BIO

Born in Trieste on 17.03.1958
Married, 2 children (born in 1991 and 1997)
Assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Trieste (Italy)
Habilitated full professor of biochemistry


EDUCATION
10 years of regular higher education: medicine studies (6 years) and PhD in biochemistry (4 years).
5 years of high-school in humanities.
1991 – Awarded with PhD in biochemistry by a national panel of evaluation.
1986-1990 – University of Trieste. PhD course in biochemistry.
1984 – Registered medical doctor, past the State exam.
1977-1984 – University of Trieste. Medical degree. Magna cum laude.
1972-1977- Liceo Classico Dante Alighieri, Trieste.


EMPLOYMENT RECORD
Employed in the higher education sector for 30 years.
First job at Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium (from 1984, for 2 years).
Then at the University of Trieste, as PhD student (from 1986, for 4 years) and teaching staff (from 1992, for 23 years).
Independent medical expert for 1 year (1992).
Jobless for 1.5 year (due to maternity, from 1991).


INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES
2015 – Member of the Executive council of the Department of Life Sciences (mandate of third mission and fund-raising).
2015 – Member of College of Discipline.
2012 – Deputy member of the University College of Discipline.
2011 – Member of the panel in charge of drafting the University Charter compliant with the Law on the General Reform of University Education (L. 240/2010).
2010 – 2014 – Contact person for the University of Trieste in the Transparency Register of the European Commission.
2010, July-September – Author of a technical document for the office of Legal Affairs of the University of Trieste.


TEACHING
Professor of biochemistry (including nutritional biochemistry) at the Medical School of the University of Trieste (since 1993) and visiting professor at the University of Ljubljana (since 2012). Tutor or co-tutor of 10 PhD theses, focusing on the molecular mechanisms underlying bioavailability and bioactivity of flavonoids.


RESEARCH
Studying the
molecular mechanisms of the bioavailability and bioactivity of dietary polyphenols in mammals, and their biosynthesis in plants.

Read more in section Research

Independent investigator from 1987 (PhD). Principal investigator (team leader) from 2000 (15 years), when started an uninterrupted study on flavonoids in mammals and plants.
Author of 64 scientific papers, including 2 book chapters and 2 reviews. Cited 1628 times (in 2001-2015). h-index 21 (Scopus). Lead author of 37 out of 64 publication (58%) since 1988 (27 years). ORCID ID orcid.org/0000-0001-7876-4666.
Awarded the First Prize of the Italian Biochemical Society in 1990, for doctoral research on membrane transport of bilirubin.

Member of the Italian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Italian Group of Biomembranes and Bioenergetics, and Association Women&Science.


RESEARCH MANAGEMENT
Twinning cooperation with fund-raising”

JOBS
2001-2015. Research jobs funded by my competitive research grants: 16 PhDs, 14 post-docs (for an average duration of post-doc contract of 20.2 years). Supervising research activities.
2011-2014. Research & innovation jobs in 2 networks, which I coordinated, funded by in Cross-border Cooperation Programme Italy-Slovenia 2007-2013: 21 post-docs for either 30 or 36 months, i.e. a total of 59.5 years. Coordinating their research activities with their training in technology transfer and innovation. IMPORTANT: As of 30.09.2015, 100% of these researchers are still employed in R&D.

HOSTING FOREIGN SCIENTISTS
2001-2015. Hosted researchers from Slovenia (n=9), Nigeria (n=7), Argentina (n=3), Brazil (n=2), and Serbia (n=1). When joining my lab, their academic positions were: PhD (n=13), post-doc (n=2), grade C (n=4), grade B (n=3). Most have done significant career advancements, once back home. Together, they have produced 39 scientific papers.

GRANTS
From 2002: Unit leader in 11 research projects, granted total € 0.44 MLN.
From 2004: Consortium leader of 2 research projects + 2 research & innovation networks, granted total € 4.07 MLN.
Principal scope of grants: Research (n=8), Innovation (n=3), industry (n=3).


TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND INNOVATION ACTIVITY
The big step from research to innovation”

Responsible for:

  • University-industry cooperation, 3 small R&D agrifood projects, tot. 60 months, € 108.400.
  • Research & Innovation in European Territorial Cooperation networks. Three large networks for biomedicine, wine, and aquaculture; duration 36-42 months, € 4 MLN.
  • Public procurement of innovation and consultancy contracts with 2 experts and 2 SMEs for 8 to 36 months. Tot. value ca. € 340.000.
  • University-industry brockerage. Attended 2 events; organised 4 major events involving large research communities (department, R&I networks, and multiple stakeholders). Coordinated specific brockerage activities in Trans2Care and Innov-
  • H2O projects (54 Technology audits; 14 Focus meetings; visits to 23 fish farming SMEs; 6 open workshops for the fish farmers; 13 Thematic groups).

CONTINUING EDUCATION
Delivered 2 pilot training schemes for up-skilling life science researchers in R&D, innovation, technology transfer, business, and management, in the frame of Research & Innovation networks funded for implementing European Territorial Cooperation 2007-2013. Involved about 20 experts (mostly non-academic) for 21 trainees plus senior staff.


EXPERT ADVICE

  • Reviewer of employee performance
    • 5 academic teaching staff promotions
    • 1 senior technical and administrative staff
    • Member in 15 selection panels for temporary research contracts (post-docs).
  • Reviewer of programmes and projects
    • Member in 4 registers of experts.
    • Evaluation of 45 projects; ca. € 7 MLN.
  • Peer reviewer in about 30 international scientific journals in the field of biochemistry, pharmacology, cellular biology, food and nutrition.
  • Expert of research & innovation in European territorial cooperation. Since 2014: 10 invitations: 6 by higher education institutions; 4 by the European Commission (2 DG JRC; 2 DG Regio).
  • Since 2011, voluntary expert contributor to 22 public consultations (European Commission, national and regional public authorities, research organisations).

PUBLIC COMMUNICATION OF SCIENCE AND RESEARCH & INNOVATION PROJECTS

  • Personal up-skilling in science communication by an FP7-funded project (Maitre).
  • Organization of 8 scientific conferences (3 national; 5 international).
  • Organization of 8 public events (projects’ kick-off events, projects’ dissemination and public engagement). Participation in one public event organised by local authority.
  • Multimedia dissemination of projects achievements via websites, SlideShare, Facebook, twitter, YouTube channels.
  • Scientific editor of three books disseminating projects’ activities (published by Edizioni Università di Trieste-University of Trieste Academic Press). Three books in preparation.

PUBLIC OPINIONS ON HIGHER EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND SOCIETY
From 2007, produced 27 items (in Italian), such as: radio and television interviews, public speeches, lectures, papers in books or proceedings, and articles in newspapers and magazines. Topics are: gender issues (n=8); wine & health (n=7); Higher education & society (n=4); research & cooperation (n=5); science for the citizens (n=3).