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, 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.

Alessandra 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.

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.

Dr. Alberto Antonietti has completed his Ph.D. in Bioengineering in May 2018 (cum Laude), working at the Neuroengineering and Medical Robotics Laboratory of Politecnico di Milano, where he has started my research career in 2013. He carried out his MSc Thesis in the framework of the European project REALNET, developing the neurorobotics interface to test spiking neural network models of the cerebellum, in collaboration with Prof. Egidio D’Angelo at the University of Pavia and with the group of Prof. Eduardo Ros at the University of Granada. After his graduation, he started his Ph.D., working on computational neuroscience topics related to motor learning, in particular on the cerebellum. He has leveraged the realistic models of the cerebellum to investigate the effects of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) on cerebellar learning. The modelling efforts improved the knowledge about the effects of cerebellar TMS on neural processes, suggesting that a main effect on the cerebellar cortex triggered also a compensatory response in the deep cerebellar nuclei. During his Ph.D., he spent 4 months at EPFL and Blue Brain Project laboratories at Geneva to do an internship. He worked in the framework of Human Brain Project (HBP), collaborating in the generation of an integrated version of the cerebellar model in the whole point-neuron reconstruction of the mouse brain. From this collaboration, Politecnico di Milano started the HBP Partnering Project CerebNEST. In 2017, he have started another collaboration with the Danish Technical University (DTU), for the exploitation of the cerebellar network to control other robots (e.g. the fable robot). He is the PI of a project (LSC56-HP10CLALBD) of the Italian supercomputing consortium CINECA, proposed to carry out heavy neural simulations. His contribution to the neuroinformatics field has been recognized by travel grants and awards, among those the “Massimo Grattarola” Price, for the best Ph.D. dissertation in Neuroengineering in 2018. Actually, He is working as a Postdoctoral research fellow, with interests not limited to computational neuroscience topics. He have also participated in other two national projects (ABILITY and USEFUL), focused on technologies for people suffering from neuro/muscular diseases such as dementia and muscular dystrophy. He has been active in scientific communities of neuroinformatics and bioengineering, participating to major international conferences, invited talks and serving as reviewer and technical program member for various journals and conferences. He is also an active member of scientific societies (IEEE, GNB, NEST Initiative) and of the EU Alliance on Artificial intelligence.

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 CerebNESTIn 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

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 Bioengineering 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

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

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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

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

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. 


Alessandro Piantoni

Alessandro Piantoni graduated in MSc Biomedical Engineering in July 2019 at the Politecnico di Milano. He focused her Thesis project on the development of the control system of BRIDGE, an assistive exoskeleton for the upper limb under the supervision of Prof. Alessandra Pedrocchi.
His research activity regards assistive and rehabilitative exoskeletons, in particular on the development of AGREE, an exoskeleton for the rehabilitation and assistance of the upper limb, with a particular focus on control systems.

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