Niko Hildebrandt

Niko Hildebrandt, PhD is a professor at the Université Paris-Sud in the NanoBioPhotonics Department.

Marcelina Cardoso Dos Santos

Marcelina Cardoso Dos Santos is postdoctoral researcher in the NanoBioPhotonics group ( at the Institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC) in Orsay, France.

She holds a Master degree in Cell Biology and Physiopathology (2009) from Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux II and a Ph.D. in Optics and Nanotechnologies (2015) from Université de Technologie de Troyes. Her fields of research are optics development, surface functionalization, and live cell imaging. Her postdoctoral research focusses on the development of time-gating microscopy dedicated to multiplexed Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensing. This and other FRET imaging techniques are mainly used to characterize and apply nanocomplexes (Terbium-Quantum Dots) or nanoparticles (Terbium, Europium) in cell or tissues and to analyze plasmon response functions of nanostructures.

Alexandra Petreto

Alexandra Petreto is graduate student in the NanoBioPhotonics group ( at the Institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC) in Orsay, France.

Francesco De Angelis

Dr. Francesco De Angelis is the director of the Plasmon Technology Unit at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa. He got the master degree in Physics in 2000 (Università di Roma “La Sapienza”), then he spent a period (PhD) at the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnologies in Rome (IFN-Cnr).

His main expertise relies on advanced nanofabrication techniques for applications in the field of Bio-Photonics and his research is currently supported by the European Commission through the IDEAS program (Consolidator Grant: n° 616213, “Neuro-Plasmonics”) and the “PROSEQO” project (FET open 2016-2019).

The first project aims at combining CMOS technologies with Photonics for the investigation of neuronal networks. In the second project, together with international consortium that he coordinates, they will try to develop radically new technologies for single protein sequencing.

Denis Garoli

Denis Garoli, born in Padova in the 1979, get a master Degree in Physics in the 2003 at Padova University. In the 2008 awarded the PhD in Space Science and Technology at University of Padova with a thesis on the development of innovative technologies for the environmental conservation. In 2011 he get a Master Degree in Biotechnology at Padova University. Now is co-PI of the Horizon FET - ProseqO project in IIT.
From 2007 to 2009 he was Process Engineer and Project Manager at the multinational company Media-Lario Technologies (Pleasanton, CA USA - Lecco Italia).where he worked on European Space Agency (ESA) and Intel projects on the development of innovative coating with high efficiency. In the 2009 he awarded a post-doc position at the Department of Physics at University of Padova and from 2011 to 2014 he was senior scientist at Laboratory for Nanofabrication of Nanodevices (LaNN - Venetonanotech) in Padova. In 2014 he was also senior scientist at ABAnalitica in Padova where he worked at the development of new in-vitro techniques for human diagnostic. The research activities from 2003 has been focused on the development of innovative nanostructured materials, from the design and synthesis to the morphological, structural and functional characterization. The main research fields are: plasmonics, biosensing, genetics, optogenetics.

Hans Lehrach

Professor Hans Lehrach is director (em.) of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin. He has held positions at Harvard University (USA), EMBL (Germany) and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, UK. 

Prof. Lehrach is author of more than 1000 publications and 24 patents, is a fellow of the AAAS, and holds the Ján Jessenius SAS Medal of Honour (2003), the Karl Heinz Beckurts Award (2004) and the Gusi Prize (2015) in recognition of his achievements in medical sciences. He was co-ordinator of ‘ITFoM: IT Future of Medicine’ (, a finalist of the FET Flagship Call, which has established a strong technological roadmap and network of partners from 33 countries. In a new initiative, Prof. Lehrach represents a growing network of research institutions, industry representatives, scientists and patient groups that share a long-term vision for sustainable health care (

Prof. Lehrach has founded several biotechnology companies such as Sequana Therapeutics, GPC Biotech, Scienion, Prot@gen, PSF Biotech, Atlas Biolabs. He is founder of the Berlin-based company Alacris Theranostics GmbH, specialising in the development of new approaches for personalised medicine for cancer patient diagnosis, treatment and drug stratification. He is chairman of the Supervisory Board and scientific advisor of the company since 2008. In 2010 he founded the non-for-profit research institute The Dahlem Centre for Genome Research and Medical Systems Biology (DCGMS).

Dino Paladin

Dino Paladin, PhD, is the founder and Research and Development Director of AB Analitica, an Italian innovation-driven small-medium enterprise focusing on the design, development, production and trade of in vitro medical-diagnostic devices (IVD).


The company has a track-record of successfully implementing and commercializing diagnostic methods that quantitatively and qualitatively detect disease-related genetic mutations, risk alleles for multifactorial diseases and cancer chromosomal rearrangements using reverse-line blot and Real-Time PCR.

