News

Invited talk at the SPIE Optical Metrology Digital Forum  2021

June 23rd, 2021. Today Manuela T. Raimondi presented an invited talk on “Micro-structured tools for cell modeling in the fourth dimension” at the virtual conference SPIE optical metrology. This year the conference was focused on optical methods for inspection, characterisation and imaging of biomaterials. 

Watch the whole 24-minutes talk presented at the live session:

 

NEW APPOINTMENT AT THE MECHANOBIOLOGY LAB!

May 16, 2021 – Today Dr. Claudio Conci started his new appointment as a post-doctoral researcher at the Mechanobiology lab. He will work on the ESA-funded project NICHOID-ET, in collaboration with the group of Dr. Gianni Ciofani based at iiT in Pontedera (Italy). Congratulations Claudio!

NEW ENTRY AT THE MECHANOBIOLOGY LAB!

May 16, 2021 – Dr. Chiara Martinelli started her appointment as post-doctoral researcher at the Mechanobiology lab. She will work on the FET Open project IN2SIGHT entitled “An in vivo bioengineered chip as a smart intravital multiphoton imaging window for new validation protocols of biomaterials”. Her research is funded under the European Commission program Horizon Europe. Congratulations to Chiara and welcome at the spectacular team of the Mechanobiology lab to our full-time molecular biologist!

PHD TITLE AWARDED TO FRANCESCA DONNALOJA CUM LAUDE! 

May 5, 2021 – Dr. Francesca Donnaloja was awarded the PhD title in Bioengineering cum laude, after an excellent defense. Francesca discovered a new mechanotransduction mechanism acting on the nuclear pore complex via cytoskeletal linker proteins. Her PhD project was part of the project NICHOID funded by the European Research Council under the program Horizon 2020. Congratulations to Francesca for her spectacular work!

 

PHD FELLOWSHIP AWARDED TO ALESSANDRA NARDINI

April 9, 2021 – Alessandra Nardini today was awarded a fellowship to enter the PhD program in Bioengineering at Politecnico di Milano. Her project is entitled “An in vivo bioengineered chip as a smart intravital multiphoton imaging window for new validation protocols of biomaterials”. Her research is funded under the European Commission program Horizon Europe, by the FET Open project IN2SIGHT. Congratulations to Alessandra for this appointment and welcome at the spectacular team of the Mechanobiology lab!

TWO POST-DOCTORAL POSITIONS AVAILABLE AT THE MECHANOBIOLOGY LAB!

February 18, 2020. Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for the following two positions (SEE FLYER):

1) Full-time Postdoctoral Researcher in Advanced Tools for Intravital Imaging.  Applicants should apply before February 26th, 2021 through the official procedure
available at the website of Polytechnic University, at the following link:
APPLY HERE

2) Full-time Postdoctoral Researcher in 3D cell culture in microgravity. Applicants should apply before February 26th, 2021 through the official procedure
available at the website of Polytechnic University, at the following link:
APPLY HERE

RESULTS OF ERC MOAB NOW PUBLISHED ON THE CORDIS WEBSITE!

January 12, 2020. The Results in Brief article within the Results Pack on Chemical Biology has been published on the CORDIS website in six languages at THIS LINK!

AN INNOVATIVE PLATFORM TO TEST DRUGS AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS!

December 14th, 2020. The team led by the PI Claudio Conci today won a double prize for a new industrial project. The  project will adapt a miniaturized and innovative imaging window called the MICROATLAS, to be implanted in eggs containing living chicken embryos. The platform will be used for a rapid, objective and real-time quantification of the response to drugs and vaccines of damaged endothelia. The team has already obtained a patent for the MICROATLAS and validated the imaging technique in healthy chicken embryos thanks to funding from the Italian Ministry of Research (MUR) through the project BEYOND. The project will create a commercial version of the platform, to study the action of drugs in embryos with a pharmacologically-induced endothelial damage which recapitulates the pathogenesis caused by viral agents such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The project won both the Get it! Twice award and the COVID-19 award! Congratulations to all the team, especially to the younger members Bianca Barzaghini and Claudio Conci (wearing a thematic necktie).

