Lab members



Giancarlo Ferrigno, IEEE Senior Member, MSc in Electronic Engineering in 1983, PhD in Bioengineering in 1990. After six years as senior researcher in
a private foundation started his academic career at Politecnico di Milano University where he is today Full Professor in the Electronic Information and Bioengineering Department (DEIB) (Assistant Professor in 1990, Associate Professor in 1998 and Full Professor in 2001).

He was vice president of the BSc and MSc programs in Biomedical Engineering, chaired the PhD program in Bioengineering from 2001 to 2004. From 2004 to 2006 he was appointed director of the Politecnico di Milano PhD
School. From 2007 to 2009 he directed the Bioengineering Department. From 2016 he is chair of Bioengineering division of the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering. In 2008 he founded the Neuroengineering and Medical Robotics Laboratory. He has taught several courses in the field of artificial intelligence, biosensors, robotics and basic biomedical engineering since 1994. He organized and directed the one-year Master in Technologies for surgery in 2006. He has carried out scientific activity regarding the application of computer science, system and control engineering and electronic technologies to the study of biological systems, in particular of sensory-motor coordination in man and, more recently, medical robotics (for surgery and rehabilitation).

image001Alessandra Pedrocchi, associate professor and research leader of the Neuroengineering Section of the Nearlab. She has a master degree cum laude in Electronic Engineering and a PhD in Bioengineering. She currently teaches Neuroengineering to Master students and Medical Instrumentation to Undergraduate students of the Biomedical Engineering School at the Politecnico di Milano. She is co-author of more than 80 peer-reviewed papers, international conference proceedings and book chapters (ORCID  Her research interests include: experimental and simulation studies on motor control and motor learning, with special focus on cerebellum network, and design of robots and  neuroprostheses for the rehabilitation and assistance of neurological people. She was Project manager of MUNDUS (ICT FP7) and PI for POLIMI of REALNET (FET PROACTIVE FP7), EU Ms ART (LLL-FP7), and for a national Project (PRIN). She is currently PI for POLIMI for RETRAINER project (ICT IA H2020) and of the NIH Biofeedback grant (Eunice Kennedy Shriver).


Simona Ferrante, PhD in Bioengineering (2006), MSc in Biomedical Engineering (2002), assistant professor at Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering at Politecnico di Milano. She works at the NeuroEngineering And medical Robotics laboratory in the Neuroengineering section as the research leader of the Functional Electrical Stimulation group. She teaches Medical Informatics at Biomedical Engineering MSc and Electronics Technologies in biomedical engineering, a Bioengineering PhD course.   Her main research interests are: the design and clinical translation of immersive devices based on the integration of functional electrical stimulation and robotic systems for the rehabilitation of neurological patients; the investigation of neurophysiological and cortical correlates to functional improvement due to rehabilitation; the modelling of healthcare processes in the Unified Modeling Language. She has been involved in two main projects in the field of neurorehabilitation and assistive living: the RETRAINER European project (H2020-ICT-2014-1), the MUNDUS european project (FP7 ICT-2009.7.2). She is the PI of a project for young researcher funded by the Ministry of Health (2012-15). She is the author of about 55 peer reviewed international papers published in journal indexed by Database Scopus/Isi Web of Knowledge.


Claudia Casellato obtained the PhD degree in Bioengineering in 2011 at the Politecnico di Milano. She spent several periods abroad for education (International program ERASMUS/SOCRATES at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology) and for research collaborations (Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France; CITIC-University of Granada, Spain). She worked as post-doc fellow at NeuroEngineering and medicAl RoboticsLab, of the Dept. of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, at the Politecnico di Milano. She joined, as co-investigator, EU grants MUNDUS (ICT GA 248326) and REALNET (FET Proactive GA 270434), international research projects on Space Human Physiology funded by the Space Agencies (Italian, European and NASA), clinical and research trials funded by NIH (1R01HD081346-01A1).  She is currently Assistant Professor at the Dept. of Brain and Behavioral Sciences of the University of Pavia, working in the EU flagship of Human Brain Project. Her research interests and activities have been and are oriented to deal with the fascinating topic of “human motor learning”, by tackling the issue both through a macroscopic approach, i.e. experimental set-up and protocols able to detect and interfere with the learning process in physio and pathological conditions, and through a microscopic approach, i.e. computational neural models embedded in behavioral loops, able to implicitly generate high-level motor functions from elementary neural features and circuit mechanisms, in physio and pathological conditions as well.


Emilia Ambrosini  is Assistant Professor at Politecnico di Milano. She received her Master Degree com laude in Biomedical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano in 2007 and her PhD degree com laude in Bioengineering in 2011. In 2009, she spent 9 months at the Technische Universitat of Berlin (Dr. T. Schauer), in order to develop control systems for neuroprosthesis. In 2013, she visited the Neuroplasticity & Neurorehabilitation Laboratory of the University of Birmingham (Dr. M.J. Grey), where she was focused on the development of novel methods based on Transcranial Megnetic Stimulation to evalutate cortical plasticity. Since 2011, she carried on her research activity at NearLab (Neuroengineering and Medicaal Robotics Laboratory, directed by Prof. G. Ferrigno) and she has been involved in several national (ricerca Finalizzata GR, project PRIN) and international projects (MUNDUS, EU-FP7 ICT; RETRAINER, H2020 IA ICT; MOVECARE, H2020 ICT; NIH Biofeedback for CP). Her research interests are the development of novel methods for functional electrical stimulation and robotic systems for rehabilitation and/or daily life assistance of neurological patients, the development of advanced methods to quantitatively assess the effects of rehabilitative programs both in terms of functional gains and neural correlates, the design and implementation of randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews to promote evidence-based approaches in rehabilitation. She is co-author of 36 papers in international journals indexed in Scopus (H-index 11, Sept 2017). Since 2014, she has been lecturer assistant for the Biomedical Instrumentation course within the Bachelor Degree in Biomedical Engineering.