Tatiana Borodina

Head of sequencing at Alacris Theranostics since 2012.

Paolo Ponzellini

Paolo Ponzellini was born in Varese on 1984. He attended his studies in Physics at the University of Milan, graduating in 2014.

After few months spent in the Risk Management department of Banca Intesa Sanpaolo he enrolled himself as PHD-fellow at the Italian Institute of Technology, in Genoa. He is specializing in plasmon technologies and nanofabrication.

Walter Rocchia

Walter Rocchia graduated cum laude in Electronic Engineering on July 1996, with a thesis on Quantum Computing. In February 2000, he got a PhD in Electronic Devices at the University of Trento. He then was a Research Scholar at the Biochemistry Department of the Columbia University, developing models to calculate the electrostatic field generated by biological macromolecules in solution.

As a consultant in the Corporate Technology Centre at Honeywell Int (NJ, USA), and then at the Bioengineering Research Centre "E. Piaggio" of University of Pisa he studied the modeling of the physical properties of actuating polymers and nanotubes in a wet environment. In 2003 he joined the Molecular Biophysics group of National Enterprise for nanoScience and Nanotechnology (NEST-INFM-CNR), at Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, working on molecular recognition and targeting. There, he extended his interests from algorithms for speeding up and making more accurate the calculation of the electrostatic interaction energy of biomolecules to Bioinformatic and Biostatistical techniques aimed at identifying targets and engineering molecules involved in biochemical pathways of medical relevance. In 2008, he moved to the Drug Discovery and Development Department of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), working on computational approaches to ligand-protein binding free energy estimation. In 2010 he was awarded, together with the Clemson University, a NIH 5-years grant entitled: DelPhi: Software for Electrostatic Modeling of Biomolecules and Objects. In late 2014, he created the Computational mOdelling of NanosCalE and bioPhysical sysTems (CONCEPT) Lab. He is author of more than 50 publications including International Journals, book contributions and Proceedings.

Isabel Pastor del Campo

Isabel Pastor del Campo is postdoctoral researcher in the Small Biosystems Lab ( at the University of Barcelona (Spain). She graduated in Chemistry from the University of Alcala in 1998 and got her PhD degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Miguel Hernandez University in 2007.

She has an extensive background of fluorescence techniques (steady-state, time resolved fluorescence, FRAP, FRET, FCS), which have been used for the characterization of proteins immobilized in polymeric matrices, the study of diffusion-reaction phenomena of proteins in macromolecular crowding media and in the development of fluorescence biosensors. Nowadays, her fields of research are focused on single-molecule manipulation using Optical Tweezers. Isabel has a huge knowledge of Optical Tweezers and microfluids devices. She is involved in the building of  new experimental set-ups and in the study of  binding mechanisms of small drugs to DNA or RNA, as well as protein-peptide interactions. 

Matteo Ardini

Matteo Adini received his master degree at University of Rome "Sapienza" in Genetic and Molecular Biology (2009).

He has been working on expression and charachterization of antioxidant proteins (2010-2012) before getting 
the PhD degree in Bionanotechnology at the University of L'Aquila concerning the synthesis of functional 3D nanobiomaterials (2015). 
His main work activities cover aspects of base and applied research in the fields of Biochemistry and Nanobiotechnology including protein expression, 
characterization and functionalization, assembly of hybrid nanobiomaterials and biophysical analysis. 
He is now involved as a postdoctoral researcher in the Horizon FET - ProseqO project at the IIT in Genova.

Xavier Zambrana Puyalto

Xavier Zambrana-Puyalto earned his PhD at Macquarie University in 2014. Now, he is a postdoctoral researcher at the Plasmon Nanotechnologies unit of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genova.

Marc Rico Pastó

Marc Rico Pastó graduated in Physics at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB, 2013). During his studies he has been Research Assistant in the Small Biosystems Lab, in the Condensed Matter Department at UB working on the synthesis and study of DNA hairpins.

He holds a Master degree of Photonics by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC, 2014) with specialization in Lasers, Bio-optics, and Optical engineering. At this time, he won the international price SECPhO Photonics Innovation Award by his innovation in the Bio-photonics field.

Since 2014 he is doing his PhD in the Small Biosystems Lab ( Heinvestigates temperature effects in the DNA folding/unfolding process and its relevance in the DNA replications, as well as its physical properties, such as its elastic response and heat capacity. He is also involved in the study of molecular interaction between DNA and different drugs.