MANUELA RAIMONDI’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE ON A MULTIMEDIAL TREE

December 9th, 2020. Realized for the project Natale degli Alberi, a collective project promoted by the Fondazione Bracco for Milan. The video La scienza senza discipline includes a Christmas message for the young generations, by Manuela Raimondi. Watch the video:

 

Invited talk at the 7th annual congress of the European society for translational medicine on COVID-19 (EUSTM-2020)  

September 22, 2020. Today Manuela T. Raimondi presented a talk on “Bioengineering tools to speed up the discovery and preclinical testing of vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 and therapeutic agents for COVID-19” at this virtual congress.  Watch the whole half-hour talk:

 

MANUELA RAIMONDI MOVES AT CHOP@UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

September 15, 2020 – Manuela Raimondi today moved to Philadelphia to start an appointment as a visiting professor of bioengineering at Penn, hosted by Riccardo Riccardo at the Gottardi’s Bioengineering & Biomaterials laboratory. At the Gottardi’s lab she will help refining human stem cell sources that could be minimally manipulated for translational tissue engineering, as a key issue for clinical translation is the maintenance or enhancement of multipotency during cell expansion without exogenous agents or genetic modification, for a safe and effective use in regenerative therapies. Manuela Raimondi’s quote: “Getting to Penn was quite the challenge with the various travel restrictions and the pandemic, but I am used to overcoming adverse odds and I am really excited to be here now. I very much look forward to be part of the Penn research community and to build new, exciting collaborations.”

Results of ERC NICHOID now published on the CORDIS website!

June 30, 2020. The Results in Brief article within the Results Pack on Chemical Biology has been published on the CORDIS website in six languages at: https://cordis.europa.eu/article/id/418492?WT.mc_id=exp

The full Results Pack can be found here: https://cordis.europa.eu/article/id/421405?WT.mc_id=exp

 

A webinar invited by the CNR to motivate future ERC winners 

May 7, 2020. Today Manuela T. Raimondi presented her experience as ERC grant winner at a webinar dedicated to scientists in all the fields of research. This webinar, attended by around 80 guests, was organised by Paolo Ravazzani, current Director of Research at the IEIIT Institute of the National Research Council (CNR). Watch the whole half-hour webinar to gain insights into the formulation of a successful ERC proposal.

 

A declaration of the PI on the coronavirus pandemic

April 28th, 2020. Manuela Raimondi took part in a project of digital communication entitled “OUR OUTLOOK ON TOMORROW” promoted by the Italian Association “100 Esperte”. This association is aimed at giving visibility to female scientists through a database that can be consulted by the media to find experts in any field of knowledge: www.100esperte.it.

 

WE WON THE CRACK-IT CHALLENGE “CLEAN CUT”!

March 16 th, 2020. Manuela Raimondi, the PI of ERC-MOAB, was awarded a highly prestigious grant to develop an application for the MOAB bioreactor. The project is entitled ‘Establishing an in vitro model to assess the safety of genome edited human haematopoietic stem cells’. Sponsored by Bayer, Novartis and Takeda, this Two Phase Challenge aims to develop an in vitro model to replace in vivo tumourigenicity studies for the safety assessment of genome-edited human haematopoietic stem cells (hHSCs). A number of blood-related monogenic diseases, such as sickle cell anaemia and haemophilia, have the potential to be cured with genome edited hHSCs. Gene editing of hHSCs using designer nucleases (e.g. CRISPR) offers a high level of precision but can cleave undesired genomic regions causing off-target medications, which could generate cells with oncogenic potential. Currently, in vivo studies to assess the tumourigenicity of genome edited products are a regulatory requirement. These studies are lengthy, costly, require the use of large numbers of animals (e.g. mice) and are not always predictive of the risk to human safety. Creation of an in vitro assay through this Challenge could replace these in vivo tumourigenicity studies.

Symposium in memory of Luigi Maiuri

February 6th, 2020. Manuela Raimondi took part as a speaker to the event entitled “Crossing Boundaries from Life Science to Physics and Engineering” organised by his daughter Margherita Maiuri of the Physics Department of Politecnico di Milano. The keynote speaker at the event was Guido Kroemer, cell biologist who has made contributions to the understanding of the mechanism of autophagy. This event is dedicated to the memory of Luigi Maiuri, suddenly disappeared on February 2019, to honor his memory and to cherish the beauty of transdisciplinary science, as he always strived to pursue.

