65 projects have been submitted across the three ERC research domain

LS = 30 progetti – PE = 13 progetti – SH = 22 progetti

All the projects have been evaluated according to the procedure described here , coordinated by four panelists:

  • Dayer Jean-Michel (University of Geneva) for the LS research domain
  • Hofkens Jhoan (KU Leuven) for the PE research domain
  • Barker Graeme (University of Cambridge United Kingdom)
  • Born Georgina (University of Oxford)

for the SH research domain

Grant winners

LS research domain

Croce Pierpaolo Arturo

Muscle synergies and trajectories of brain microstates for hand motor control.

The central nervous system (CNS) is believed to select specific predefined motor modules, the muscle synergies (MS), to accomplish a motor task. Understanding how the CNS makes this selection is crucial for personalized therapies and BCI applications. By means of high-density Electroencephalography, the temporal dynamics of subject-specific microstates (trajectories of brain states) will be evaluated and associated with the emergence of MSs during different types of grasping movements (power and precision). These models will be used to predict specific patterns of movement in on-line applications.

Pettoruso Mauro

Enhancing cognitive control to overcome addiction: a rapidly-acting neuromodulation approach in gambling disorder

Currently there are no effective and neurobiologically-grounded treatments for Gambling Disorder. The aim of the Break Free Project is to lay the foundation to develop of a new treatment based on the neuromodulation of the brain areas involved in cognitive control. We will conduct a randomized double-blind, sham (placebo)-controlled study of accelerated repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (a-rTMS, 15 stimulation sessions in 5 days) in a sample of fifty pathological gamblers. We will evaluate any possible changes of MRI functional connectivity after one week of a-rTMS, as well as the efficacy of this intervention in terms of gambling-related symptoms (craving, gambling-related behaviors, pleasure experience, cognitive task performances).

Ricci Fabrizio

 MYOcardial Stress CMR PerfusiOn to differentiate between athlete’s heaRT andcardiomyopathies Study

The diagnosis of athlete’s heart is an important clinical challenge due to the phenotypic overlap between training-related cardiac remodelling and pathological changes seen in cardiomyopathies, that are by far the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in athletes. The MYO-SPORT study aims to investigate the diagnostic utility of stress cardiovascular magnetic resonance perfusion imaging to distinguish between athlete’s heart and cardiomyopathies in athletes with suspected cardiac pathology flagged during annual sports pre-participation screening.

Zuccarini Mariachiara

Unveiling the role of purine-converting enzymes as diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic markers in hypoxic tumours.

Intratumoural hypoxia is a pathological stimulus enabling cancer cells to adapt to unfavourable conditions by altering their genetic and metabolic apparatus. Liquid biopsies from breast cancer patients and triple-negative breast cancer cells will be screened for hypoxic signature and for the evaluation of expression/activity of relevant enzymes (i.e. CD73 and PNP). The present project may provide valuable evidence to candidate some key purine-converting enzymes as new “molecular check-points”, widening the panel of “driving biomarkers” for diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic monitoring of tumours.

Delli Pizzi Stefano

CERebellar functional connectivity changes in Alzheimer’s Disease

The project is focused on the hypothesis that the cerebellum plays a critical role in modulating the reorganization of brain networks in the prodromal stage of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), also known as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). The cerebellum, an emerging structure for cognitive functioning, has been neglected in dementia-related studies. Critical methodological issues related to imaging techniques have significantly limited the functional assessment of the region as occurring in para-physiological and pathological conditions. This gap of information calls for urgent action. By developing a novel strategy for neuroimaging assessment, the project aims at investigating the alterations of cerebellar functioning at different stages of the MCI to AD transition and evaluate whether and how the direction of these changes are predictive of the decline of cognitive functioning and disease progression.

Simeone Pasquale

Peripheral Blood circulating Extracellular Vesicles as nOveL biomarkers in cancer immUnoTherapy wIth immune checkpOiNt inhibitors

Extracellular Vesicles are a promising source of biomarkers that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of several diseases, including cancer. The presented project will search for new biomarkers of cancer responsiveness to immunotherapy. To this aim, concentrations, phenotypes and cargoes (proteins, lipids, RNAs/miRNAs and DNA) of immune-derived and tumour-derived extracellular vesicles circulating in the peripheral blood of cancer patients will be analysed.

PE research domain

Valentini Alessandro

A new approach to consider Multi-Fault ruptures in probabilistic Seismic Hazard assessment

Italy is one of the most seismically active countries in Europe. In the last years, three seismic sequences destroyed several municipalities and caused more than 600 fatalities, an unacceptable amount in the twenty-first century. For this reason, it is extremely important to develop modern fault-based models, that consider multi-fault ruptures as suggested by geological studies, aimed to reduce seismic risk and improve earthquake resilience. The overall objective of McFiSH is to provide a better representation of the behaviour of the complex fault system in the analysis and to encourage any seismic hazard practitioner in their use.

Amoroso Sara

Evaluation and Improvement of Methods to Consider Influence of Surface Clay Layers on Liquefaction-Induced Settlement

The objective of the research is to better understand the nature of non-liquefiable crusts for preventing the damage to buildings and infrastructure and improve predictive models. This will be accomplished by analyzing existing data and performing in situ and laboratory tests at sites where crusts were and were not effective in preventing damage following the 2012 Emilia-Romagna earthquake (Italy) that provided surface evidence of liquefaction despite 6-10 m-thick crusts.