Post Doc


Marta Gandolla (MSc in Biomedical Engineering in 2009 and European PhD cum laude in Bioengineering in 2013 from Politecnico di Milano) is a Post-Doc Research Fellow at the Neuroengineering and Medical Robotics Laboratory since 2013. In 2011 she was a visiting PhD student at the Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience of the UCL Institute of Neurology (London, UK), under the supervision of Dr. N Ward, working on fMRI images and data analysis. She was involved in the European project MUNDUS (FP7 ICT 2009-4; grant agreement no.: 248326), Think and Go project (funded by Regione Lombardia – POR FSE 2007/2013), and Ability project (co-funded by Regione Lombardia within the Smart Cities and Smart Communities funding program; MIUR-POR LOMBARDY – ASSE 1 POR FESR 2007-2013) projects. She is currently involved in different projects dealing with upper limbs exoskeletons development and evaluation (USEFUL, BRIDGE, EMPATIA – Moreover, she is involved in research about visual-motor coordination and motor learning in children affected by autism spectrum disorder; longitudinal fMRI data activity and connectivity analysis; muscular and central nervous system mechanism of adaptation in neurological patients using Ekso. Her research interest is about the design of innovative methods based on electrical stimulation and/or robotic systems for the rehabilitation and assistance of neurological patients. Moreover, she is interested in central mechanisms of neurological rehabilitation and re-learing.

Francesca Lunardini received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Biomedical Engineeering at the Politecnico di Milano. Her collaboration with the Nearlab started during her undergraduate program with a study on children affected by dystonia. Her interests toward pediatric movement disorders led her to Los Angeles where, in collaboration with the Sangerlab of the University of Southern California and Children’s Hospital, she worked on her Master Project “The effect of vibro-tactile biofeedback in childhood dystonia”, which was awarded with the highest grade.
In November 2012, she was awarded a ministerial scholarship and she started her PhD in Bioengineering at the Politecnico di Milano. Her PhD Thesis was co-supervised by Professor Terence D Sanger of the University of Southern California. Francesca’s doctoral program mainly focused on methods and electromyographic-based technologies, namely biofeedback training and robotic control, to study and train motor learning and motor control in children affected by movement disorders, with particular attention to dystonia and cerebral palsy. Francesca received a PhD cum laude in Bioengineering in May 2016.
She then moved to Northeastern University (Boston) for a post-doc fellowship in motor control supervised by Professor Dagmar Sternad. Here research topics included the use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and the analysis of muscle synergies to investigate motor learning of complex tasks.
In April 2017, she moved back to Nearlab for a postdoc fellowship in the framework of the MOVECARE project (Horizon 2020) to develop a multi-actor platform for transparent monitoring and assistance of the elder at home.

foto_AlphaAlberto Antonietti graduated in B.Sc. Automation Engineering in September 2011, then he graduated in M.Sc. Biomedical Engineering in December 2013 with a dissertation thesis on: “Cerebellum inspired spiking Neural Network to control a robotic platform in human-like testing paradigms”. He developed his thesis in the “NeuroEngineering and medicAl RoboticsLab” of the Politecnico di Milano, under the supervision of Eng. Claudia Casellato and Prof. Alessandra Pedrocchi. He worked as a Research Fellow of the Nearlab in the European Project REALNET (FP7-ICT270434) in collaboration especially with the University of Pavia and the University of Granada. His research topics regards Neurorobotics and realistic neuronal modeling using artificial spiking neural networks. Since November 2014 he is a Bioengineering PhD student in the “NeuroEngineering and medicAl RoboticsLab” of the Politecnico di Milano, his research interests regards Neurorobotics, realistic neuronal modeling using artificial spiking neural networks and neuro rehabilitation.

PhD students

FototesseraElisabetta Peri received her MsC in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in 2013 and she is a PhD student at the NeuroEngineering and Medical Robotics Laboratory since November 2013.  Her research interests include the design of innovative methods to improve the rehabilitation process and the evaluation of its effects on both adults and children with neuro-motor disorders, dealing with different technologies as functional electrical stimulation, rehabilitation robots and the Transcrianial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).  She collaborates with Scientific Institutes S. Maugeri Foundation (Lissone, Monza e Brianza, Italy) and E. Medea (Bosisio Parini, Lecco, Italy).


Alice Geminiani got her Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in April 2015. She started working at the NEARLab with the supervision of Prof. Alessandra Pedrocchi and Eng. Claudia Casellato for her Master’s thesis, entitled “Spiking Neural Network with distributed plasticity to model physiological and pathological cerebellum: validation of learning features over different tasks”. She developed her work in collaboration with the University of Pavia and the University of Granada, where she spent one month as a visiting student.  She is a Bioengineering PhD student of Politecnico di Milano at the NEARLab since November 2015, and her research concerns computational neuroscience, focusing on realistic Spiking Neural Networks, plasticity mechanisms and single neuron models with the final goal to simulate and investigate pathological conditions involving cerebellar damages.

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