Communication strategies that score in worldwide academia

January 14-16, 2020 – Manuela Raimondi won the honor to organising a course in communication soft skills at the PhD School of Politecnico di Milano. The course was taught by Susanne Kilian, number one in the field of inter-cultural communication and an interpreter for internationally renowned leaders such as US presidents, Christine Lagarde and major German politicians. The course focused on how well we “read between the lines” in global English and how we reach out to international partners and academic audience. 40 PhD students attended and gained surprising insights and a new understanding of international communication! In the photo: Susanne Kilian at the center surrounded by the students.

The company MOAB S.r.l. is now founded!

December 5, 2019 – Today we officially founded MOAB S.r.l., our innovative start-up company that will commercialise our millifluidic optically-accessible bioreactor (MOAB). This result derives from ten years of research and development, an ERC-funded Proof of Concept project (MOAB) and a financial investment made by a visionary business angel. Photo of some MOAB S.rl. founders, from left: Roberto Osellame, Alessandro Rotilio, Luca Izzo, Giulio Cerullo, Carlo Bonadonna, Manuela Raimondi and Gianpietro Pasquon.

Manuela Raimondi at TEDx Milano Salon!

November 20, 2019 – The PI Manuela Raimondi took part to a TEDx event entitled “Orizzonti vicini” with a talk entitled “The frontier of science”. A podcast interview by Andrea Bertolucci of Italiaonline followed the talk. The TEDx event was moderated by Chiara Albicocco. Manuela Raimondi talked about the ERC grants and the contribution provided by these projects to her career. Watch the video!

Massive success at the TERMIS-EU 2019 Congress in Rhodes

May 27-31, 2019 – The team of the ERC projects NICHOID, MOAB and of the MIUR project BEYOND took part  in the TERMIS European Chapter meeting held in Rhodes, Greece. The team members presented one poster and nine talks, of which several were invited talks given by the PI Manuela Raimondi and by users of the NICHOID substrate and the MOAB bioreactor: Alessandra Balduini, Stephana Carelli, Oyvind Halaas, Andrea Remuzzi and Monica Soncini. The ERC project MOAB was present with a spectacular booth! From left in the photo: Alessandro Rotilio, Manuela Raimondi, Luca Izzo.

Visit at the Children Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) at Upenn

May 21, 2019 – Manuela Raimondi today visited the Children Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) at Upenn, where Riccardo Gottardi established his new Bioengineering & Biomaterials Laboratory. The discussion addressed the use of the substrate developed within the ERC projects NICHOID and NICHOIDS  for directing the fate of mesenchymal stem cells in the context of pediatric airway surgical reconstruction. The discussion addressed also management of the IP deriving from collaborative research projects. We also reviewed the results obtained by Beatrice Belgio, a student enrolled in the MS program in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, who is currently carrying out her thesis as a visiting student at Gottardi’s lab, supervised by the PI. From left in the photo: Riccardo Gottardi, Manuela Raimondi, Beatrice Belgio.

Visit of Dr. Michael Monagham at the Mechanobiology lab

April 15, 2019 – Michael Monaghan from Trinity College in Dublin visited our group for an intense two days and we really enjoyed it. He gave a seminar on his research activity addressed to the Faculty and PhD students, he then visited the bioengineering laboratories at the Department of Chemistry.  We also jointly met Paola Bagnoli at the Technology Transfer Office to discuss management of the IP deriving from our collaborative projects. Nice working lunch! (from right to left in the photo: Manuela Raimondi, Michael Monaghan, Gabriele Dubini, Matteo Moretti and Matteo Solazzo).

The exhibition “Life as a scientist” at the Italian embassy in Washington DC

April 9, 2019 – On the occasion of the Italian Research Day, the Embassy of Italy in Washington D.C. hosted the photographic exhibition “Life as a Scientist”, organized in collaboration with the Bracco Foundation. This exhibition is part of the “100 women against stereotypes” initiative, developed to highlight Italian female expertise in scientific fields that are typically male-dominated. Manuela Raimondi won the honor of being shown in a Tweet of the event by the White House (see photo)! This event appeared in the news section on the homepage of Politecnico di Milano.

Interview on Zelig TV on women in science

March  4, 2019 – Manuela Raimondi took part to to the episode number 7 entitled “Women and science” of the program “Darwin the evolution of science” aired on Zelig TV. The Editor in Chief of this program of scientific dissemination is the well known scientific journalist Federico Pedrocchi, founder of the innovation web tv Triwù, and his team: Chiara Albicocco, Daniele Bettini, Attilia Cozzaglio, Sara Occhipinti, and Alessandro Isidoro Re. Prof. Raimondi talked about her career in a gender perspective and on her opinion on what would increase the representation of women in scientific careers. Watch the video!

https://youtu.be/3GUh6dG3Vm8?t=80

First official assembly of the MOAB!

