Here we are, all together!

                         A little bit more about each of us

Valentina Cauda

Team Leader

Valentina Cauda is Full Professor at the Department of Applied Science and Technology (DISAT) of Politecnico di Torino (Turin, Italy) teaching classes of Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine.​

She leads the TrojaNanoHorse lab (in brief TNHLab) founded by an ERC Starting Grant project in 2016 and she is co-founder of the Start-up U-Care Medical srl.​

She is PI of several national and international projects, she holds 8 patents and is author of >150 scientific publications with Hirsch factor of 47.

Alice Balboni

PhD Post Doc

Alice Balboni is currently working as Research Fellow at Politecnico of Turin. ​

She obtained her master’s degree in Medicinal Chemistry and Technology at the University of Turin in 2020. She pursued her doctoral studies at the University of Genoa, specializing in nanotechnology for drug delivery, with a thesis concerning the development of bio-mimetic vesicles for cancer-targeted drug delivery. ​

Since January 2024 she joined the CRRT research team of the Politecnico of Turin, focusing her research on the identification of new molecular bio-markers for the real time monitoring of renal replacement therapies.​

Bianca Dumontel

PhD Student & Junior Post Doc

Bianca Dumontel obtained her PhD in Chemical Engineering at Politecnico of Turin as part of the ERC Starting Grant project TrojaNanoHorse (TNH). She then spent 2 years as Postdoc researcher at the Complutense University of Madrid in the lab of Prof. María Vallet-Regí where she focused on the functionalization of mesoporous silica nanoparticles with biologically-derived material for the development of targeted drug delivery systems.

Since July 2023 she rejoined the TNHLab as Research Fellow, working on the production of bioinspired artificial lipid shell and their conjugation with functional ligands.

Marzia Conte

PhD Student

Marzia Conte achieved her Bachelor and Master Degree in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino, and carried out a Master Thesis in the TrojaNanoHorse Lab of prof. Cauda, during which she took part to a project founded by the European Community under Grant Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions obtained by Dr. Sugata Barui, a former post-doc of the research group.

In 2021, she joined the lab as a PhD student in Chemical Engineering. Her PhD project focuses on the application of zinc oxide nanoconstructs coated with a tailored lipidic shell on pancreatic cancer, as a multimodal therapy including ultrasound irradiation.

From December 2022, she spent 16 months in the Department of Nanomedicine at the Houston Methodist Research Institute, in the lab of Professor Alessandro Grattoni, where she had the chance of making a first in vivo translation of her project working with mouse models of pancreatic cancer. She was also involved in many different projects of the GrattoniLab focusing on implantable devices in mice and rats, and she specialized in flow cytometry, immunotherapy and animal handling.

Marco Carofiglio

PhD Student

Marco Carofiglio graduated in Physical Engineering at the Politecnico di Torino in 2017 and got his MSc degree in Nanotechnologies for ICTs in 2019 from the same university. During his Master thesis work, he focused on the development of ZnO-based piezoelectric smart scaffolds for the stimulation of biological tissues. He is currently attending a PhD course in Chemical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino where he is working on the synthesis and characterization of doped ZnO nanoparticles and substrates for biomedical applications. His research work also includes the use of oxides for catalytic water splitting .

Veronica Vighetto

PhD Student

Veronica Vighetto is part of TNH team as Chemical Engineering PhD student. Earlier on, she graduated in Physical Engineering, and obtained a Master degree in Nanotechnologies for ICTs at Politecnico di Torino.

Her Masters Thesis was developed in the Department of Nanomedicine at the Houston Methodist Research Institute (USA), with different biological environments as cancer cells, fecundated chicken eggs and mice.

Now, her PhD work is focused on the evaluation of in vitro test for cytotoxicity and internalization of different nanoconstructs, on both adhesion and suspension cells lines. She is also interested in understanding and investigating chemical-physical properties of nanoparticles and how these aspects can influence the interaction with biological systems, as living cancer cells, especially when the aim of this nanotool is related to therapeutic and diagnostic applications for cancer therapy.

