Personalised medicine (PM) is a novel approach to medical care that customises each treatment not just to the disease but also to the patient. While the advantages of this framework are widely recognised and its development is acknowledged as a fundamental societal challenge by the H2020 program, clinical applications are still limited, due to the increased complexity and costs, with respect to the current standard of care. ITHACA aims at developing an innovative PM toolkit that, relying on an advanced computational simulator, innovative in-vitro techniques and standard clinical data could provide an efficient and ethical framework for the screening of different ovarian cancer therapies and the identification of the most effective for each subject. This project builds on my experience with computational modelling and multidisciplinary research environments, to develop a programmable in-silico simulator capable of reproducing the patient-specific response to standard and novel ovarian cancer treatments. This tool will be extensively validated with both standard and primary cell lines and will then be used to determine patient-specific therapy outcome (RECIST 1.1 criteria) in women affected by ovarian cancer. Additionally it will be integrated in a novel bioreactor system for the in-vitro study of metastasization in HGSC. This compound device will allow for automatic treatment optimisation within an accurate and unique experimental model for this disease, and will thus provide an effective platform for personalised treatments development. Funding of this action will be a fundamental opportunity of career development, that will support my training in a highly innovative, interdisciplinary field while fostering the achievement of professional independence. Additionally the results of ITHACA will lead to high profile, impactful publications and provide the scientific community with enabling tools for the extensive application of PM in the clinic.
Across the world, state borders are being increasingly militarised and migrants funnelled into more and more hazardous terrains such as oceans, mountain ranges and deserts. In the last few years alone, several thousands have died while crossing these hostile environments, whose material geographies are harnessed as crucial tools of border control. At the same time, across and beyond urban geographies in the Global North, a generalised atmosphere of hostility has led to shrinking forms of social protection for those classified as outsiders, with legislation passed to deny migrants access to work, housing, services and education. This project sets out to reframe the notion of “hostile environment”, first introduced in the migration debate in the UK in 2012 to refer to such anti-migrant laws, as a conceptual and analytical lens to capture these distant but interconnected processes, whereby “natural” and civic spaces alike have been weaponised by extractive processes, surveillance technologies, border control practices and bureaucratic protocols. Going beyond the catastrophist and security-oriented perspectives that dominate these debates, HEMIG will develop arts-based strategies of spatial and visual analysis to capture the entangled nature of border and environmental violence and its harmful effects. A multidisciplinary team will focus on three border environments located along a typical migrant trajectory linking Sub-Saharan Africa to northern Europe. Using a unique combination of methods (big/small data, high/low tech tools and remote/field research), as well as involving affected communities and partner organisations in each location, the project will introduce new cutting-edge visualisation and mapping techniques to analyse these phenomena. In this way, it will also produce new conceptual grounds for rethinking the relation between environment and migration, intervening in public debates on the human and environmental cost of border control.
The AlchemEast project is devoted to the study of alchemical theory and practice as it appeared and developed in distinct, albeit contiguous (both chronologically and geographically) areas: Graeco-Roman Egypt, Byzantium, and the Near East, from Ancient Babylonian times to the early Islamic Period. This project combines innovative textual investigations with experimental replications of ancient alchemical procedures. It uses sets of historically and philologically informed laboratory replications in order to reconstruct the actual practice of ancient alchemists, and it studies the texts and literary forms in which this practice was conceptualized and transmitted. It proposes new models for textual criticism in order to capture the fluidity of the transmission of ancient alchemical writings. AlchemEast is designed to carry out a comparative investigation of cuneiform tablets as well as a vast corpus of Greek, Syriac and Arabic writings. It will overcome the old, pejorative paradigm that dismissed ancient alchemy as a "pseudo-science", by proposing a new theoretical framework for comprehending the entirety of ancient alchemical practices and theories. Alongside established forms of scholarly output, such as critical editions of key texts, AlchemEast will provide an integrative, longue durée perspective on the many different phases of ancient alchemy. It will thus offer a radically new vision of this discipline as a dynamic and diversified art that developed across different technical and scholastic traditions. This new representation will allow us to connect ancient alchemy with medieval and early modern alchemy and thus fully reintegrate ancient alchemy in the history of pre-modern alchemy as well as in the history of ancient science more broadly.
LAREGRE takes into account all documentary papyri from IV to VII AD Egypt, which contain passages in the Latin language, be they simple characters, words, phrases, or full texts (about 400 manuscripts). These documents will be investigated within the larger frame of Late Antique Egypt, the Late, and the Eastern Roman Empire. The core questions of this study are i) how the central government (first that of Rome, than that of Constantinople as the Empire fragmented) used the Latin language in the Egyptian provinces to enhance its power and authority; and ii) how people in Egypt reacted to the cultural and political decline of Rome, hitherto the centre of Roman power and the symbol of Western rule. The project addresses sets of documents so far understudied and fills a long-standing gap in scholarship; it stems from my experience as a scholar and interpreter of Latin texts on papyrus within the ERC-funded project PLATINUM (2015-2021), which has contributed to re-assess the historical importance of manuscripts, such as Latin papyri, potsherds or tablets from Egypt and the Mediterranean basin, usually overlooked or understudied. Employed methodologies will combine papyrological and palaeographical analysis on the manuscripts – which will be greatly improved at the Center for the Tebtynis Papyri in Berkeley – with historical investigation on the texts and contexts gathered from those very manuscripts, to be decidedly enhanced by the final year of the Fellowship at the DISCI in Bologna. The success of this project will improve my professional profile into a more complete scholar, and will boost my chances of getting a tenure-track position within the DISCI itself.