Dr. Yvan Torrente is Director at Stem Cell Laboratory since 2002 and Assistant Professor in Neurology with a special focus on stem cell research for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. He received his degree in Medicine and Surgery and his Specialization degree in Neurology at the University of Milan. Right after his degree he carried out an intense research activity abroad, winning a PhD in muscular dystrophies at the Genetic Medicine Laboratory, University of Quebec and later applying for a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Paris. He then stood out for relevant research studies and the important role as a coordinator for the first Phase I clinical trial for the validation of stem cell transplantation in dystrophic patients. He contributed to the foundation of the Stem Cell Interdepartmental Research Center – UNISTEM and, at the same University of Milan, he is involved in several teaching courses for the Faculties of Medicine and Surgery and Biological and Molecular Sciences. Furthermore, Dr. Torrente is Neurologist at Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico of Milan and Staff Neurologist at the Dino Ferrari Center. Since 2012 he is President and Scientific Coordinator at Ystem S.r.l., a biotech company which started out its activity as a spin-off belonging to the University of Milan.
Associate Professor, Researcher
Naïma Guarrata holds a degree in Economics from Bocconi University, Milan.
Since October 2010, she has been working as project manager at Stem Cell Laboratory and has been involved in the management of national and international scientific initiatives and applications. Her focus has been mainly set upon fundraising activities and research projects coordination from the initial development until final reporting activity.
Marzia Belicchi is Senior Scientist at Stem Cell Laboratory directed by Dr. Torrente, where she coordinates cell culture and cytofluorimetry activities.
Marzia received her degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Milan, carrying out her thesis research at the Applied Pharmacology Laboratory of the Department of Pharmacology. She continued her research activity at the Endocrinology Laboratory of L. Sacco Hospital, Milan until she was hired at Stem Cell Laboratory in 2002.
She has a 10-year expertise in primary cell culturing, which she has deepened through many workshops she attended, and significant skills in handling research projects related to stem cell applications for neuromuscular diseases. Among her focuses, there are as well stem cells myogenic potentials, their proliferation and differentiation attitudes and genetic and cellular therapies for myopaties.
Mirella Meregalli is Senior Scientist at Stem Cell Laboratory directed by Dr. Torrente, where she is responsible of molecular biology and immunohistochemistry facilities and involved in the drafting of national and international research grants.
She received her degree in Biology at the University of Milan and she was later resident in Toxicology at the Department of Internal Medicine – Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico of Milan, where she focused on DNA and RNA extraction from cells, serum and tissues, restrictions analysis of genomic DNA and PCR products, electrophoretics techniques for mutation screening, PCR products cloning and direct sequencing, binding techniques.
She has been collaborating with Dr. Torrente at Stem Cell Laboratory since 2003, with a main commitment in molecular and cell biology activities for the development of innovative stem cell protocols especially oriented to the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Stefania Banfi is a Post-doc Scientist at Stem Cell Laboratory directed by Dr. Torrente, where she collaborates within cell culture and cytofluorimetry activities.
Stefania graduated in Biological Sciences at the University of Milan, carrying out her thesis research at the Experimental Oncology Laboratory at the European Institute of Oncology. She continued there her research activity until 2010 when she received her PhD degree in Molecular Medicine. She later moved to the laboratory of Molecular Immunology at Istituto Clinico Humanitas where she continued her research activity.
She has a long and deep experience in molecular biology and cell culturing. The main achievement of her research is the collaboration at the scientific publication “Genome-wide mapping of human DNA replication origins: levels if transcription at Orc1 binding sites regulates origin selection and replication timing” on Genome Research.
Letizia Cassinelli is Scientist at Stem Cell Laboratory directed by Dr. Torrente.
Letizia received her degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Milano-Bicocca, carrying out her thesis research at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Genetics directed by Prof. Ottolenghi at the University of Milano-Bicocca.
She continued her research activity at Stem Cell Laboratory since 2010.
Among her focuses, there is the regulation of microRNAs during myogenic differentiation in normal and dystrophic muscle, using cell lines and molecular biology techniques.