January 25th, 2019 – The first official research session for the newly-employed personnel working on the ERC project MOAB took place this morning at the Mechanobiology lab. In the photo, from left:  Luca Izzo, (student at the PhD program in Bioengineering employed on the ERC project MINERVA and Product Specialist of the MOAB),  Alberto Bocconi (thesis student at the MS program in Biomedical Engineering,  MOAB user at the Alessandra Balduini lab at IRCCS San Matteo in Pavia) and Dr. Alessandro Rotilio (Business Developer, subcontractor of the ERC project MOAB).

Photographic exhibition on female scientists

January 15th, 2019 – Tonight the photographic exhibition entitled “A life as a scientist” was inaugurated at the Centro Diagnostico Italiano (CDI) in Milano. This exhibition, now open to the public until June 30 2019, is promoted and sponsored by Fondazione Bracco in collaboration with the CDI.  It features 35 portraits of prominent Italian female scientists, created by the internationally-renown photographer Gerald Bruneau. The inauguration was introduced by Dr. Diana Bracco, President and CEO of the Bracco group. Manuela Raimondi won the honor of receiving one of these portraits and, during the inauguration, she was selected for an interview on her experience as a portrait model.

Promotional video:

Lucia Boeri received her PhD title!

December 19, 2018 – Lucia Boeri defended her PhD thesis and obtained her PhD title today. Her PhD project,  focused on the ERC-CoG project NICHOID, is entiled “Fluorescent transcription factors as tools to evaluate the influence of mechanical stimuli on nuclear import”. Her defense lit and intense discussion on the possible use of the fluorescent proteins developed by Lucia in research related to the physiopathology of stem cells, and on possible strategies to industrialize such tools to make them available to other researchers. Lucia did a spectacular job and we are all very proud of her. Dr. Lucia Boeri photographed with her supervisors, from left: Emanuela Jacchetti, Diego Albani, Lucia Boeri and Manuela T. Raimondi.

Meet Me Tonight – The researchers’ night

September 28-29, 2018 – The team of the Mechanobiology lab participated to the Meet Me Tonight scientific dissemination event held at the Indro Montanelli park in Milano. This is part of the European night of researchers, where everyone from the general public can meet the science from basic knowledge to the most advanced frontiers. We were present with a stand joined to project ERC-MINERVA, focused on the nanofabrication process of the NICHOID culture substrate, its final application and on fluorescence microscopy techniques.

TERMIS World Congress 2018 in Kyoto

September 7, 2018 – The NICHOID team took part to the Termis World Congress held in Kyoto, Japan. This global conference is a scientific dissemination event for cutting edge research in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, which is held every three years, bringing together researchers, scientists, clinicians and trainees from both academia and industry to discuss critical developments in the field.

Rocca fellowship awarded to Francesca!

May 25, 2018 – Francesca Donnaloja has been awarded a Roberto Rocca Doctoral fellowship for a 6-months visiting stay at MIT, c/o the Department of Biology at the Schwartz Lab https://biology.mit.edu/profile/thomas-u-schwartz/. She will access MIT facilities and their labs to conduct research and will audit seminars and classes. She will apply X-ray crystallography to solve the Sun1-Nup153 complex, a linker protein of the Nuclear Pore Complex. This analysis will be used to set-up a computational model to simulate the complex physiological condition, allowing quantitative information of the basket structure alteration and its effect on gene transcription.

Dissemination event at Politecnico di Torino

April  10, 2018 – Manuela Raimondi took part as an invited speaker to the event “Costruire il futuro” supported by the Fondazione per la Scuola of the Compagnia di San Paolo.  She was invited to present her career and research objectives with a gender perspective, to around 400 excellent students at the graduate level.  The event was organized by  Piero Angela and moderated by the scientific journalist Piero Bianucci. The other speaker was Nadia Pastrone, a renown scientist involved in research on particle physics. Watch the video!

Another start-up competition won!

