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, 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 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). He has been responsible of grants from Italian Research Ministry, Industrial Companies, Italian Space Agency. In the last years he has been the European Coordinator of three FP7 EU projects in the ICT topic, in the field of the Surgical and Computer assisted Robotics and Assistive and Rehabilitative Robotics (Robocast, Active, Mundus) and PI partner of two Horizon2020 projects in Surgical robotics (SMARTsurg) and DIH in Robotics for Healthcare (DIH HERO). He is associate editor of Computer Methods and Modelling in Medicine and of Frontiers in Neuroscience – Neural Technology. He is serving in the JWG35 and JWG36 ISO standard working groups of the ISO Technical Committee TC 299 (robotics) for Surgical and Rehabilitation Robotics.
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 – nearlab.polimi.it/neuroengineering/ongoing-projects/). 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.
Alice Geminiani obtained the Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering cum laude in April 2015, and the PhD in Bioengineering cum laude in July 2019, at Politecnico di Milano. She has been working in the field of computational neuroscience applied to the cerebellum, with the supervision of Prof. Alessandra Pedrocchi and Eng. Claudia Casellato. During the PhD, she has developed multiscale models of the cerebellar circuit using Spiking Neural Networks, to investigate cerebellar functioning and pathologies, specifically studying the role of complex single neuron dynamics and long-term plasticity in cerebellum-driven motor learning. The research activity has been carried out in close collaboration with the University of Pavia (Prof. Egidio D’Angelo), within CerebNEST, Partnering Project of the Human Brain Project. She has spent periods abroad as a visiting student at the University of Granada – CITIC, during the Master thesis, and the Erasmus Medical Center – Department of Neuroscience, during the PhD. She is currently a PostDoc researcher at the University of Pavia, working on the reconstruction of a full-scale mouse cerebellar model mapped on the Allen Brain Atlas, within the Human Brain Project Voucher Virtual Mouse CerebNEST. In addition, she has been working on projects regarding recordings of in vitro neuronal network activity, in collaboration with San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, and the development of embodied mirroring setups for autistic children therapy, in collaboration with Fondazione Don Gnocchi of Milan and Instituto Superior Técnico of Lisbon.
Davide Di Febbo graduated in M.Sc. Biomedical Engineering in October 2017 and worked as a Research Fellow of the NearLab in the RETRAINER European project (H2020-ICT-2014-1). His task concerned the development of an advanced control system for a Functional Electrical Stimulation-based neuroprosthetics for rehabilitation of the upper limb.
Since May 2018 he is a Bioengineering PhD student in Politecnico di Milano and he is engaged in the MOVECARE project (Horizon 2020) with the aim of applying artificial intelligence methods to smart sensors data, in home environment, to early predict signs of physical and cognitive decline in elders. His research interests also involve the use of machine learning for physical system modelling and control.
Stefano Dalla Gasperina graduated cum laude in MSc Biomedical Engineering in October 2017. Since November 2017 he is PhD student in Biomedical Engineering at the NearLab working with control systems for upper limb personalized robotic exoskeletons. His main research focus regards Rehabilitation and Assistive Robotics with the aim of designing and developing user-centered assistive upper-limb exoskeletons and Human-Machine Interfaces for impaired people. He is now engaged in several projects concerning the development of upper-limb exoskeletons such as the RETRAINER project (H2020), BRIDGE Project (Cariplo) and Empatia@Lecco Project (Cariplo). He is also member of team AGADE that in late 2018 was winner of Switch2Product Innovation Challenge offered by Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with PoliHub the Innovation District & Startup Accelerator and Deloitte.
Linda Greta Dui got a MSc cum laude in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in 2016, with the thesis “Exergames to evaluate speed-accuracy trade off and handwriting characteristics: towards prevention and early identification of Dysgraphia”. She got a Master degree cum laude in Analytics and Business Intelligence at Cefriel in 2018, with the thesis “DataReg – Machine Learning for Value-Based Healthcare”, based on the development of natural language processing techniques applied on electronic health records. In the same years, she worked as a Data Scientist in the healthcare field. She developed machine learning solutions for surgical outcome predictions, data quality and text mining. She’s a Bioengineering PhD student at NearLab (NeuroEngineering And Medical Robotics Laboratory) since November 2018, supervised by professor Simona Ferrante, and she is focusing on Learning Disabilities.
Mattia Pesenti graduated cum laude in Biomedical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano in April 2019. Exploiting the collaboration between the NearLab and the ICube Laboratory at the University of Strasbourg, he moved to France to pursue his master thesis “EMG-driven Human Modeling to Enhance Human-Robot Interaction Control”.
