currently works in Prof. Amedeo Columbano’s lab.  Her project will be focused on the study of the molecular changes associated with the antitumoral effect of T3  (triiodothyronine) on hepatocarcinogenesis.

 

Gabriele Serreli

414892_3651933225377_1223965972_oGabriele graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Cagliari in July 2014, discussing a thesis entitled “Chemical-physical characteristics of Carignano wines”. He’s currently working as a Ph.D. student in the research group coordinated by Dr. Monica Deiana, which focuses mainly on oxidative stress and related diseases, and its modulation by dietary antioxidant compounds such as polyphenols.

 

 

 

 

XXIX round (from academic year 2013-2014)

 

Erika Cadoni

image (2)

Erika earned a degree in Pharmacy at the University of Cagliari in July 2013, discussing a thesis entitled “Phenolic composition and antioxidant activity of propolis samples”. She carried out her undergraduate experimental work at the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences and Environment. As a Ph.D. student in Molecular and Translational Medicine, Erika recently joined the research group of Prof. Ezio Laconi, which is primarily involved in two lines of investigation: strategies for liver regenerative medicine and liver cell therapy; the role of the microenvironment in tumor progression.

 

Francesca Chiappe

foto f.chiappeFrancesca holds a double degree, in Biological Sciences and Natural Sciences, both obtained from the University of Cagliari. She also earned a post-graduate degree from the School of Medical Genetics at the University ‘La Sapienza’ of Rome, with a thesis titled: “Genetic aspects of BPES: molecular analysis of FOXL2 gene and genotype-phenotype correlation”. Francesca is currently working with the team led by Prof. Paolo Moi, studying alternative splicing mechanisms in the pathogenesis of Wilson desease. The project involves performing RNA functional studies of splice site consensus sequence mutations identified in Wilson patients, testing sequence variations occurring in consensus sequence of donor and acceptor splice site in the ATP7B gene and deletions detected in Wilson patients by RT, nested-PCR and quantitative PCR methods. Results will improve diagnostic ability for this genetic disorder, producing relevant information on alternative splicing as a mechanism of disease as well as the functional activity of the ATP7B protein.

 

Antonio Fadda

01Antonio graduated at the University of Cagliari, with an experimenta thesis on the “Behavioral response evoked by the olfactory perception in generalist Drosophila melanogaster and in specialist Drosophila sechellia“. After a Master Degree and Postgraduate courses at the University of Florence, he recently joined the Ph.D. course in Molecular and Translational Medicine @UNICA. Antonio is currently studying, under the supervision of Dr. Patrizia Zavattari, genetic and epigenetic alterations potentially involved in the process of carcinogenesis, mainly focusing on differential methylation analysis between tumor and non-tumor tissues.

 

Valentina Ghiaccio

IMG_5609 (2)

After graduating in Experimental and Applied Biology at the University of Cagliari, Valentina spent a year at the Granada University,  Spain, where she took active part in the project “Development of lentiviral vectors for applications in gene therapy”. Thanks to a Globus Fellowship, she subsequently spent a period of apprenticeship in the Gene Therapy Laboratory of the Austral Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The project Valentina will be pursuing as a Ph.D. student in Molecular and Translational Medicine aims at the development of specialized lentiviral based gobin vectors to be delivered into hematopoietic stem cells for the gene therapy of beta-thalassemia and related hemoglobinopathies. Valentina works under the supervision of Prof. Paolo Moi.

 

Marta Szydlowska

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Marta is native of Wroclaw, Poland. She graduated in 2012 at Wroclaw Medical University with a Master in Medical Laboratory Sciences. She joined the Molecular and Translational Medicine Ph.D. program @UNICA in 2014 and works in Prof. Amedeo Columbano’s lab. Marta is studying, under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Perra, the molecular changes involved in HCC development, with particular emphasis on the changes of genes/microRNAs expression in the early stages of the carcinogenic process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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