When I am not in the lab I like to dedicate some time to be active, I enjoy running and eating well; I became vegetarian at the age of 26. I like reading scientific books/magazines and visiting museums. Other personal interests are technology, robotic surgery, personalized medicine, and cancer awareness. I like theater and scenic performances. My favorite theatrical performance is the Phantom of the Opera with the majestic music composed by Andrew Llyod Webber followed by Les Miserables. I also like art and architecture and I am extremely fascinated by the ancient Egypt, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo Da Vinci. I am also interested in humanitarian causes like fighting hunger and poverty. I support Save the Children and a United Nation initiative Nothing but nets to reduce malaria bringing nets to people living in risk zones. I would like to be more involved in human development and human rights in underdeveloped countries.
I was born in a very supportive family where respect for the other people and reciprocal help were a categorical imperative and came first before everything else. I abandoned religion at the age of 17 and embraced atheism and rationalism. I spent 4 years enrolled as a volunteer in the Department of Critical Care and Surgery, Florence and Italian Red Cross (first aid officer), during that time I learned the human perspective of diseases and cancer, spoke with patients and cultivated a profound dedication to the medical research aimed to HELP people. Volunteering represented the best experience in my life. It changed my general vision of life and helped me to understand the vulnerability of our lives.
The figure who inspires me as a scientist is Rita Levi-Montalcini; she was an Italian Nobel laureate who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1986 for the discovery of the NGF (Nerve Growth Factor). She used to invite young scientists not to think of themselves, "think of the future that awaits you, think about what you can do and do not fear anything". Never married because at the age of 4 she decided she could not be a mother or a wife, she dedicated her life to science, and when someone asked her is she had any regrets about her life choices she replied: "I am still in a honeymoon with my embryos".
How do I see myself in 10 years? I would like to have my independent research activity, I hope to make important contributions in the scientific community and to help people. This because, I believe that the evolution of our species will reach the next level only if we accept diversities, and if we practice reciprocal help and if we apply rationality in every single decision we make day after day.