Scientific board

Yvan Torrente

Yvan Torrente is Assistant Professor in Neurology at the University of Milan and Neurologist at Policlinico Hospital, Milan. His focuses being research and clinical applications of stem cell for neuromuscular diseases, he is Director of Stem Cell Laboratory at the University of Milan and was Director of Stem Cell Platform at Fondazione Filarete, the incubator of start ups where he matured a more entrepreneurial approach to Life Sciences.

He co-funded the Interdepartmental Center for Stem Cell Research of the University of Milan (UNISTEM) and the European Laboratory for Angiogenesis and Translational research (ELAT).
He has been standing out in the field of stem cell therapies with a particular orientation to Duchenne muscular dystrophy: he coordinated the first phase-I clinical study for the validation of stem cell transplantation in dystrophic patients in 2002 and was awarded a Premio Sapio for Italian research in 2009.

Marzia Belicchi

Marzia Belicchi is biologist at the University of Milan. She carried out her thesis research at the Applied Pharmacology Laboratory of the Department of Pharmacology, University of Milan and this experience led to the prosecution of research activity at the Endocrinology Laboratory of L. Sacco Hospital, Milan. Since 2002, she has been working at Stem Cell Laboratory, directed by Dr. Yvan Torrente, where she is Senior Scientist and coordinates cell culture activity and cytofluorimetry.

She has over 10 years of expertise in primary cell culturing, deepened through many workshops she attended, and significant skills in handling research projects related to stem cell applications for neuromuscular diseases. Among her focuses, there are as well stem cells myogenic potentials, their proliferation and differentiation attitudes and genetic and cellular therapy of myopaties.

Mirella Meregalli

Mirella Meregalli is biologist at the University of Milan and her subject is Toxicology. She originally focused her research activity on genetic and molecular characterization of overload-related diseases at the Department of Internal Medicine. In the latest ten years, she has been collaborating with Dr Yvan Torrente at Stem Cell Laboratory, Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, where she is responsible of molecular biology and immunohistochemistry facilities and involved in the drafting of national and international research grants.

Her commitment is in the field of stem cell therapies, with a particular regard to Duchenne muscular dystrophy: specifically, her expertise has been made available in molecular and cell biology for the realization of a phase I/II clinical study about an autologous transplantation of engineered stem cells in DMD patients.



Pietro Conti

Pietro Conti, MD with a background in management and health economics, co-founded IMS– Istituto di Management Sanitario Srl, a consulting company exclusively operating in the healthcare area, in 2000. In 2007, he founded Sanipedia Srl, with the mission of fostering new entrepreneurial initiatives in Life Science for the transfer of R&D results to the market. During latest years, he co-founded several start ups and academic spin offs, belonging to different Italian Universities, in the following areas: genomic and bioinformatics, cellular models and microfluidic, nutraceutics and probiotics, biotech knowledge transfer to the agro-food market.

He has leaded several projects focused on health services, hospital organization and design of health information systems. His project coordination activity is centered upon providing technical assistance to Health Ministries and other Health Institutions of several Countries. He also gained experience in International Agencies like UNICEF and UNDP.

Sirio Vurro

Sirio Vurro is founder and President of Alfa-CM, a Business Angel Company helping the enhancement of small high tech companies in life sciences field. Before becoming an entrepreneur Sirio has been CEO at Filarete Servizi S.r.l., the operating arm of Filarete Foundation, a 6500 m2 Incubator for start-up and spin-off companies involved in life science Industry.

In the past Sirio has matured a significant industrial experience with more than 25-year career in multinational companies as Head of Strategic Department, Planning and Control Manager and Managing Director of a 150 M Euro Industrial Division.

Sirio was born in Italy in 1958 and holds a degree in Industrial Engineering, a Master in Business Administration and certificates in Strategic Management at Harvard Business School, in Technology Management at MIT and in Strategic Marketing at IMEDE (now IMD).

Naïma Guarrata

Naïma Guarrata holds a degree in Economics from Bocconi University, Milan.
During latest years, she has been working as project manager in the field of stem cell research, collaborating with Dr. Yvan Torrente in the management of national and international scientific initiatives and applications. Her focus has been mainly set upon fundraising activities and research projects coordination from the initial development until final reporting activity.