The rate of premature births is rising in many European countries. In the UK the number of babies born at 22-25 weeks gestation and admitted to intensive care increased by 44% between 1995 and 2006 with a survival rate improvement of 13%. However, little is known about how the brain sensory functions mature in early development and the influence that premature sensory experiences have on their normal trajectory. With my research, I aim at understanding the development of cortical functions and underlying networks using non-invasive brain monitoring techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This is a collaborative project involving academics and clinicians from UCL and King's College London and their partner hospitals UCLH and St Thomas'.
Doctor of Philosophy
|University College London|
|Politecnico di Milano|
I graduated in Biomedical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano University (Italy) and in 2008 completed my PhD in Medical Physics and Bioengineering at UCL investigating the use of Electrical Impedance Tomography in epilepsy diagnosis. I then moved to the department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology to explore the development of pain perception in human premature neonates in collaboration with the neonatal ward at UCLH using Electroencephalography (EEG). I am now a group leader funded by the Medical Research Council UK working at UCL and King’s College London in collaboration with their main university hospitals to study the development of spontaneous neuronal activity and of the somatosensory system in premature neonates integrating EEG and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging information. My work is rooted in neonatology, neuroimaging, biomedical signal processing and neuroscience attracting collaboration from these disciplines, including the internationally renowned Centre for the Developing Brain. The results of my research have been published in leading scientific journals, such as Current Biology, eLife and The Lancet and featured in national and international newspapers and magazines, including New Scientist, the Washington Post and The Indipendent. I have organised workshops and presented my work at meetings across Europe and in the United States, and my research received various recognitions including the UCL Neuroscience Early Career Prize and a Merit Award from the Organization for Human Brain Mapping. I am also part of the Neuroscience Career Network Committee at UCL and regularly review articles for various general science and specialised journals.