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LA Chapter

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About LA

We are the ISSNAF network in the greater Los Angeles area. We create networking opportunities, foster collaboration, and celebrate the accomplishments of the Italian diaspora.

 

The Los Angeles Chapter, founded in 2022, connects a community of about 250 people working as researchers, scholars, and technologists in universities, hospitals, NASA laboratories and private companies across the greater Los Angeles area, at all career levels and in all disciplines.

Executive Committee

Chair

STEFANO MORELLINA

Spacecraft Thermal Systems Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, working on the Mars Sample Return and SWOT missions. Flight Crew member of the Airborne Snow Observatory. Lead engineer for R&D of several systems, including ultra-isolation systems for Lunar missions. Holds a Master of Science in Astronautical and Space Engineering from Sapienza University of Rome, a Master of Engineering and a Master of Research from ISAE-SUPAERO of Toulouse.

MASSIMO CIAVOLELLA

Former Director of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian literature. He taught at Carleton University (Ottawa) and University of Toronto. Author and co-editor of several works in the field of medical humanities and Renaissance Italian theater. Grande Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana. He studied at the University of Bologna and Rome, and received a doctorate in Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

STEFANO DA SACCO

Assistant Professor at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. Former postdoctoral fellow at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Holds a PhD in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine obtained in a collaborative effort between the University of Padova (Italy) and the University of Southern California.

Co-chair

LAURA PERIN

Associate Professor at University of Southern California, Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Director of the GOFARR Laboratory. Holds a PhD in Tissue Engineering from the Harvard Medical School and University of Padova.

GIOVANNI CACCIAMANI

Surgeon and physician-scientist. Associate Professor of Urology and Radiology at the University of Southern California, Co-Director of the Artificial Intelligence Center for Surgical and Clinical Application in Urology and Vice-chair of the Research Council at the Department of Urology of USC. Works on Oncological diseases, Patients safety, and AI applications in healthcare. Holds a Medical Degree, a MS in Medicine and Surgery, and completed a Urology residency at the University of Verona. Completed a Minimally Invasive Surgery Research fellowship at USC.

MARZIA POLITO

Senior Staff Software Engineer and a Manager at Google, working on Google Lens to help users search what they see. Former Senior Research Manager at Amazon Web Services, co-founder of a start-up, and Research Scientist at Intel Corporation. Expert of algorithms, infrastructure and platform building.
Holds a Bachelor in Mathematics from the Università degli Studi di Firenze, a PhD in Mathematics from Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, and was a PostDoc at California Institute of Technology.

Header Photo Attribution: Alek Leckszas - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0