Since November 2019, he is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano and part of the NearLab team. His research project is focused on the development of human-centric, advanced control systems for exoskeletons, exploiting artificial intelligence and machine learning tools.
Valeria Longatelli graduated cum laude in MSc Biomedical Engineering in April 2019 with the thesis “Upper limb assistive devices to help neuromuscular patients in their daily living”. She is now a PhD student in Bioengineering at the Neuroengineering and Medical Robotics Laboratory, and her researches are carried out in collaboration with the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Politecnico di Milano. Her research regards assistive and rehabilitative upper limb exoskeletons, with a particular focus on control systems and on objective and quantitative evaluation protocols of exoskeleton performance. She is engaged in projects concerning the development and evaluation of upper-limb exoskeletons: BRIDGE, Empatia@Lecco, AGREE and USEFUL.
Laura Joana Espinosa Fortes Ferreira Dos Santos
Laura Santos obtained her master degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2018, integrated double degree program between Instituto Superior Técnico in Portugal and Politecnico di Milano in Italy. During the bachelor, she has done a research internship in the field of transcranial direct current stimulation in University of Lisbon. Recently she has been working in Robotics for the motor rehabilitation of children with autism. For this work, she is supervised by Professor José Santos Victor from the VISLAB group in Portugal and Professor Alessandra Pedrocchi from the NEARLAB group in Italy. During this work she is collaborating with two medical units, Fondazione Don Gnocchi in Italy and Associação Portuguesa de Autismo in Portugal.
Alessandra Maria Trapani
Alessandra Maria Trapani is a PhD Student at the Neuroengineering and Medical Robotics Laboratory (Nearlab) since November 2019. She obtained the Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering cum laude at the Politecnico di Milano in July 2019. Her collaboration with Nearlab started with her master thesis, “Transfer Entropy Analysis Of Deep Brain Recordings In Paediatric Dystonic Patients”, during which she was given the opportunity to follow the research activity of the Sangerlab (a facility of University of South California) by analysing a unique dataset comprising neural signals from dystonic patients, implanted with DBS system at Children Hospital of Los Angeles. This thesis project, followed by a short period as a research fellow at the Nearlab, brought her to get passionate about scientific research, in particular about the study of brain connectivity. Her research activity will be focused on design of testing protocols for brain simulation with increasing complexity, under the supervision of prof. Alessandra Pedrocchi.
She is currently working with Dr. Alberto Antonietti, on modelling plasticity in the cerebellum, conveyed by the diffusion of nitric oxide. She is also working with Dr. Alice Geminiani on developing an experimental setup for in-vivo recordings of cerebellar activity from freely-moving mice during behavioural tasks. Both projects are in collaboration with prof. Egidio D’Angelo, University of Pavia.
Monica Parati received the MSc in Biomedical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano (2018), defending a thesis called “cycling induced by functional electrical stimulation in neurological patients: systematic review of the literature and results of a randomized controlled trial”. Since 2018, she works at the Bioengineering Laboratory of IRCCS ICS Maugeri (Milan and Lissone) and at the Neuroengineering and Medical Robotics Laboratory of Politecnico di Milano. Since 2020, she is a Bioengineering PhD student at the Politecnico di Milano and is in charge of practical lessons at the Biomedical Engineering bachelor course “Bio-electromagnetism and Biomedical Instrumentation”. Her research interests cover the field of neurological rehabilitation: from the study of motor learning and motor control in patients affected by sub-acute stroke to wearable sensors and sensorized objects for activities of daily living monitoring in patients with a neurodegenerative disease.
Milad Malavolti graduated in M.Sc. Biomedical Engineering in April 2018 with a thesis entitled “Muscle synergies during rectilinear and curvilinear walking in chronic post-stroke patients and age-matched healthy adults”. Since May 2018 he is working on the MOVECARE project (Horizon 2020) with the aim of developing an intelligent and transparent monitoring system for elders, through the use of a set of smart objects.
Martina Ravizza graduated in MSc Biomedical Engineering in October 2019 at the Politecnico di Milano. Fascinated by human motor learning and biomechanics of movement, she focused her Thesis project on the analysis of countermeasure exercises performed by astronauts during space missions under the supervision of Prof. Giancarlo Ferrigno. Her research activity is centered on the optimization of training conducted on board the International Space Station (ISS) to reduce the musculoskeletal system deconditioning due to weightlessness. She is co-investigator of ARED – Kinematics project, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, that includes experiments on board the ISS. She is involved in MARS – PRE project, funded by Italian Space Agency (ASI), concerning the development of technological solutions based on inertial sensors and machine learning algorithms for cosmonaut’s training monitoring.