My PhD project is focused on studying demographic history of human populations residing in the Himalaya region and investigating whether these populations evolved specific adaptations shaping their immune function against pathogens. My research interests are population genetics, human evolution and pathogens.
My University career began with a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Science awarded by the University of Milan. I spent the third year at the University Complutense of Madrid where I carried out my Bachelor’s research project in insect bioacoustics. The project aimed to investigate how a family of insects produced sounds and the putative ecological impact of it. Then, I moved to University of Bologna for my Master’s degree in Biodiversity and Evolution. During that time, I specialized in human genetics, evolutionary genomics and molecular anthropology. I developed an interest in bioinformatics and data analysis. I carried out my Master’s thesis project at the Sanger Institute in Chris Tyler-Smith’s group screening for positive selection in vitamin D and folate pathways in human populations. The goal of the research project was to investigate biochemical pathways and putative targets of these vitamins in relation with the colour of the skin and look for human adaptive changes moving out of Africa. After my graduation I did an internship in informatics where I learnt basic skills of programming, in particular Perl and C.
Currently, I am a PhD student at Sanger Institute jointly supervised by Chris Tyler-Smith and Paul Kellam investigating the demographic history of populations living in the Himalaya region and exploring putative adaptations of these populations against pathogens.