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Don’t miss the Young Investigator Awards 2021 Symposia

ISSNAF - Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation - confers the Young Investigator Awards every year to outstanding, early-career, Italian researchers working in North America, in recognition of their significant and innovative contributions to their field of study.

Three Finalists for each of the five Awards have been selected from a large pool of outstanding applications. They will present their work at the Award Symposia (details below) during which the distinguished Award Juries will select the winners of the competition.

The Winners will be announced at the ISSNAF Annual Event to be held on December 9, 2021 at 9:00am PST in partnership with the Embassy of Italy in the USA.
Save the date! This event is virtual and open to the public (details appearing soon at www.issnaf.org)


EMBASSY OF ITALY AWARD FOR RESEARCH IN SUSTAINABILITY  

Established in 2020, this year’s edition recognizes young Italian investigators in the USA in the fields of materials, energy, human health, and production processes - both agricultural and industrial - whose work has shown potential for improving global sustainability. 

 

Finalists

  • Marco Giovanni Giometto, Columbia University

  • Matteo Muratori, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

  • Marco Pritoni, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Award Chairs

  • Prof. Daniela Barile, University of California Davis

  • Prof. Alberto Salleo, Stanford

Symposium

 

PAOLA CAMPESE AWARD FOR RESEARCH IN HEMATOLOGIC MALIGNANCIES 

Established by Stefania and Vito Campese in 2011 in memory of their young, talented and generous daughter Paola. 

Finalists

  • Christian Marinaccio, Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute  

  • Daniele Simoneschi, NYU, Grossman School of Medicine 

  • Luca Tottone, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey 

Award Chair

  • Prof. Riccardo Dalla-Favera, Columbia University

Symposium


MARIO GERLA AWARD FOR RESEARCH IN COMPUTER SCIENCE  

Established by the Gerla family in 2019 in memory of Dr. Mario Gerla, professor of Computer Science at UCLA and ISSNAF founding member. 

Finalists

  • Ferdinando Fioretto, Syracuse University

  • Filippo Malandra, University of Buffalo  

  • Sara Rampazzi, University of Florida

Award Chair

  • Prof. Elisa Bertino, Purdue University

Symposium

FRANCO STRAZZABOSCO AWARD FOR RESEARCH IN ENGINEERING

Established in 2013 by the Strazzabosco family in memory of Dott. Ing. Franco Strazzabosco, this award is a tribute to the entrepreneurial courage of Italian engineers who strive to apply scientific discoveries to the public advantage. Note that this year’s edition excludes the fields of engineering specifically covered by the Embassy of Italy Award.

Finalists

  • Francesco Monticone, Cornell University

  • Federico Rossi, Jet Propulsion Laboratory - California Institute of Technology 

  • Bartolomeo Stellato, Princeton University

Award Chair

  • Prof. Marcello Romano, Naval Postgraduate School

Symposium

RnB4CULTURE AWARD FOR INNOVATION IN THE STUDY OF ITALIAN CULTURE

Established this year by RnB4Culture, this award recognizes the vibrancy of research in Italian culture and its evolving nature expressed in a variety of ways such as innovative uses of technology, or originality of approach, or contribution to wider questions and trends in the Humanities at large.