Alessandro Masoero

PhD Student

Alessandro Masoero earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino. He conducted his Master’s Thesis under the guidance of Prof. Valentina Cauda, Prof. Cristina Fornaguera, and Prof. Salvadór Borros at the Institut Quimic de Sarrià in Barcelona.

In 2024, he commenced his Ph.D. after a 4-month research fellowship at the TNHlab. His Ph.D. project is part of a European EIC project concerning targeted drug delivery for cell reprogramming in cancer immunotherapy, leveraging liposomes and zinc oxide nanocrystals coated with a lipidic shell.

Giada Rosso

PhD Student

Giada Rosso has a MS degree in Biomedical engineering, with specialization in Bionanotechniologies and started a PhD in Chemical Engineering. She started to work for the TNH lab during her Master’s thesis on the development of mesoporous silica nanoparticles for drug delivery, to specifically address Multiple Myeloma.


PhD Student

Nicolò Maria Percivalle obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and his Master’s degree in Bionanotechnologies (Biomedical Engineering) at Politecnico di Torino.

He joined the TNH Lab in October 2020 during his Master thesis project, whose aim was the development of an innovative theranostic nanoconstruct for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

He has been working in the lab as a fellow, and has now started his PhD. His research focuses on sono/photo-degradation and ROS generation enhanced by doped and undoped ZnO nanoparticles.

Giorgia Savino

PhD Student

Giorgia Savino is a member of the TNH and is currently pursuing her PhD in Chemical Engineering. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Politecnico di Torino, where she also completed her Master’s degree in Bionanotechnologies in 2023.

For her Master’s Thesis, Giorgia joined Professor Cauda’s TrojaNanoHorse Lab, where she focused on developing 3D cancer models for the evaluation of novel treatments.

Now, her PhD research is centred on the study of 3D cellular models and their interaction with nanoparticles aiming to explore and evaluate advanced therapies in nanomedicine.

Giacomo Bignante


Giacomo is actively engaged as a Research Fellow at the TrojanNanoHorse Lab. ​

He earned his Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Turin in 2023, where he completed a thesis on an innovative project targeting Type 1 diabetes management at the Houston Methodist Research Institute in Texas, USA. ​

In October 2023, Giacomo became part of the CRRT team at the TNH Lab, dedicating his research efforts to the development and refinement ofa sampling prototype for Continuous Replacement Therapy fluid analysis.​

MARIA Cristina ruffa


Maria Cristina Ruffa is currently working as Research Fellow at Politecnico of Turin. ​

She achieved her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering with specialization in Biomechanical at Politecnico of Turin.​

In September 2021, during her Master’s thesis, CRRT research project was born. Her research focused on optimizing Extracorporeal Blood Purification Therapy in the Intensive Care, particularly constructing and validating a system that allows monitoring clinical efficiency of these treatments.​

Past Members

Alessandro Bentivogli


               Part of TNH Lab:               May 2022 – Sep 2022

Luisa Racca

PhD Student & Junior Post Doc

Part of TNH Lab:
Nov 2016 – March 2022

Sugata Barui

MSCA Fellow & Post Doc

                Part of TNH Lab:                 Sep 2019 –   Dec 2021

Francesca Susa

PhD Student

               Part of TNH Lab:                 Nov 2018 –  Nov 2021

Michela Cumerlato


                Part of TNH Lab:                  July 2020 – July 2021

Andrea Ancona

PhD Student & Junior Post Doc

                Part of TNH Lab:                 Nov 2016- Oct 2020

Marta Canta

PhD Student & Junior Post Doc

               Part of TNH Lab:                 Nov 2016- May 2020

Marco Laurenti

Junior Post Doc

               Part of TNH Lab:                Dec 2018-Dec 2019

Nadia Garino


                Part of TNH Lab:                 Jan 2017 – Dec 2019

Simona Villata


                Part of TNH Lab:                Jan 2019 – Dec 2019

Carmine Lops


              Part of TNH Lab:              Feb 2018 – Aug 2018

Silvia Appendino

Admin & Projects

             Part of TNH Lab:              March 2016- Feb 2023

Giulia Mesiano

Senior Post Doc

              Part of TNH Lab:               Jan 2021-  Aug 2023

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