Carmina Verdià

Carmina Verdiá, is postdoctoral in the Small Biosystems Laboratory, at University of Barcelona. She graduates in Chemistry and holds a Master Degree in Applied Chemistry and Pharmacology.
During her PhD, she investigated different membrane transport systems by means of electrophysiological experiments, specifically by means of ion channel reconstitution in planar lipid bilayers using Voltage-Clamp technique. She focused on the ion transport of several types of proteins membranes pores forming peptides, like bacterial porins or viral proteins known as viroporins as well as the translocation of amphiphilic compounds across lipid membranes.
In 2015 she obtained the PhD degree and started to work in the University of Valencia designing voltage multipliers with nanofluidic diodes immersed in aqueous salt solutions.

Carla Verrière Costa

Carla Verrière Costa student of Applied Physics at the University of Barcelona joined Small Biosystems Lab in March 2017 to perform her Final Degree Project.
Highly interested in single molecule experiments and by the physics involved in biosystems.

Felix Ritort

Dr. Felix Ritort carried out his PhD during the years 1989-1991 in theoretical physics in the area of statistical physics. During the years 1992-2002 he made several contributions to the field of disordered systems and nonequilibrium physics. Since 2002 he worked in single-molecule biophysics by manipulating individual nucleic acids and proteins to investigate energy processes in the molecular world.
Ritort’s group is recognized worldwide as leader in applying the finest and most powerful methods to extract accurate quantitative information about thermodynamics and kinetics of molecular interactions. Dr. Ritort has been awarded several prizes for his research: the Distinció de la Generalitat de Catalunya in 2001 for his theoretical research during the years 1991-2000; ICREA Academia Award 2008 for his research as scholar at the University of Barcelona; Premio Bruker 2013 from the Sociedad de Biofísica de España for his contributions to molecular biophysics research in Spain. He is also chair of the Division of Physics for Life Sciences of the European Physical Society. My scientific research is highly multidisciplinary at the frontiers of physics, chemistry and biology. My lab is a worldwide reference in combining theory and experiments to investigate the thermodynamics and nonequilibrium behavior of small systems using single molecule methods. I apply the finest concepts and tools from statistical physics to extract valuable information about a wide range of molecular processes: from the energetics of nucleic acids to the kinetics of formation of molecular aggregates induced by drugs or the elasticity of antigen-antibody bonds in the immune system. A recurring theme in my research is the understanding of how molecular systems embedded in highly noisy environments outperform the efficiency of macroscopic systems: being small has key advantages that nature has fruitfully exploited. Recently I have directed my interest to the discovery of the principles that govern the emergent complexity of evolutionary ensembles in the molecular and cellular world.

Teo Puig Walz

Teo Puig Walz graduated in Physics at the University of Barcelona with mention in Applied Physics.
During his studies he has been Research Assistant in the Engineering Department working on the synthesis and study of new ecologic materials for ZnO precursors in inks for transparent printed electronics.
In 2017 he joined the Small Biosystems Lab in the UB, led by Felix Ritort, focusing on single-molecule experiments and the building of optical tweezers.

Andrea Spitaleri

Andrea Spitaleri, M.Sc., Ph.D. is a Computational scientist working at the intersection of basic and applied research, with extensive experience in computational chemistry in academia and industry. He has routinely combined computational simulations with experimental observations coming from X-ray and NMR. Degree in Chemistry in 1999 at the University of Pisa.
2000 and 2001 fellowships in organic synthesis at University of Pisa Department of Pharmacy (ITA) and EPFL of Lausanne (CH). PhD in NMR and computational chemistry (drug polymorphism) in 2006 at the University of Sheffield (UK). Postdocs in the Astrazeneca studying crystal packing determination and protein-ligand interaction in drug design (Alderley Park, UK). 10 years at the San Raffaele Foundation (ITA) in direct contact with clinical research. 3 years of Principal Investigator of AIRC project. Visiting researcher at CNIO (Spain) and Utrecht University (NL). Currently, he works at IIT in the CONCEPT Lab to study new advanced methodologies for computational drug design.
Principal field of research is the study of protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions, rare events and novel scoring function in docking. He is author of more than 40 articles and book chapters in international life science journals.

Mariantonietta Parracino

is a R&I consultant and projects manager at the Plasmon nanotechnologies unit led by Dr Francesco De Angelis.
Mariantonietta got her PhD in medical biochemistry in 2008. She has extensive experience in scientific research, in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology/nanomedicine, and plasmonics performed while at several research institutions. Mariantonietta contributed in raising funding and to coordinate several external granted projects in the framework of FP7 and H2020 program and national programs. Mariantonietta contributed in the monitoring of technology transfer and the on-going administrative management, as well as dissemination, exploitation and communication activities between different offices/partners and organization. Mariantonietta is also an inventor and co-author of patents and publications.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 687089

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