Since I was in secondary school I had a passion for “understanding things”, and I started at a young age dreaming of becoming a scientist. However, at that time I didn’t know what exactly that meant and actually I thought that it wasn’t really possible, just one of those things you can only dream about! Nobody in my big Italian family had a degree, and I was never taught to be ambitious…It took me quite a few years to realise that it was actually possible to become a scientist!
As I was (and still am) very fascinated by human and animal behaviour, I ended up studying psychology at the University of Padova, in Italy. There I discovered that studying behaviour also means understanding the brain, so I gradually moved to the neurosciences, and completed a master and then a PhD at the University of Birmingham (UK).
Events in life and opportunities took me to Essex University, where I started working as a researcher and where I gradually expanded my research work to the areas of Brain-Computer Interfaces and, more recently, AI for cognitive augmentation. These are both highly interdisciplinary areas, spanning across neuroscience, psychology, engineering, computer science, statistics and much more.
I am now a Lecturer in Brain Sciences and Neural Engineering in CSEE, where I work and interact with people with many different backgrounds, which can be challenging but rewarding at the same time as I learn new things all the time.
When I look at young people who are about to make important choices in their life, I want to tell them: “be ambitious, creative, adventurous and open minded, work hard and follow your dreams!”.