Elena Ziviani, PhD, has a broad background in neuroscience, with specific training and expertise in molecular biology, in vitro primary neuron culture and in vivo experimentation. She earned her PhD in neuroscience at the MRC Toxicology Unit in Leicester, United Kingdom under the supervision of Prof. P. Nicotera, where Dr. Ziviani investigated the effect of nicotine in primary neurons on neuroprotection and synaptic plasticity.
In November 2007, Dr. Ziviani joined Dr. Alex Whitworth’s group in Sheffield, United Kingdom, where she studied the role of Parkinson’s disease (PD)-related proteins PINK1 and parkin in mitochondrial dynamic and mitophagy using Drosophila Melanogaster as a neurodegenerative disease model as well as fibroblast cells from PD patients. In this work she unrevealed the biochemical link between the PINK1/parkin pathway and mitochondrial pro-fusion protein mitofusin.
Dr. Ziviani was awarded both EMBO Long-term and Marie Curie Action Fellowships and, in 2013, was awarded the prestigious “Brain Gain” grant from the Italian Ministry of Health to support outstanding young Italian scientists willing to come back to Italy.