I was born in Florence (Tuscany) and studied there to PhD level. I have worked in San Francisco, Ferrara, Rome, Sassari, and Boston before arriving in Bristol in 2005.
Currently, I am a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Senior Research Fellow; Full Professor and Chair of Vascular pathology and Regeneration at the University of Bristol and Visiting Professor at the Imperial College of London. I am also Deputy Head of Research in the School of Clinical Sciences-Bristol. Finally, I am the Bristol coordinator of a BHF centre of Regenerative Medicine, which involves Edinburgh (coordinating centre), Bristol, Glasgow and the KCL.
I am a Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) and part of the editorial boards of Circ Res, ATVB and Vascular Pharmacology. I am Academic Editor for Plos One. I do a lot (possibly too much) of work as a referee for articles and grant applications, including at international level.
I am an internationally leader in the field of vascular biology. My background is in pharmacology (from PhD studies) and therapeutic angiogenesis. I have developed my interest and expertise for angiogenesis and vascular biology under the mentorship of Professor Maurizio Capogrossi in Rome. I had the privilege to be part of the team of Jeff Isner (for the last year of his life as he died prematurely in 2001) in Boston. That was “the lab” if you were interested in reparative angiogenesis by gene and cell therapy, as he was pioneering the field.
I am a PhD scientist. Nonetheless, all of my past mentors were clinical academics and I have always been embedded in clinical institutes. This, which I used to consider a possible limit to my early career as a basic scientist, has later proven a true advantage. My research is now largely translational. This is facilitated by being located in the Bristol Royal Infirmary (my office and laboratory are indeed inside the hospital) together with my clinical colleagues (especially cardiac surgeons) with interest for research. The Bristol NIHR BRU in cardiovascular medicine further facilitates the bridging of basic and clinical research interests. Moreover, I have recently taken a visiting professorship at the Imperial College of London, where I work in collaboration with Professor Gianni Angelini and other key persons at the college and at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre.