Improve the patients’ quality of life and protect the community: that’s what he has mostly at heart. And it’s exactly for this reason that, after a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering, he has chosen to start a PhD aiming at discovering new therapies to treat retinal diseases. Here’s the story of Davide, PhD in Medical Engineering at Queen Mary University of London and winner of the Fondazione Dompé scholarship.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Davide, I’m 26 years old and I’ve recently completed the Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering and Nanosystems run by Politecnico di Milano in partnership with the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon. I’ve chosen this path mainly because I was intrigued by the role of the engineer, which I pictured as a sort of problem solver. Biomedical Engineering has given me the chance to apply this skill to the human body, which is one of the most complex and fascinating systems out there. I’ve just started my PhD in Medical Engineering at Queen Mary University of London.
Why have you chosen to embark on a PhD?
Research hasn’t always been my cup of tea, at least not until I started working on my Master’s dissertation. At the time, I produced rapid tests to diagnose hospital-acquired infections. These devices were designed to contain the spread of such infections and accelerate their diagnosis. I loved working at a project aimed at improving the patients’ life and protect the community. That’s why I’ve embarked on a PhD with a similar mission. To me, research means discovery, curiosity, and positive impact on the community.
What’s your PhD all about?
The core topic is sight, which is one of the most complex and crucial senses. Going blind dramatically reduces any person’s quality of life. The aim of my PhD is to identify the characteristics of retinal diseases and contribute to their treatment. Essentially, I’ll create a cellular model and replicate in a test tube specific eye parts. I’ll then use this model to analyse the course of the disease and develop tests to validate new drugs.
What fascinates you the most about your PhD research topic?
First of all, I’ the innovative nature of the topics I’m studying, such as Regenerative medicine and Organs on a chip. The latter has to do with the creation of small scale models within very tiny devices. Plus, it’s a highly under-explored field of study which means that the researcher has the chance to unleash his creativity, prove his skills and identify the most profitable subtopics. Finally, I love the multidisciplinary background required to carry out this research, from Biology to Micromachining.
What are you career goals?
Paraphrasing the statement of a well-known pacifist, I would like to be the change I’d wish to see in the world. Essentially, I’d love to coordinate a R & D team specialized in Regenerative Medicine. This field is triggering a medical revolution and I’d be excited to play a role in it. I’m also very fascinated by the university world, by the idea of contributing to the education of the next generation of scientists. My dream would be to carry out both activities at the same time.