I am associate professor at the University of Bologna (Italy). Till October 2016, I was Junior Group Leader at the Department of Biology, University of Düsseldorf (Germany). Previously, I was assistant professor at the Department of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). From 2009 to 2009, I was a Marie Curie IOF researcher in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Balearic Islands (Spain), and in the Helix Group at the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University. I was postdoc for 3 years in the Structural Bioinformatics Unit at CIPF of Valencia (Spain) and 2 years at the University of Bologna (Italy) in the Biocomputing Group. I am PhD in physical sciences from the University of Bologna with scientific background is in Structural Bioinformatics. In the last years my research activity moved toward the study of the effect of SNPs resulting in single amino acid polymorphisms. I applied tools for the analysis of protein three-dimensional structure to predict the effect of single point protein mutations on the protein stability developing machine learning methods to evaluate the free energy change due to a given single amino acid polymorphisms (SAPs). More recently, I have been interested to study the relationship between SAPs and the insurgence of human disease. Using information derived from the protein sequence and structure analysis, I implemented new web server tools to predict disease-related protein variants. During the last years, I participated in the realization of internationals research grants that have been all successfully completed. Currently, the main goal of my research activity consists in the understanding of the relationship between genomic variations and disease using large amount of data derived from high-throughput techniques. I am interested to design new disease-specific algorithms and new tools for the personal genomics and personalized medicine.
I published 43 research articles and 9 reviews in international peer-reviewed journals with impact factor. I also published 17 between book chapters (9) and congress acta (8). Using Google Scholar my papers received more than 4,000 citations corresponding to an h-index of 27. According to Scopus, my papers received more than 3,000 citations corresponding to an h-index of 25. Using Web of Science my articles received more than 2,700 citations corresponding to h-index of 23.
I am member of the International Society of Computational Biology (ISCB). I served as co-chair in the organization of the Personal Genomics session at the Pacific Symposium of Biocomputing (PSB) 2011. I was member of the Data Committee in the first edition of the Critical Assessment of Genome Interpretation (CAGI) 2010. From 2011, in collaboration with Yana Bromberg and Hannah Carter, I organized 6 editions of the VarI-SIG meeting (formerly SNP-SIG) in Vienna (Austria), Long Beach, (California), Berlin (Germany), Boston (Massachusetts), Dublin (Ireland) and Orlando (USA). With Yana Bromberg and Hannah Carter I am co-editor of 5 BMC Genomics special issues publishing selected works among those presented at the VarI-SIG meetings from 2011 to 2015. More information about the VarI-SIG meeting is available at http://varisig.biofold.org. In 2013, I was member of the Proceedings Papers Committee for the ISMB/ECCB Conference. In 2015 I was member of the Late Breaking Research Committee for the ISMB/ECCB Conference. In 2016 I was co-chair of the Disease track for the ISCB Latin American Conference in Buenos Aires (Argentina). I was co-chair of the VarI-COSI session at the ISMB/ECCB Conference, July 21-25, 2017 in Prague (Czech Republic) and at ISMB Conference July 6-10, 2018 in Chicago (IL), USA.