Andrea Malandrino, a postdoc in IBEC’s Biomechanics and Mechanobiology group, will spend two years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship.
Andrea will work in new ISC member Roger Kamm’s Mechanobiology lab developing the “Coordination And Migration of Cells during 3D vasculogenesis” (CAMVAS) project, in which existing 3D microfluidic techniques are combined with a computational model of vasculogenesis.
“I’m really happy about this opportunity,” says Andrea, whose proposal was one of the only 15% of submissions that are accepted. “I always wanted to have some work experience outside Europe, and I’m really interested in finding out research is carried out in the US. Also, being at MIT will be a huge career boost.”
Marie Curie IOFs, which help experienced European scientists to gain new skills and expertise while conducting high-level research in a country outside Europe, require that the researcher go through a training process based on a topic which is complementary to his or her research career path. In Andrea’s case, he will learn experimental techniques in microfluidics to generate blood vessels in microplatforms from dispersed cells, and use his prior knowledge to generate computational models to understand the processes behind the mechanobiological cooperation and coordination of cells during vessel formation.
“I always wanted to study cellular mechanics, so I’m excited to have the chance to gain more knowledge and another way of thinking,”says Andrea. “It’s a really valuable thing to be able to add to my bioengineering experience.” Marie Curie IOFs require that the researcher builds new partnerships between the host group and his or her original institution, so after his experience in Boston, Andrea will be a strong link between research in cellular dynamics and computational biomechanics between IBEC and MIT.