Alessandra has a Bachelor Degree in Diagnostic Biotechnology from the University of Florence with a molecular biology thesis titled “Role of reactive oxygen species in tumor-stroma interaction”. She also has a Master Degree in Molecular Biotechnology from the University of Pisa with a thesis in biophysics titled “Cross-talk between mechanotransduction and the dopaminergic system: a study by using a human neuronal cell model and nanostructured substrates” which was carried out at the NEST lab, Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa).
Before joining the PHOQUS project, Alessandra worked as a research fellow in the Lab-on-a-chip Group of the National Enterprise for nanoScience and nanoTechnology – Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa).
Role in the Project
Alessandra joined the University of Dundee as a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher on the project PHOtonic tools for Quantitative imaging in tissUeS (PHOQUS). Her work will lead to the design of a biocompatible nanostructure to be employed for in vivo imaging of cancerous cells. Notably, this nanostructure will couple the remarkable optical properties of quantum dots (QDs) and nano-Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (nMIPs) specifically targeting capability for tumor markers recognition. Finally, the aim of the project is to obtain a highly selective target-dependent fluorescence-switching tool for in vivo detection of targeted cells, in a physiopathological environment.
Journal and Conference Papers and Posters
[March 2017] In vivo recognition of human vascular endothelial growth factor by molecularly imprinted polymer. Cecchini, A., Raffa, V., Canfarotta, F., signore, G., Piletsky, S., MacDonald, M.P. and Cuschieri, A. Nano Letters, 17 (4), 2307-2312.
[September 2016] MIPs coupled to quantum dots as tools for the detection of tumour angiogenesis in zebrafish. Poster presented at PHOTON16, Leeds, UK, 5th September 2016.
[August 2016] MIPs coupled to quantum dots as tools for the detection of tumour angiogenesis in zebrafish. Poster presented at the Biophotonic approaches: From molecules to living systems conference, Dundee, Scotland, 23rd August 2016.
[June 2016] MIPs coupled to quantum dots as tools for the detection of tumour angiogenesis in zebrafish. Poster presented at MIP2016, the 9th International Conference on Molecular Imprinting, Lund, Sweden, 29th June 2016.
[April 2016] Fluorescent “Plastic Antibodies” as Nanotools for Cancer Imaging in Zebrafish. Paper presented at 7th International Congress, Nanotechnology in Medicine & Biology, 7th April 2016, Krems, Austria.
[June 2015] Shedding light on cancer: novel hybrid nanomaterial for in vivo imaging. Poster presented at PHOTONEX Scotland, Glasgow, UK, 3rd June 2015.
[April 2015] Plastic antibodies as innovative tool for cancer imaging. Poster presented at BioNanoMed2015, 6th International Congress, Nanotechnology in Medicine & Biology, (15th April 2015) Graz, Austria.
Prizes and Awards
[June 2016] Poster Award at MIP2016.