My journey into science, research and technology started back in 1997, in central Italy, during an undergraduate student internship in biological sciences. During that internship I immediately fell in love with the microscope as soon as I started using it, as it allowed me to explore and observe a whole new, at the time, microscopic and parallel world of unique “classical design”, a world of extreme beauty and symmetry.
Since those first days, thanks to more sophisticated and more technologically advanced instruments, I have continued to observe this magical microscopic world, knowing that this long-lasting friendship will only continue to share its deepest secrets with me. This was the beginning of a never-ending story with microscopy, histology and animal handling techniques. Techniques that allowed me to explore and study the role of oxidative stress and free radical damage in our lives, all during my undergraduate studies.
After obtaining my bachelors in biology (2000), I kick started my career by completing a PhD in molecular and cellular biology, followed by a post doc position, career steps that gave me access to, deep knowledge about and a broader understanding of the different biological techniques, research areas, teaching and mentoring methods. More precisely during my PhD I continued to study the role of oxidative stress in our daily lives and my technical skills continued to develop as I was introduced, for the first time, to the teaching and mentoring mentality. At the end of my PhD (2004), I worked for three years as a post doc in a bone bio-pathology laboratory dedicated to: bone homeostasis, metastatic breast cancer in bones and pre-clinical studies. During these three years my biggest achievement was the discovery of the molecular mechanism of action of PRELP peptide (currently under clinical investigation).
At that point in time and at the age of thirty, having finished my PhD and my first post doc position, I realized that during my post bachelors incubation period I had literally gained access to and understanding of every biological, technical, managerial and administrative aspect that had come in my way. As a consequence I decided that it was time to say goodbye to my super best friend, the confocal microscope, and to the mountains of central Italy and that it was time to move on, searching for a job that would now allow me not only to apply my acquired knowledge so far but also help me gain new experiences and insights to the start-up world.
My quest for new experiences resulted in accepting a senior scientist job offer at a start-up academic institute, moving to the mountains of northern Italy this time, near Austria. I started work there in 2008 at a beautiful but completely empty institute in the middle of a magical winter landscape amidst the Alps. Setting up a new laboratory and core facilities (genomics, proteomics, imaging) in a start-up environment, taught me immediately the following thing: “never take anything for granted in a start-up environment”.
Being part of an emerging research institute, from literally its infancy steps, allowed me to improve, develop and highlight my teamwork, managerial, administrative and problem solving skills but most importantly helped me amplify my self-awareness in terms of my social responsibility towards innovation in higher education and research and also to realize that innovation is an integrated and indissoluble part of our society. I have come to recognize therefore at this stage of my life that the true meaning of innovation – a prescribed way of changing in order to become better, obtained from the cooperation of academia, industry, and government – will give birth to a new dynamic fertile microenvironment with tremendous opportunities for personal and entrepreneurial growth allowing us thus to face the current socioeconomic challenges.
At the same time I continued my research in the identification of novel drug targets in breast cancer during high-throughput screening, focusing in the inhibition of proteins that regulate post-transcriptional modification, during estrogen response.
After gaining my first experience at a start-up academic environment, I moved much further north this time, to join a start-up company in Dublin (2011) as a Marie Curie Fellow. This time I was focused in the identification of novel biomarkers (IHC tissue based) in the field of angiogenesis inhibition and triple negative breast cancer, and I was also responsible for the management of the histology facility of the company. Moreover, I created and maintained formal and informal relationships with external stakeholders, regarding research projects and commercialization of science and technology.
Later in 2015 I joined a molecular diagnostics company always in Dublin, as product development scientist. At the end of my one-year corporate experience I decided to go out on my own, helping companies finding solutions throughout drug development. Along the way I met “Life Science Content Creation” (and very interesting people), and definitely I fell in love with this new role.
Nowadays you can find me in Corfu, my beautiful Greek Island, working from home since COVID-19 somehow changed our lives.
To make a long story short, I am about to take you into a wonderful journey where genes, proteins, time, food, sleep, ancient wisdom and technological innovation finally meet and pave the way for Beautiful Aging and Longevity miracles.
Attila, the biologist-philosopher-bioinformatician-founder of AgeCurve, his international remote working-gang (that I am looking forward to meet), their biomarkers and their aging test is what I call “innovation in business”. And thanks to teams like them that we all are going to live healthier, for longer.
Thanks for reading