Despite his young age, he has no doubts about his life purpose, which is to explore and understand the unknown through research in biotechnology. Winner of a Dompé Foundation scholarship, he is now completing his Master's degree in Molecular and Medical Biotechnology at the University of Verona with a research internship at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Here’s our interview with Nicolò Vivori.
When did you fall in love with science?
I’ve always been interested in science, particularly in chemistry and biology. Two experiences have brought me even closer to this world, and they both happened during my high school days: an internship at the Bruno Kessler Foundation, where I found myself analyzing silicon films, and the participation to the “Europass Spaces mobility” contest. This was a competition among high school students where the authors of the ten best projects were rewarded with a science field trip. Having been selected among the winners, I spent a whole week in Budapest, the second one in Dortmund and the final one in Munich, and it was great!
Why did you choose this degree?
First, the degree of customization offered by this Master's degree program: we have the chance to build a tailor-made program, by selecting the courses we are mostly interested in. For example, I chose to take Human Genome Sequencing because I was interested in learning how sequencing had revolutionized biotechnology and medicine. Secondly, because it provides a good medicine foundation, and I think this is key for people who want to work seriously in the biotechnology field: the goal of medicine, in fact, is to cure patients, whereas the goal of biotechnology is to find the tools to do that.
What do biotechnologies mean to you?
They are my life purpose. What fascinates me the most about this world is the possibility to explore and understand the "unknown", represented, for example, by rare diseases. I hope one day to be able to contribute to the development of therapies to treat them.
Describe yourself in one word
Curious: this has always been my greatest strength. Without this vital trait, you don’t go anywhere, especially in the field of research.
Tell us something that is not on your resume
I am a great sportsman: I played basketball for over ten years, then I moved on to athletics and volleyball, and eventually left them to focus on my science studies. Also, I have a beautiful Bengal cat, his name is Fire.
What three things would you like to accomplish this year?
Publish an article in a major journal, such as “Nature”, “Science” or “Cell”; graduate with honors, and build a network of "research friends" at the Harvard-MIT-Broad Institute, where I am currently interning.
What is your dream job?
To launch a biotech startup. I know, I aim high!
What does this scholarship mean to you?
This scholarship has given me the chance to leave for Boston and start an internship at the Liron Bar-Peled Lab at Harvard Medical School. I hope this adventure will be a springboard for my future career.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Get out of your comfort zone as much as possible: you can only learn from challenges!
What’s your motto?
«Faber est sua quisque Fortunae», which literally means «Every man is the artisan of his own fortune». I don't believe in fate: If you set your goals and work hard to achieve them, nothing is impossible in life.