ESR introduction and

outline ESR Project 12

Born in Bari, Italy, after her high school diploma Francesca moved to Turin to start her undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering at the Polytechnic of Turin. After obtaining her Bachelor degree, in 2016 she moved to the Netherlands to enroll in the Biomedical Engineering Master’s course at the Delft University of Technology.

During her studies, she developed an interest in regenerative medicine and cardiovascular science. She conducted her Master’s internship at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) in the laboratory of Prof. Justin Cooper-White. She studied the effect of synthetic extracellular-matrix changes on the reprogramming process of human cardiac fibroblasts (hCFBs) into cardiomyocytes (hCMs) and on their transfection efficiency.

Following this experience, she developed her Master’s thesis at the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) in the laboratory of Prof. Marie-José Goumans. She tested the efficacy of an injectable, polymer-based delivery system as transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) carrier for stimulation of the epicardium.

Since November 2019, she is carrying out her PhD research studies at the Humanitas Research Hospital in Milan, in the context of the H2020 TRAIN-HEART project. She is developing inhalable, negatively charged calcium phosphate nanoparticles (CaP-NPs) that will constitute an innovative delivery system for novel RNA therapeutics. This new technology is designed to be eco-friendly, non-invasive, biocompatible and biodegradable. It will improve the pharmacokinetic properties of the encapsulated compound and will create a sustained therapeutic stimulus for the treatment of ischemic cardiac tissue.

Collaborators:

- Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 (group of Prof. Delair, engineering of polymer materials)

- Mirabilis Therapeutics BV (Dr. Wit, pharmaceutical development)

Host Institution

Humanitas Mirasole

ESR: Francesca Cecilia Lauta

Supervisors:

Main supervisor: Prof. Gianluigi Condorelli.

Co-supervisor: Dr Daniele Catalucci.