Federica Colleoni received her degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Milan, carrying out her thesis research at the Chemotherapy Laboratory of the Department of Pharmacology.
Ske works at Stem Cell Laboratory directed by Dr. Torrente since 2004 and her activities mainly regard immunocharacterization of cells and tissues from different sources by immunofluorenscence and histological procedures.
Silvia Erratico graduated in Drug Biotechnologies at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Milan in 2008. She holds a Ph.D in Molecular Medecine whose thesis, entitled “Development of experimental model for the study of muscle degenerative factors inducing mesenchymal stem cell fat differentiation”, has been conducted at Stem Cell Laboratory. Her collaboration with Dr. Torrente started in 2009: she worked at Stem Cell Platform – Fondazione Filarete at first (2010-2012), where she was dedicated to tissue engineering activities for bioscaffolds development and in vivo validation; she later moved back to Stem Cell Laboratory where she has been involved in cell biology activities. Recently, she has been involved in a clinical treatment with regards to stem cells processing for a spinal cord injured patient.
Andrea Farini took his master degree in Biology in 2004 at the University of Milan. In 2004, he started to work at Stem Cell Laboratory – University of Milan, directed by Dott. Yvan Torrente where he took his PhD in Molecular Medicine in 2009 with a thesis regarding the myogenic potential of human progenitors in a murine model of muscular dystrophy. He is author of several original works published in international journals and attended several international scientific meetings, with oral and poster presentations. His work is focused on the characterization of human muscle- and blood-derived cell subpopulations and on the mechanisms that regulate their transplantation in murine models of DMD.
Paola Razini took her degree in Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Milan-Bicocca in 2007, with a thesis about proliferation and differentiation potentials of CD133+ stem cells for the treatment of Ducheenne muscular dystrophies, which she conducted at Stem Cell Laboratory where she still holds a scholarship.
At Stem Cell Laboratory she is committed to cell culture activities, cytofluorimetric analysis, immunofluorence and immunohistochemistry techniques. Her research is oriented to the develoment of cell protocols for the treatment of neuromuscular diseases.
Clementina Sitzia is Scientist at Stem Cell Laboratory directed by Dr. Torrente.
Clementina received her degree in Biotechnological Sciences at the University of Milan, carrying out her thesis research at the Laboratory of the Department of Biochemistry and Chemistry. She continued her research activity at Stem Cell Laboratory since 2008.
As primary focus, she is involved in the development of cellular therapy for the treatment of myopaties and in particular in tissue characterization and in vivo cell transpantation experiments. Furthermore Clementina carries on her thesis in Medicine and Surgery at Stem Cell Laboratory, where she has the opportunity to add case history data to experimental outcomes.
Alessandro Tavelli is a research assistant at Stem Cell Laboratory directed by Dr. Torrente.
He graduated in Industrial Biotechnology in February 2012, at the University of Milano-Bicocca, with a thesis entitled “Characterization of a Muscle Derived CD133+ stem cell population in healthy subjects and DMD Patients” at Dr. Torrente’s Laboratory (Foundation IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico).
In April 2012 he obtained a studentship in the same institute; his area of expertise is isolation, expansion and characterization of stem cells (proliferation, immunophenotype and differentiation potential). He collaborates with EuroStemCell for the translation of website fact sheet on stem cell research.
Chiara Villa is a PhD student at the Europen School of Molecular Medicine (SEMM) in Nanotechnology, where she’s been completing the 3th year.
Chiara received her degree in Biomedical Engineering at the Politecnico of Milan, working on her thesis research at the Tissue Regeneration Laboratory of the Biomedical Engineering. She continued her research activity at Stem Cell Laboratory directed by Dr. Torrente, with a fellowship from the University of Milan, before starting her PhD. She was also involved in an educational and training path at the Miller School of Medicine, Miami. Chiara developed a great expertise in biomaterial sciences and stem cell/scaffold interaction, addressing hydrogel and scaffold design to muscular pathologies. Moreover, she is interested in new materials development for stem cell differentiation and in vivo transplantation and in the study of new drug delivery systems for therapeutic applications.
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