Assistant Professor in Physiology
Alex's interest in blood vessel biology started with an MSc project on brain ischemia in Dr De Simoni’s lab at Mario Negri Institute in Milan. Then, after graduating in Biotechnology at University of Milano-Bicocca in 2006, he moved to the UK for a PhD on angiogenesis in Prof Ruhrberg’s lab at University College London. During his PhD he demonstrated for the first time that macrophages promote vessel fusion during angiogenesis. Alex then stayed in Prof Ruhrberg’s lab for his postdoctoral experience but focused on VEGF signalling in models of both developmental and pathological angiogenesis. Before leaving the UK he unveiled that embryonic hematopoietic precursors called erythro-myeloid progenitors (EMPs) provide a hitherto unrecognised source of endothelial cells, which are the cells lining the blood vessel wall and necessary for blood vessel growth.
Alex joined University of Milan (Italy) in 2018 as assistant professor to start his own lab and study the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate blood vessel growth in development and disease thanks to financial support from the Fondazione Cariplo and Fondazione AIRC per la Ricerca sul Cancro. Pubmed
Alison graduated at Paris Descartes University in 2016 and her PharmD thesis was the first step in her thorough commitment in studying vascular function, with particular interest in angiogenic processes and finding new targets for therapy, including biotherapies. During her PhD at Paris Diderot University under the supervision of Prof Gaussem and Prof Smadja, Alison studied novel mechanisms to induce angiogenesis during cardiovascular aging or metabolic stress and spent one year in Dr Ratajczak’s lab at University of Louisville, USA, working on stem cell therapy with vascular progenitors.
In january 2020, Alison joined Alessandro Fantin's lab where she focuses on setting up angiogenesis models using microfluidics.
Carlotta’s research activities have been mainly centred on studying the contribution of blood and lymphatic vessels and macrophages to the pathogenesis of cancer and inflammatory diseases. During her PhD, Carlotta worked in the gastrointestinal immunology lab at Humanitas Research Hospital Rozzano (Italy) where, under the supervision of Dr. Silvia D’Alessio and Professor Silvio Danese, she studied the role of lymphatic vessels and macrophages in colorectal cancer and in inflammatory bowel diseases. After obtaining her PhD in immunology and immunopathology, in July 2016 she moved to Switzerland where she joined the lab of Professor Michael Detmar at ETH Zürich to investigate blood and lymphatic vessel transcriptional programs in health and disease as well as macrophages’ contribution to cancer metastasis.
In February 2020 she joined the FantinLab, where she characterises molecular and cellular mechanisms of (lymph-)angiogenesis occurring in different tumor types.
Elena received her M.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from University of Pisa in 2013 and she earned her PhD in Translational Medicine at Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa in 2017. There, in collaboration with the National Council of Research (CNR) in the laboratory of Dr. Pitto, she worked on dissecting the conserved molecular circuitries involved in cardiogenesis in vertebrates. She studied the cross-talks between trancription factors and microRNAs, principally in the zebrafish model, focusing her research activity on the creation of specific transgenic lines. From 2017 her Post-Doc activity in the CNR was centred on the evaluation of cardioprotective effects of antidiabetic drugs in different zebrafish models of cardiac diseases and on the study of effects of environmental contaminants on thyroid development and carcinogenesis. In September 2020 she joined the FantinLab to study the molecular mechanisms that drive angiogenesis in the zebrafish embryo.
Undergraduate student, Laurea Magistrale in Biologia Applicata alla Ricerca Biomedica (BARB), in collaboration with the group of Prof Michele Mazzanti (Department of Biosciences, UniMi). Matteo is using cultured human endothelial cells and zebrafish embryos to explore the role of chloride intracellular channel (CLIC) proteins during angiogenesis and cancer growth.
Undergraduate student, Master degree in Molecular Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (MBB), in collaboration with the group of Prof Saverio Minucci at European Institute of Oncology (IEO). Emanuela applies different bioinformatic tools to analyse genomic and transcriptomic profiles to characterise hematopoietic cells in both developmental and pathological conditions.
Undergraduate student, Master degree in Biotecnologie Del Farmaco.