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Michela Chiappalone

Project Coordinator & IIT Principal Investigator

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  • Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)
    Via Morego 30
  • Genova
  • 16163
  • Italy


  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • +39 010 70781 743
  • +39 010 70781 230

Miscellaneous Information

Michela Chiappalone graduated in Electronic Engineering (summa cum laude) at the University of Genova in 1999 and obtained a PhD in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science from the same University in 2003. In 2002, she was visiting scholar at the Dept. of Physiology of the Northwestern University (Chicago, IL, USA), under the supervision of Prof F.A. Mussa-Ivaldi.

From 2003 to 2006 she got a fellowship from the University of Genova ('Assegno di ricerca'), under the supervision of Prof. S. Martinoia.

Since 2007, she has been senior post-doc at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in the Neuroscience and Brain Technologies Dept., NeuroTech Unit led by Prof. J. A. Assad.

Research Highlights

- 33 papers published in International Journals in different fields [biomedical engineering and biophysics (12), neuroscience (12), computer science, artificial intelligence (9)].

- H-index 13 (updated January 2012, from Scopus and ISI Web of Science).

- A total of 474 citations (Scopus data, March, 2012).

- A total of 23 invited talks.

Michela Chiappalone is co-author of 5 book chapters, 24 papers in International Conference Proceedings (peer-review), 47 abstracts/papers presented at International Conferences/Workshops/Meetings (not peer reviewed).

Research Interests

- Neurodynamics of neuronal assemblies.

- Plasticity, adaptation and learning in in vitro brain models.

- Brain-Machine Interfaces, BMIs.

- Design and development of algorithms for multichannel data analysis.


In past years, Michela Chiappalone was involved in two EU-funded projects ('A bioartificial brain with an artificial body: training a cultured neural tissue to support the purposive behavior of an artificial body' - NEUROBIT; 'Imaging device for electrophysiological activity monitoring of neuronal cell cultures' – IDEA). Additionally, she was involved in several National projects.

Currently she is involved in the following projects:

- Linking biological and artificial neuronal assemblies to restore lost brain functions: towards the design of innovative bi-directional neuroprostheses – BRAIN-BOW, European Union 'FET Open Young Explorers', started 01-02-2012. Role: coordinator of the project and PI for the IIT unit. Four partners.

- Towards new Brain-Machine Interfaces: state-dependent information coding – SI-CODE, European Union 'FET Open', started 01-03-2012. Role: investigator in the IIT unit. Five partners.

Awards and Honors

- October 2002, Rome (Italy).Finalist of the 'FOCUS Award 2002', promoted by the Italian scientific magazine FOCUS, with a project entitled 'Neuro-electronic approach for in vitro investigations'.

- September 2004, Milan (Italy). Winner of the 5th edition of the 'Design - in Award' with a project entitled 'Neuro-electronic solutions for Neuroengineering'.

- September 2004, Brixen (Italy).Winner of the 'PATRON PhD Award' for the best Italian PhD dissertation in the bioengineering field, assigned by the National Bioengineering Group (GNB).

- June 2009. Cover of the International Journal 'Cerebral Cortex'(number 19, issue 6), related to my publication Chiappalone et al., 2009.

- May 2011. Finalist of the ERC 2011 competition and invited for an interview at the ERCEA (Brussels).

- September 2011. Coordinator of the first ever funded EU project in the call 'Future and Emerging Technologies – FET Young Explorers', winner out of 86 proposals.

Teaching Activity

- Spring semester 2003, 2007, 2008: Teaching assistant 'Methods and techniques for neuroengineering' (University of Genova).

- Fall semester 2003, 2004: Teaching assistant 'Bioelectronics' (University of Genova).

- Spring semester 2009: Professor of the integrative course 'Techniques for the analysis of multichannel neuronal signals' (20 hours), part of the course of 'Methods and techniques for neuroengineering' (University of Genova).

- Spring semester 2010, Spring semester 2011: Professor of the integrative course 'Techniques for the analysis of multichannel neuronal signals' (30 hours), part of the course of 'Neuroengineering and computational neuroscience' (University of Genova).

- June 2010, July 2011: Lecturer of 'Signal processing tools for multi-electrode data' (8 hours), a course directed to the students of the PhD school in Humanoid Technologies (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia).

Most relevant publications

  1. Frega M, Pasquale V, Tedesco M, Marcoli M, Contestabile A, Nanni M, Bonzano L, Maura G, and Chiappalone M. Cortical cultures coupled to Micro-Electrode Arrays: a novel approach to perform in vitro excitotoxicity testing. Neurotoxicology & Teratology, 34: 116-127, 2012.
  2. Bologna LL, Pasquale V, Garofalo M, Gandolfo M, Baljon PL, Maccione A, Martinoia S, and Chiappalone M. Investigating neuronal activity by SPYCODE multichannel data analyzer. Neural Networks, 23: 685-697, 2010.
  3. Mussa-Ivaldi FA, Alford ST, Chiappalone M, Fadiga L, Karniel A, Kositsky M, Maggiolini E, Panzeri S, Sanguineti V, Semprini M, and Vato A. New perspectives on the dialogue between brains and machine. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 4: 44, 2010.
  4. Pasquale V, Martinoia S, and Chiappalone M. A self-adapting approach for the detection of bursts and network bursts in neuronal cultures. Journal of Computational Neuroscience, 2010. doi: 10.1007/s10827-009-0175-1.
  5. Chiappalone M*, Casagrande S*, Tedesco M, Valtorta F, Baldelli P, Martinoia S and Benfenati F. Opposite changes in glutamatergic and gabaergic transmission underlie the diffuse hyperexcitability of Synapsin I-deficient cortical networks. Cerebral Cortex, 19: 1422-1439, 2009. *Equal Contribution.
  6. Maccione A, Gandolfo M, Massobrio P, Novellino A, Martinoia S and Chiappalone M. A novel algorithm for precise identification of spikes in extracellularly recorded neuronal signals. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 177: 241-249, 2009.
  7. Pasquale V, Massobrio P, Bologna LL, Chiappalone M, and Martinoia S. Self-organization and neuronal avalanches in networks of dissociated cortical neurons. Neuroscience, 153: 1354-1369, 2008.
  8. Chiappalone M, Massobrio P and Martinoia S. Network plasticity in cortical assemblies. European Journal of Neuroscience, 28: 221-237, 2008.
  9. Chiappalone M, Vato A, Berdondini L, Koudelka M, and Martinoia S. Network dynamics and synchronous activity in cultured cortical neurons. International Journal of Neural Systems, 17: 87-103, 2007.
  10. Chiappalone M, Bove M, Vato A, Tedesco M, and Martinoia S. Dissociated cortical networks show spontaneously correlated activity patterns during in vitro development. Brain Research, 1093: 41-53, 2006.

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The BrainBow project acknowledges the financial support of the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme within the Seventh Framework Programme for Research of the European Commission, under FET-Open grant number: FP7-284772.