What do you teach at Ca’ Foscari? What are your main research interests?
I teach Biochemistry in the Bachelor’s Degree in Sustainable Chemistry and Technologies and Biomacromolecular Engineering in the Master’s degree programme in Science and Technology of Bio and Nanomaterials. My research group applies molecular bioengineering techniques (i.e. direct evolution of biomolecules) to develop new recombinant peptides and proteins for treatment and diagnostics. Currently, our research is focused on developing recombinant multi-specificity antibodies for cancer immunotherapy and on generating cyclic peptide inhibitors to treat chronic inflammatory diseases. You can find more information about who we are and what we do on our website: www.angelinilab.com
Tell us about your academic path.
My academic career started at the University of Padua, where I first obtained a degree in Biotechnology (2004) and then a PhD in Biochemistry (2008). During my PhD I had the chance to spend several periods abroad at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in France. From 2008 to 2011, I was a post-doc researcher at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland and from 2012 to 2016 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA. I am currently an associate professor at the Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca' Foscari University of Venice.
What are you most passionate about in your research?
What I am most passionate about in my research is the chance to freely work on topics and issues that I strongly believe in. In my case, it is the chance to participate in the creation of potential therapeutic molecules that can not only advance knowledge but also one day have a positive impact on people's lives.
Can you offer any advice to researchers in the early stages of their career?
I say do not be afraid to make mistakes and always be guided by curiosity and passion. I say try everything to get a job you love. If you haven't found it yet, I say don't settle and keep looking. I am sure they will understand when they have found it. And, as in all great stories, it will get better and better as the years go by.
What does researching mean to you?
It means waking up in the morning and doing what you love. Scientific research is constant sacrifice and hard work, but it also lets you dream and put your ideas into practice. It lets you increase your knowledge by tackling often difficult and highly innovative subjects. It lets you travel and enrich your cultural background by visiting places and meeting people from faraway countries.