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Founders

Bernardo Sabatini

Bernardo Sabatini obtained a PhD from the Department of Neurobiology and his MD degree from the Harvard/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Program in Health Sciences and Technology in 1999. Dr. Sabatini did a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Karel Svoboda at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. After his postdoctoral research, Dr. Sabatini joined the faculty in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School in 2001. In 2008 Dr. Sabatini was named an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and in 2010 was named the Takeda Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. 

His laboratory focuses on understanding the function and regulation of synapses in the mammalian brain with a particular interest in how the function of synapses is perturbed in human disease such as autism, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.

In order to conduct their studies, Dr. Sabatini’s laboratory creates new optical and chemical methods to be able to observe and manipulate the biochemical signaling associated with synapse function.

Ferruccio Pisanello

Ferruccio Pisanello received a PhD in Physics from the University Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6) in 2011 and his MD degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Salento in 2008.
He joined the Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in 2012 where he now coordinates the activity on New Technologies for Neuroscience Research.

Ferruccio Pisanello's research group aims at exploiting advanced micro- and nano-fabrication techniques to develop new tools for optogenetics applications.

John Assad

John Assad received his PhD in Neurobiology from Harvard University. He did his postdoctoral fellowship with John Maunsell, first at the University of Rochester and then at Baylor College of Medicine, before joining the faculty at Harvard Medical School in 1996. He was promoted to full professor at Harvard in 2007. He currently serves as a Director of Neuroscience at the Italian Institute of Technology. He is a former fellow of the Klingenstein and McKnight Foundations.

His laboratory studies neuronal circuitry underlying sensory processing, decision-making and control of movement, using electrophysiology and other in vivo monitoring techniques.

Leonardo Sileo

Leonardo Sileo graduated (master degree) in Materials Engineering at "Università del Salento", Italy, in December 2007 and earned a PhD in Biomolecular Nanotechnologies in July 2013 with "Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Innovazione" of "Università del Salento".

During his doctoral and post-doctoral activity, he worked in the labs of the IIT Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies, where he exploited conventional and advanced micro- and nano-fabrication technologies for the development of novel devices for neurophysiology.

Massimo De Vittorio

Massimo De Vittorio is Associate Professor at Università del Salento and in charge of the nanofabrication and MEMS facilities at the Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), where he coordinates a group of about 20 persons.

He has been also co-founder of the National Nanotechnology Laboratory (NNL) of the CNR Istituto Nanoscienze. His research activity deals with the development of science and technology applied to nanophotonics, nanoelectronics and nano and micro electromechanicalsystems (NEMS/MEMS) for applications in the fields of ICT, life-science, energy and robotics.

Author of more than 230 manuscripts on international journals, several book chapters, international patents and several invited/keynote talks to international conferences, he is also editor of the Journal IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology, member of the editorial board of the Journal Microelectronic Engineering (Elsevier) and editor of the book “Nanotechnologies and neuroscience” (Springer).

Sandeep Robert Datta

Sandeep Robert Datta obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics from Yale University in 1993, and obtained an M.D./Ph.D degree from Harvard University in 2004.
After working as a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University with Richard Axel, he joined the Harvard Medical School Department of Neurobiology in 2009.

His lab focuses on understanding how sensory cues — particularly odors — are detected by the nervous system, and how the brain transforms information about the presence of salient sensory cues into patterns of motivated action.