Ilaria Tonazzini

Short Bio

2019- present: Researcher at the Nanoscience Institute-CNR @ Laboratorio NEST (National Enterprise for nanoScience and nanoTechnology), Pisa (IT). Responsible of the Cell and Tissue Culture facilities of the Institute.

2018- 2019: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Individual fellowship @ Dept. Neuroscience, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam (NL), in the lab of Prof. Y. Elgersma.

2015- 2017: Post-doctoral Fellowship grants of Fondazione Umberto Veronesi, at Nanoscience Institute-CNR @ Laboratorio NEST, Pisa (IT).

2010- 2014: Post-doc position at Scuola Normale Superiore, Laboratorio NEST, Pisa (IT).

2011: European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Short-term fellowship at Dept. Neuroscience, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam (NL).

2007- 2009: Post-doc position at Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati (ISMN)-CNR, Bologna (IT).

2005- 2006: Marie Curie PhD fellowship at the Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience (Prof. L.H. Bergersen and J. Storm Mathisen), University of Oslo (NO).

2005: PhD visiting student at the Dept. of Physiology and Pharmacology (Prof. B. Fredholm), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm (SE).

2004- 2007: PhD in Drugs' Science, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Pisa (IT).

1998- 2003: Specialistic (Master) Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology (CTF), University of Pisa (IT).

Research Interests

My main research interest focuses on the development of biocompatible nanostructured materials to heal the peripheral nervous system (e.g. scaffolds for nerve regeneration) and to cure and study central nervous system diseases (e.g. neurodevelopmental disorders, neurodegenerative diseases). I am interested in the study of cell-environment interactions and extracellular sensing of neuronal cells, working in the borderlands between different disciplines (e.g. biochemistry, neuroscience, material science, regenerative medicine). My research activity aims to explore the processes that regulate the adhesion, growth, migration and connectivity of neural cells in physiological and pathological conditions (e.g. nerve trauma, UBE3A-related neurodevelopmental disorders, leukodystrophies), by exploiting nano/micro-structured materials, cellular biology and high-resolution microscopies. My present research focuses on the development of nanovectors for the non-invasive delivery of drugs (e.g. molecules, oligonucleotides, enzymes) to the brain.

Selected Recent Projects

Innovative brain-targeting nano-tools and imaging methods for therapeutic development in Angelman Syndrome (InnovAS) – financed by Angelman Syndrome Alliance- project call 2021.
Isolamento e caratterizzazione molecolare di esosomi neurali in modelli di disturbi del Neurosviluppo (END) (financed by Regione Toscana- Bando Assegni di ricerca anno 2021, and Fondazione Pisana per la Scienza)
Touch on a chip (TOAC) - financed by MUR, PRIN Bando 2020.
Nanoparticle based Enzyme Replacement Therapy for the treatment of Krabbe disease: a pre-clinical study in the Twitcher mouse (nanoERT) (financed by European Leukodystrophy Association (ELA) International Grant, ELA 2019-008I2)
Study of neuronal sensing and migration/guidance dynamics in neurodevelopmental disorders by nano-engineered chips (NEUROGUIDE) (financed by H2020 Marie Curie Individual Fellowship 2017)

Selected Publications