Corrado Poggesi (MD)
Medical doctor Faculty of Medicine, University of Pavia, Italy 1975 (alumnus of Collegio Ghislieri).
Since 2021 Emeritus Professor of Physiology at the University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
Academic career at the School of Medicine of the University of Pavia (1975-1987) and the University of Florence (1987-2020). Full professor of Physiology since 1994.
Recent Institutional activity: 2013-2020 Head of the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine (University of Florence). 2018-2020 President of the Italian Physiological Society.
Editorial activity: Senior Consultant Editor of the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. Associate Editor of Frontiers in Physiology: Striated Muscle Physiology. Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research.
Research experience abroad: 1985-1987 Senior research fellow at the Department of Pharmacology, Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA). 2003 Visiting Scientist, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, UCLA (Los Angeles, CA, USA). Shorter research visits at INSERM CNRS Montpellier; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Illinois, Chicago; Loyola University, Chicago; Columbia University, New York.
Awarded with several grants from the European Union, Italian Ministery of University, Telethon.
Dr Poggesi research activity is related to biophysical aspects of the contractile mechanism in skeletal and cardiac muscle (Excitation-Contraction Coupling, Contraction regulation and Chemo-Mechanical transduction). Micromechanics and microperfusion techniques have been developed in his lab to measure sarcomere mechanics in single myofibrils isolated from cardiac and skeletal muscle from human and animal models. These techniques have been also successfully applied to investigate genetic myopathies and cardiomyopathies. He has recently contributed to the development of novel optical techniques to investigate arrhythmogenic mechanisms and E-C coupling in cardiac muscle. He is author of more than 120 scientific papers with more than 4000 quotations and an h index of 38 (WOS).
Cecilia Ferrantini (MD, PhD)
Medical Doctor Degree Faculty of Medicine, University of Florence, Italy. PhD in Physiology at the Dept. of Clinical and Experimental medicine, University of Florence. Current position (2022-today) Associate Professor at the Department of Clinical and Experimental medicine, University of Florence. Teacher of Physiology – Medical School, University of Florence. Research expertise: muscle biophysics, cardiac mechanics and energetics, excitation-contraction coupling, cardiac electrophysiology and optical mapping, clinical studies on genetic cardiomyopathies, iPSC-derived CMs. 2014-2016: PI of a 3-year research project on atrial fibrillation granted by the Italian Ministry of Health (GR-2011-02350583); 2017-2022: PI of a 2-year (GGP16191) and a 3-year (GUP19012A) research projects on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy cardiomyopathy (based on the employment of human iPS- derived cardiomyocytes) granted by Telethon Italy; 2019-2020: PI of an Italian project granted by Ente Cassa di Risparmio on LCE-based cardiac mechanical assistance (CR-2018.0987); 2019-2022: Participant in the on-going SILICOFCM European project 777204 (H2020-SC1-2017-CNECT-2).
Camilla Parmeggiani (PhD)
Associate Professor of the Department of Chemistry of the University of Florence and an associate member of the European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy. She received the Master degree in Chemistry in 2005 and the PhD in Chemical Sciences in 2010 at the University of Florence. Since 2010 she investigates the design and synthesis of liquid crystalline elastomers for application in photonics and micro robotics, and from 2015 in collaboration with Dr. Sacconi and Dr. Ferrantini, she started a new research line for the development of smart materials for biological applications. She is the Co-coordinator of the REPAIR project and in charge of the material development (WP2 leader).
Leonardo Sacconi (PhD)
He received Master’s degree in Physics in 2001 at the University of Florence and then moved to Trento, where he obtained his Ph.D. in Physics in 2004. After a postdoc fellow in the Watt Webb laboratory at Cornell University, he returned to Italy, to the European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy, where he started new research projects focused on the in vivo functional imaging of excitable cells by non-linear microscopy. He is now a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Clinical Physiology in Florence and in his lab, OptoCARD (https://optocard.it), he develops innovative optical imaging methodologies to increase the understanding of cardiac physiology. In 2020 Leonardo joined the IEKM in Freiburg as a visiting scientist.
In the REPAIR project, Leonardo is responsible for mesoscale imaging for the reconstruction of fibber orientation in selected muscular tissues as well as long-term inflammatory assessment due to LCE implantation. Leonardo is also involved in the mechanical characterization of the LCE as well as the development of an implantable optical stimulator for the LCE-base contraction assist device.