Finalists

  • Giulia Riccò, University of Michigan 

  • Ilaria Tabusso Marcyan, Miami University, Oxford OH 

  • Laura Di Bianco, John Hopkins University 

Award Chair

  • Prof. Claudio Fogu, University of California Santa Barbara

Symposium

FINALISTS

EMBASSY OF ITALY AWARD FOR RESEARCH IN SUSTAINABILITY

Marco Giovanni

Giometto

Biography

Dr. Marco Giometto is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering  Mechanics at Columbia University and a Senior Research Scientist at Amazon. He completed a  joint Ph.D. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Braunschweig TU University and the  University of Florence (2014), and in 2016 he earned a second PhD in Mechanical Engineering from  École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, where he won the EDME Award for the best thesis in  Mechanical Engineering. Before joining Columbia University, Marco held postdoctoral positions at the  University of British Columbia and at the Center for Turbulence Research, which is jointly operated by  Stanford University and NASA Ames. He is the director of the Environmental Flow Physics Laboratory at  Columbia University (https://efpl.engineering.columbia.edu), whose overarching mission is to advance  the fundamental understanding of exchange processes between the earth's surface and the atmosphere.  These processes are key drivers of weather and climate, with critical implications on global sustainability  issues including climate change, urban sprawl, public health, and energy. He pioneered the use of highfidelity fluid dynamic simulations for the study of urban climates and since 2018 has actively contributed  to the Amazon Prime Air program, which will soon impact hundreds of millions of people worldwide.  Marco is also the recipient of the Provost Diversity Award at Columbia University.

Matteo

Muratori

Biography

Matteo Muratori was born and raised in Italy, where he attended Politecnico di Milano and earned a bachelor's and master’s degree cum laude in energy engineering. He continued his education in the United States and earned a second master’s and a Ph.D. degree from The Ohio State University. He is now the Chief Analyst for sustainable transportation at the U.S. Department of Energy and a Team Lead at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). NREL is the United States’ premier laboratory for the research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency and is widely regarded as the world’s leading research institute in this field. Matteo is an active member of the scientific community, serving as an editorial board member for top-tier journals, IPCC and NCA author, and contributing to multiple international efforts.

“Energy is foundational to our lifestyle, providing comfort and services in buildings, efficient industry and manufacturing, communications, mobility, and more. However, today’s energy system is heavily reliant on fossil fuels with major social and environmental implications: air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year, concentrated in disadvantaged communities; water and land are suffering large-scale contamination; and climate change is often referred to as our generation’s biggest challenge. My research focuses on envisioning and developing a sustainable energy system. Over the last decade, I have explored system-level solutions focusing on technology options and policies to support the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles and related infrastructure; large-scale electrification and effective integration of electric vehicles and hydrogen with the electricity grid; and global integrated assessment to develop clean energy transformation strategies. My career has taken me to the U.S., but climate change is a global issue: my work has global impacts and is done in collaboration with international experts. I am also supporting my home country directly by contributing to the Study Commission on "Climate Change, Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility" for the Italian Ministry of Infrastructures and Sustainable Mobility.

Marco

Pritoni

Biography

Marco Pritoni is a Career Research Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he conducts research in the area of advanced controls, interoperability and human factors applied to buildings. His research aims at decarbonizing buildings, which are one of the largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions in the developed world. He leads a team of researchers working on optimization of building operation and building-to-grid interaction. Marco has published more than sixty peer-reviewed papers and he has gained national and international reputation in these areas. Marco has a strong track record of collaboration with other research groups, industry and other project partners, that he leverages when designing new research and applying for new funding. Since his appointment as a scientist, he contributed to writing 15 winning grant proposals, six of which as PI or co-PI. Marco has a multidisciplinary background spanning mechanical engineering, building science, data science and human behavior. He holds a PhD and MS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from UC Davis and MS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Bologna, Italy.

PAOLA CAMPESE AWARD FOR RESEARCH IN HEMATOLOGIC MALIGNANCIES

Christian

Marinaccio

Biography

Christian obtained his bachelor degree and master’s degree in Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine from the University of Bari “Aldo Moro” in 2009 and 2011. He developed his initial interest in hematological malignancies working under the supervision of Prof. Domenico Ribatti and Prof. Giorgina Specchia at Policlinic of Bari. After this experience, he decided to continue his education in the US by joining the Driskill Graduate program in Life Sciences at Northwestern University in Chicago.

During his Ph.D. program at Northwestern University, he joined the laboratory of Prof. John D Crispino which focuses on the study of hematological malignancies both at the basic and translational research level. Specifically, Christian studied the basic mechanisms by which myeloproliferative neoplasms progress to an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia.

