I am a Principal Investigator at the Division of Imaging and Technology, School of Medicine, University of Dundee (UoD), United Kingdom. In July 2021, I was appointed as a member of the EAES (European Association for Endoscopic Surgery and other Interventional
Techniques) Technology Committee, the large European organisation on Endoscopic Surgery.
I received my MSc degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Pisa, and a joint PhD at the Biorobotics Institute, Pisa, Italy, and Scuola Alti Studi di Lucca (IMT).
My main research focuses on the design of medical endorobots for screening endoscopy for common cancers in the gastrointestinal tract, and mini robots for surgical operations based on smart materials (e.g. shape memory alloys (SMA) and soft polymers) for flexible and compliant mechanism.
I was Co-Investigator on CARPE, an ERC proof-of-concept grant (€150,000 H2020, 2015-2017) and the project coordinator of CODIR (PI Professor Sir Alfred Cuschieri and CO-I Professor Anne Nevil), an ERC Advanced Grant (€3 million FP7, 2011-2016, UoD and University of Leeds).
I won the prestigious Surgical Innovation Award sponsored by Covidien (Baltimore, 2013) and the runner up prize for the Emerging Technology Award (Boston, 2016), both at SAGES congress in USA.
In 2016, I started a new research topic at the School of Medicine, UoD, in soft materials for endoscopic robots, so far, the only one in Scotland and one of the few in Europe. My research aims to design a cost-effective and single-use endorobot for screening and treatment of colorectal cancer..
I presented the soft and low-cost disposable colonoscope at the Surgical Robotics Challenge during the Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics at Imperial College (2019), with just 10 teams shortlisted coming from USA, Korea, UK and Netherlands. This is a world-renowned robotics showcase for innovations in medical robotics, sponsored by the EPSRC, UK Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), and accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
I won the Venture Challenge 2019 (£1,000) and the Venture Competition 2020 staff category (£7,000) at the UoD.