Josè Manuel Pioner (PhD)
Master of Science in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (University of Florence) and PhD in Molecular Medicine (University of Siena). Current position (2020 to date): Fixed-term Researcher Type A at the Department of Biology, University of Florence. Lecturer of Comparative and General Physiology, School of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences, University of Florence. Research expertise: cardiac muscle excitation-contraction coupling, muscle mechanics, myofibril mechanics, electrophysiology, calcium transients, induced pluripotent stem cells and tissue engineering, genetic cardiomyopathies and muscular dystrophy modelling. Unit PI of the GR-2021-12375403 project focused on the precision medicine in dystrophin-cardiomyopathies, 2023-2026 granted by the Italian Ministry of Health. Unit PI of the G23_63 project iPSC modeling of DMD-associated cardiomyopathy 2023-2024 granted by the Université Franco-Italienne. Previously, postdoc for the SILICOFCM European project 777204 (H2020-SC1-2017-CNECT-2) and of two Telethon Italy funded projects (GGP16191, GUP19012A).
Irma Della Corte
She is currently a PhD student in Molecular Medicine at University of Siena. She received the master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico of Milan in 2021. Within the project, Irma carries out the experimental work associated to the mechanical characterization of different mixtures of LCE. Her research expertise is related to cardiac muscle mechanics, tissue engineering, proteomics and bioinformatics
Marina Scardigli (PhD)
Master degree in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the University of Florence in 2014. PhD in Molecular Medicine at the University of Siena in 2018. (2022-today) research assistant at the Department of Clinical and Experimental medicine, University of Florence. During her PhD, she studied the electrical properties of the cardiac tubular system using isolated cardiomyocytes and intact heart. She continued her work as a post-doc focusing her research activity on cardiac optical mapping and optogenetics. Moreover, she optimized clearing techniques and immunofluorescence protocols in human and animal brains to allow the three-dimensional reconstruction of intact neuronal networks, with cellular resolution. Currently, she studies the mechanical properties of cardiac tissue in intact muscle.
Marco Catarzi, (male), mechanical engineer (University of Florence). Current position (September 2022 to date) Master student in biomedical engineering (University of Florence); (December 2022 to June 2023) scholarship (Lens) “Engineered cardiac and skeletal muscles: prospects for the use of 3D printing”. Research experience: 3D printing of custom device, LCE force tests, cardiac muscle excitation-contraction.
Beatrice Scellini (PhD)
Master degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology at the University of Florence. Ph.D. in Physiology at the Dept. of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Florence. Current position (2019-today) research assistant at the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Florence. Within the project, her research activity is related to biophysical studies of contractile mechanisms in cardiac muscle at a single myofibril level. She also carries out the preparation and storage of tissues (Biobank) and the logistics management. Research expertise: mechanical properties of striated muscle, studies on genetic cardiomyopathies, contraction regulation and chemo-mechanical transduction, hiPSC-derived CMs, protein electrophoresis, and biobanking sample storage.
Marianna Langione (PhD)
She is working as Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Clinical and Experimental medicine, University of Florence, Italy. Graduated with a master’s degree in biology Applied to Research in Biomedicine at the University of Milan. Her research activity is related to biophysical studies of contractile mechanisms in cardiac muscle. She is particularly concerned with experimental techniques to investigate the structural, mechanical and energetic properties of hiPSC-CMs and engineered cardiac tissues (EHTs). Research expertise: hiPSCs culture and differentiation in cardiomyocytes, generation of human Engineered Heart Tissues, mechanistic analyses on cardiac samples and hiPSC-EHTs, Excitation-Contraction coupling, molecular techniques.
Marica Dente (PhD)
Marica Dente is working as Post doctoral researcher at the Dept. Of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Italy. Graduated with a master degree in Biology and PhD in Biomedical Science. Her research activity is related to biophysical aspects of the contractile mechanism in skeletal and cardiac muscle. The project relies on a number of biophysical approaches to study muscle mechanics, from the single myofibril level to that of multicellular (intact and skinned) myocardial preparations. Research expertise: Excitation-Contraction Coupling, Contraction regulation and Chemo-Mechanical transduction, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) microscopy technique, confocal microscopy, imaging tecquiniques and cell isolation tecniques.