After obtaining his Ph.D. in 2021, Christian joined the laboratory of Prof. Scott Armstrong at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School where he studies how epigenetic states of neonatal and adult hematopoietic stem cells affect pediatric and adult leukemia development.

Daniele

Simoneschi

Biography

Daniele was born in Rome, Italy, where he graduated from high school (Liceo Scientifico) and studied music at the Santa Cecilia Music Conservatory. In 2009, Daniele decided to move to the United States where he received a Chairman Award Scholarship from Manhattanville College, graduating first in his class (valedictorian) with a major in biochemistry and two minors: music and mathematics. Upon the completion of his undergraduate studies, Daniele joined the laboratory of Dr. Michele Pagano at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 2020. As a graduate student, Daniele focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which cullin-RING ubiquitin ligases (CRLs) regulate the execution of the cell-division cycle. Specifically, Daniele established that the tumor suppressor AMBRA1 acts as a CRL4 substrate receptor that dictates the specificity towards phosphorylated D-type cyclins during cell-cycle progression, and demonstrated that the deregulation of this pathway contributes to the pathogenesis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States and worldwide. To explore novel oncogenic pathways regulated by CRLs, Daniele first served as a Senior Research Coordinator in the laboratory of Dr. Michele Pagano, and was subsequently appointed to the position of faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, where he currently serves as a Research Assistant Professor

Luca

Tottone

Biography

After obtaining his Master Degree in Medical Biotechnology at Sapienza University, with a thesis centered on the oncogenic role of miR-223 in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL), Luca obtained a PhD in Molecular Medicine under the guidance of Prof. Isabella Screpanti in the Sapienza Molecular Pathology Lab. During his Doctorate, Luca first investigated different strategies aimed to inhibit Notch receptors in T-ALL and later uncovered the epigenetic mechanisms driving aberrant Notch3 expression in this malignancy. After graduating with honors in 2016, he joined the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) where he collaborated with the Sapienza Department of Chemistry and the Department of Molecular Medicine on the identification and patenting of a novel chalcone derivative showing Notch1 inhibiting activity and anti-leukemic potency. In March 2018, Luca joined the Herranz Lab at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) where he pursued his studies in cancer epigenetics by discovering PE, the first major long-distance tumor suppressor enhancer in T-ALL controlling PTEN expression during T-cell differentiation and transformation. Currently at CINJ, Luca is engaged in studying the metabolic and epigenetic mechanisms driving T-ALL resistance in cancer therapy.

“ISSNAF represents an exceptional opportunity to connect and share my experience with the Italian scientific community in the US. We are many, but spread apart in this big Country. In this view, being recognized by ISSNAF as a valuable young researcher represent not only an important achievement for my early scientific career, but also a unique resource of networking, mentoring and standing together.”

MARIO GERLA AWARD FOR RESEARCH IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

Ferdinando

Fioretto

Biography

Dr. Ferdinando Fioretto is an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University. He works on artificial intelligence, differential privacy, and machine learning. Ferdinando's recent work focuses on how to make AI algorithms better aligned with societal values, especially privacy and fairness, and how to use integrate machine learning with optimization to solve for solving complex optimization problems. In particular, Dr. Fioretto has developed algorithms to learn to approximate large-scale discrete or non-linear continuous problems while taking account of the problem's constraints. He is the recipient of the ACP early CAREER research award (2021), a Best AI dissertation award (AI*IA 2017), and several best paper awards.

Filippo

Malandra

Biography

Filippo obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Telecommunications Engineering from Politecnico di Milano in 2008 and 2011, respectively. After a brief work experience in Italy, in 2013, he decided to enrol in a Ph.D. program in electrical engineering at Polytechnique Montreal, under the supervision of Prof. Brunilde Sansò. During his Ph.D. he worked on a multidisciplinary project on the optimal distibuted control of electric water heaters. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2016 and his thesis was recommended for the best thesis award at Polytechnique Montreal.


