Chiara Saponaro PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; HDR

Course and current status

Feb 2016 – present: PostDoc at European Genomic Institute for Diabetes, Inserm U1190 Translational Research for Diabetes, Lille, France.

Oct – Dec 2018: Visiting Scientist to Translational Centre for Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, University of Wurzburg (EFSD Albert Renold Fellowship) .

Aug - Dec 2015: Associate researcher of the Institute of Clinical Physiology, CNR of Pisa.

Nov 2012 - Nov 2015: PhD student, University of Siena, Italy.

Apr - Nov 2012: Post-graduate fellow in mass spectrometry and metabolism, Institute of Clinical Physiology, CNR, Pisa. 

Scientific summary

I’m a pharmaceutical chemist, with a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology. After my university studies, I refined and improved my knowledge in human metabolism and cardio-metabolic disease through a fellowship and a phd at the Cardio-Metabolic Laboratory of the Institute of Clinical Physiology of the CNR in Pisa. Currently I’m doing a post-doc at European Genomic Institute for Diabetes at the University of Lille (Translational Research for Diabetes, Inserm UMR1190) in Lille, France. My expertises are in mass spectrometry and in biochemical analyses; I have also extensive experience in molecular biology, cell cultures and animal experimentation. These technical skills allowed me to investigate glucose and lipid metabolism in human and non-human samples and to study the pathophysiology of metabolic disorders, such as obesity, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Actually, my research is focused on diabetes, studying the pathophysiological features involved in the disease, aiming to possible pharmacological treatments. I’m working on projects, which aim to investigate on glucose transport and hormonal regulation, testing novel therapies for improving glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. I recently obtained a Master's degree in Health Entrepreneurship (University of Lille, 2020), which provided the missing-link to acquire management skills and the knowledge to develop a start-up in the healthcare sector. In January 2022 I obtained my Habilitation to Direct Research (HDR). In 2021, I was awarded the EFSD/Lilly Young Investigator Research grant. I have supervised several master students, and participated in ad hoc activities, including reviewing for multiple international journals, animation and organization of international meetings, and scientific dissemination to the general public, participating in radio, and in pedagogical initiatives to promote the discovery of medical research to young students. The research environment has stimulated my critical thinking, scientific curiosity, and a vocation for rigorous experimentation. I’m a team player, I have flexible and a practical approach to solve problems. I have demonstrated the ability to lead a project, be independent, which have resulted in successful projects.

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