March 9, 2018 – Manuela Raimondi and Luca Izzo took part in the final event “Emilia 4.0 Wave Tour”, organised in Modena by the Association Confindustria Emilia and by the start-up incubator dpixel. Our team was one of ten winners selected among 73 candidates (success rate <14%). We were invited to present to companies and investors in the Italian region Emilia Romagna our idea to industrialize and commercialize an advanced tool for drug discovery and testing, called Miniaturized Optically Accessible Bioreactor (MOAB) . Luca did a spectacular job in presenting the project and received 24 expressions of interest from companies and investors!

STEM event for high school students

February 24, 2018 – Manuela Raimondi took part in the event “Si fa STEM”, organised by Cristina Bonzano of Soroptimist International at the Istituto Superiore Sobrero in Casale Monferrato (AL). The other speakers were Laura Coppo and Ambra Ferrarotti, both  engineers with managing responsibilities in the industry. All the speakers described their current activity, the main steps of their career, the main difficulties encountered being women and the solutions adopted to succeed.

Dissemination event for scientific journalists

December 2, 2017 – Manuela Raimondi presented her research in Piacenza, at a seminar for journalists of scientific communication, organised by Giovanni Caprara, President of the Italian Union of Scientific Journalists. Many other speakers took part in the event, including the astronaut Luca Parmitano (see photo) who spoke about the research projects that he manages during his missions on the International Space Station.

Switch To Product competition won!

September  2017 – Our team won the start-up competition entitled Switch to product (S2P), promoted by Politecnico di Milano, Deloitte and PoliHub. This initiative supports new ideas to set up a start-up company. Our team is made up by Manuela Raimondi, Alessandro Marturano-Kruik and Matteo Laganà. We won with the idea to industrialize and commercialize an advanced tool for drug discovery and testing, called Miniaturized Optically Accessible Bioreactor (MOAB).  The 15 winners were selected among 539 candidates (success rate < 3%) and will now access an Innovation boost program at PoliHub, the start-up incubator of Politecnico di Milano. The photo shows Manuela Raimondi receiving the prize from Claudia Pingue, General Manager of the PoliHub incubator.

First step of the S2P competition passed!

June 16, 2017 – We are participating to a start-up competition entitled Switch to product (S2P), promoted by Politecnico di Milano, Deloitte and PoliHub. This initiative supports new ideas to set up a start-up company. Our team is made up by Manuela Raimondi, Alessandro Marturano-Kruik and Matteo Laganà. Our idea is to industrialize and commericalize advanced tools for drug discovery and testing, potentially including the nichoid substrate developed within the ERC-NICHOID project.  Thanks to the great work by Alessandro who finalized the proposal on behalf of the team, we were selected and we passed the first evaluation step!

Poster award won at the WPC 2017 in Boston!

June 14, 2017 – Alessandro Marturano-Kruik of the team is the Poster Award Winner at the World Preclinical Congress held in Boston (MA – USA). The title of his poster was «Human organotypic model of a bone perivascular niche for the study of breast cancer dissemination». Congratulations to Alessandro from all the team!

Scientific dissemination event at the Camogli Symposium

26-29 March, 2017 – All the team took part in the Symposium Nanoengineering for Mechanobiology organised by Massimo Vassalli (CNR, Genova) and Aldo Ferrari (ETH, Zurich). The 2017 edition of the Symposium included a topical workshop on Mechanobiological Modelling, organized by Manuela Raimondi as a one-day dissemination event for the ERC-NICHOID project. Tommaso, Barbara, Josè, Lucia, Emanuela and Alessandro gave spectacular presentations of their work. Congratulations guys!

Societal dissemination event for high school girls

September 21, 2016 – Manuela Raimondi took part in the event Le ragazze possono (Girls can), organised by Politecnico di Milano and by Fondazione Politecnico to motivate high school girls towards STEM careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics . The 2017 edition included a talk on Defending our own motivation by Dr. Cinzia Mammoliti, a renown criminologist, expert in psychological violence and relational manipulation.

PI-centric event

September 13, 2016 – Manuela Raimondi participated to the information session for Principal Investigators organised by the ERCEA, APRE  and the CNR in Rome. This event was attended by several ERC grantees from Politecnico di Milano. From left: Pierangelo Metrangolo, Manuela Raimondi, Matteo Passoni and Camilla Colombo.

Best oral presentation award at the ESB-ITA 2016!

June 2016 – Alberto Garcia won the prize for best oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Italian Chapter of the European Society of Biomechanics held in Naples. The title of his presentation was «Experimental computational approach of the nuclear pore complex mechanics». Congratulations to Berto from all the team!