From 2017 to 2018, he has been a postdoctoral researcher at Polytechnique Montreal. During this time, he conceived a project on the traffic characterization of Machine-to-machine (M2M) traffic and implemented a network simulator to study the impact of M2M traffic on cellular networks. The outcome of this research, funded by Ericsson, was shared on a website accessible at www.trafficm2modelling.com.


In 2019, he was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University at Buffalo (UB), where he founded the Wireless Networks for Smart Systems (WN4SS) Lab with more than 30  undergraduate and graduate students. His main research interests fall within the performance analysis and design of wireless networks to enable smart systems, such as smart grids, smart cities or the Internet of Things. Filippo is the recipient of several awards and PIs of a number of research grants, funded from NSF, US Ignite, and Schmidt Futures. He is leading one of the 7 projects selected as part of the OVERCOME initiative, with the overarching goal of bridging the digital divide in underserved and underrepresented communities. In this project, the goal is to build a private LTE network to provide broadband Internet connectivity in a neighborhood in Buffalo where 70% of the residents lack an affordable and reliable Internet access.

Sara

Rampazzi

Biography

Dr. Sara Rampazzi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) at University of Florida. She obtained her Ph.D. in Computer Science Engineering at University of Pavia, Italy. Her research focuses on the security and privacy of cyber-physical systems with applications in Healthcare, Autonomous Systems, and the Internet of Things. Her research on injecting inaudible and invisible commands to smart home devices, phones, has been covered by several media outlets, such as NY Times, CNN, and Wired. Her work on Lidar spoofing attacks on autonomous vehicles has been recognized by Forbes as the first practical attack against LiDAR-based perception of autonomous driving systems. She received the Medtronic Outstanding Research Contributor Recognition after discovering a vulnerability in pacemakers, and the Facebook award "Explorations of Trust in AR, VR, and Smart Devices". Her research on secure N95 masks decontamination processes and the security of the vaccine cold chain during the Covid-19 pandemic has been sponsored by NSF (https://sararampazzi.com/). “The ISSNAF program is a great opportunity for networking and sharing knowledge with the Italian research community. I hope to help Italian students to build their careers in the US as a mentor for ISSNAF.

FRANCO STRAZZABOSCO AWARD FOR RESEARCH IN ENGINEERING

Francesco

Monticone

Biography

Francesco Monticone is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University. He received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. (summa cum laude) degrees from Politecnico di Torino, Italy, in 2009 and 2011, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 2016, where he was advised by Prof. Andrea Alù. Francesco joined the faculty of Cornell University in 2017 and is also currently serving as Chief Scientific Officer of Heat Inverse, a startup company based in Ithaca, NY. Francesco has authored and co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed scientific contributions and has given over 50 invited talks and seminars. His current research interests are in the areas of applied electromagnetics, metamaterials and metasurfaces, and theoretical/computational nanophotonics. His work is motivated both by fundamental scientific questions about wave-matter interaction and novel applications in a range of areas including information processing, communication, sensing and imaging, defense, and energy. Francesco has received several research and teaching awards, including the Michael Tien ’72 Sustained Excellence and Innovation in Engineering Education Award from Cornell University (2020), the Leopold B. Felsen Award for Excellence in Electrodynamics (2019), the AFOSR Young Investigator Program Award (YIP) from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (2018), and the Inaugural Margarida Jacome Dissertation Award from The University of Texas at Austin (2017).