De Bellis Maria Laura

High-performance active architectured materials and metamaterials via 4D printing

The project focuses on the design of active architectured materials and metamaterials used in multifunctional systems for cutting-edge applications, ranging from high-performance tunable acoustic filters to actuators. The challenging objective of their optimal design will be achieved resorting to a soundly based multidisciplinary approach integrating computational methods and physical models. The recent 4D printing technology will be exploited to push the boundaries of the 3D additive manufacturing.

SH research domain

La Torre Matteo

Digital corporate non-financial reporting innovation in action

Despite the corporate reporting initiatives on firms’ social and environmental information and the current digital advances, firms’ non-financial reporting remains old-fashioned, static and unchanged. Co.R.In.A. is a research project aimed at advancing corporate non-financial reporting practices by building knowledge-base and exploring new digital technologies for improving the interaction between stakeholders and corporate non-financial information and increasing transparency between corporations and society.

Palumbo Rocco

The Effects of Gamma Stimulation on Cognitive Functions

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by cognitive decline and impairment in daily life activities. Studies using electroencephalography (EEG) highlighted that AD patients may feature a reduction in the power of gamma activity (25-100 Hz), that is generally associated with inter-neuronal communication in virtually all brain networks. In this proposal we aim to determine whether inducing gamma oscillations with a non-invasive light flicker and auditory tone might enhance cognitive tasks performance in healthy older adults and patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment due to AD.

Recchia Marco

Hyporchema: testimonies and fragments

Among the literary genres of ancient Greek poetry, the ὑπόρχημα has not yet been appropriately considered by critics. My aim is to fill this gap, focusing in a systematic way on the hyporchema and the hyporchematic fragments. On this purpose, I’m going to collect all the ancient sources concerning the hyporchema. Furthermore, I’m going to provide a new a critical edition of all the hyporchematic fragments by Pindar, Bacchylides and Pratinas, accompanied by Italian translation and commentary.

Scalabrini Andrea

The Self and its psychological and neuronal correlates – Implications for the understanding and treatment of depression as a disorder of self.

One important feature of the self is the capacity to move from present into past and future. Neuroimaging studies on episodic simulation (ES) converge on the finding that the pattern of brain activation associated with the retrieval of autobiographical memories closely resembles with the simulation of future episodes. This network overlaps with the default mode network (DMN) activated during the resting state suggesting an association between the two, i.e. rest-ES task interaction. An example of disorder of ES is represented by depression, which is particularly focused on the past at the expense of future imagination and that show abnormalities in DMN during resting state. The aim of the project is to investigate how ES task might be modulated by the resting state- self-specific information. Our proposal concerns three steps: i) the study of rest- ES task interaction in the healthy subjects, ii) in depression and iii) the application of therapeutic modulation of ES in depression.

Taddeo Raffaella

An Analytical model for the evolution of Local economic sYstems towards Circular Economy

The ALYCE project aims to define an analytical model to investigate the evolution of Local Economic Systems towards Circular Economy. The model will contribute to reducing the complexity associated to the adoption/diffusion and measurement of CE practices at local level. The project idea is inspired by the biological approach proposed by Industrial Ecology and is in line with recent strategies of the European Union.

Altobelli Dario

Guilt and Clemency. A sociological study on individual pardon procedures of the Presidents of Italian Republic (1948-1978)

The research intends to outline a socio-historical map of the pardon power exercise in Italy by Presidents of the Republic, in both a quantitative and qualitative sociological perspective based on archival sources, focusing on the relevance of the gender in the exercise of this power. More precisely, the research investigates the link between pardon power and social context and aims at a reconstruction of transformations of concepts such as guilt, mercy and crime observed as socially determined values against the background of the question of gender as an epistemological category.

Di Battista Silvia

“Knowing Gender”: Contrasting Gender Stereotypes and Sexual Prejudice Through the Knowledge of Gender Studies

Gender studies analyse the socio-cultural meaning of gender identity and gender roles. These studies are an effective ally for contrasting gender stereotypes and sexual prejudice and have important implications for professionals’ good practices in many fields. In Italy, research concerning the knowledge of gender studies and its implications are limited. In this research project, associations between knowledge of gender studies, gender stereotypes and sexual prejudice will be evaluated.

Ferri Francesca

Inhibition of impulsive behaviour: the role of brain-heart interactions

InPULSE aims to develop the first comprehensive, multidisciplinary investigation of the cardiac impact on motor impulsivity. As in real-world inhibition scenarios, we will distinguish between (immediate) reactive and (anticipated) proactive motor inhibition. Heart-brain interactions supporting each inhibition strategy will be studied at different time scales, and in individuals with increasing levels of impulsivity and schizotypy. This will provide crucial hints to understand maladaptive behavior in different clinical populations.

Spinelli Maria

The roots of emotion regulation in dyadic synchrony: a bio-behavioural longitudinal study

Emotion regulation, the ability to manage responses to arousal events, origins very early in human life and develops thanks to the interactions between the infant and the caregiver. The InSyncReg project aims to contribute to a better theoretical identification of emotion regulation by exploring longitudinally infant emotion regulation in the first year of life as related to dyadic synchrony, the mother-infant matching of individual cues. We adopt a multidimensional point of view by considering behavioural, physiological and neural infant and mother simultaneously functioning during an interactive stressful situation.