Federico

Rossi

Biography

Dr. Federico Rossi is a Robotics Technologist with the Maritime and Multi-Agent Autonomy Group within the Robotics section of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He received a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University under the guidance of Prof. Marco Pavone in 2018 with a thesis "On the Interaction between Autonomous Mobility-on-Demand Systems and the Built Environment: Models and Large Scale Coordination Algorithms". Prior to that, Federico received a dual M.Sc. in Space Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and Politecnico di Torino, Italy, in 2013. He is an alumn of the Alta Scuola Politecnica. Federico's research focuses on the design and development of algorithms that make teams of autonomous robots work effectively together. Applications of his work include planetary exploration with teams of autonomous robots and spacecraft, and coordination of fleets of self-driving cars for autonomous mobility-on-demand in urban environments. Federico is currently the Planning, Scheduling, and Execution lead for NASA's CADRE, a technology demonstration mission that is slated to demonstrate multi-robot exploration on the surface of the Moon with a team of four autonomous rovers in 2024.

Bartolomeo

Stellato

Biography

Bartolomeo Stellato is an Assistant Professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University. Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Associate at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Operations Research Center. He received his D.Phil. (Ph.D.) in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford as part of the Marie Curie EU project TEMPO. He holds a M.Sc. from ETH Zurich and a B.Sc. from Politecnico di Milano. Bartolomeo Stellato is the recipient of the 2020 Best Paper Award in Mathematical Programming Computation, the 2020 INFORMS Pierskalla Best Paper Award, and the 2017 First Place Prize Paper Award in IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics. His research focuses on data-driven computational tools for mathematical optimization, machine learning, and optimal control.

RnB4CULTURE AWARD FOR INNOVATION IN THE STUDY OF ITALIAN CULTURE

Giulia

Riccò

Biography

Giulia Riccò is Assistant Professor of Italian in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan. In 2019, she received her PhD from Duke University, where she was trained in both Italian and Brazilian Studies. Her book manuscript, tentatively titled "New World Italians," traces the discursive production of a modern, racialized Italian identity in São Paulo, Brazil. Her articles, book chapters, and essays have appeared in Cultural Dynamics, Forum Italicum, Radical History Review, Literature and (Im)migration in Brazil, and Public Books. She is the co-founder of the Transnational Italian Studies Working Group and the co-editor of H-Net ItalianDiaspora.

Ilaria

Tabusso Marcyan

Biography

Ilaria Tabusso Marcyan holds a Ph.D. in Italian Studies and Comparative Literature from the University of California, San Diego and is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Italian at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she also coordinated in 2020 the Institute for Food Farm, a Provost Interdisciplinary Innovation project to engage the Miami University community around issues of food, health, and sustainable agriculture. Her research investigates how a comparative perspective on Italian farming and contemporary food cultures can help reframe current global environmental, ecological, social, and ethical issues related to landscape, agriculture and what she calls “new farmers”. Her article on Slow Food and Terra Madre with a conversation with Carlo Petrini was published in 2018 in the volume Italy and the Environmental Humanities. She is one of the editors of the forthcoming volume titled Contesting Extinctions: Decolonial and Regenerative Futures. Tabusso Marcyan is currently working on a manuscript on Italian resistance and food justice.

Laura

Di Bianco

Biography

Laura Di Bianco is an Assistant Professor of Italian Studies at Johns Hopkins University whose research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of Italian studies, film studies, women’s and gender studies, and environmental humanities.

In 2020, she was awarded the Lauro De Bosis Fellowship at Harvard University, supporting her research on Italian cinema and ecology; in the same year, she was the recipient of the Bogliasco Fellowship in the Humanities.

Her first book project Wandering Women. Urban Ecologies of Italian Feminist Filmmaking, (Forthcoming 2022, Indiana University Press) investigates the work of contemporary Italian women directors from a feminist and ecocritical perspectives.

Laura was born and raised around Rome, earning a laurea in Philosophy and Literature at Roma Tre. She did her graduate studies in New York, earning her PhD in Comparative Literature with an Italian Specialization from the Graduate Center, City University of New York, in 2015.

At Johns Hopkins, Laura teaches classes of Italian cinema, modern and contemporary Italian literature and ecocriticism, and she is the co-editor of the academic journal MLN (Modern Language Notes).