Project Description

Name: Maria Livia Sassano

Current Position and Address:  PhD student in Prof Patrizia Agostinis’s lab at the Ku University of Leuven, Belgium


Contact Email:

Summary of education:

Regarding High School (2006-2011), I attended “Liceo Classico” in which I studied Latin and Greek and this education gave me the possibility to acquire a strong study method. I have always been fascinated by Scientific subjects, like biology, but I chose Classical Secondary education to improve in subjects in which I was lacking.
When I had to choose the University I decided to follow my first passion in human biology and in organic chemistry to satisfy my curiosity about cellular processes and I attended Pharmaceutical chemistry and Technology at the University of Ferrara, Italy (2011-2016). During these five years, I acquired knowledge in the field of pharmacology, pharmaceutical chemistry and pathology in addition to solid basis in biochemistry, chemistry and cellular biology. My thesis experience (September 2015-July 2016) in Paolo Pinton’s Signal Transduction Lab made me want to deepen my knowledge in calcium homeostasis in different cellular compartments, like mitochondria and ER, focusing on Cancer disease.

Why are you doing a PhD:

I never liked not having answers to my many questions.
Since I was in elementary school, I was fascinated by biology and by human nature, and I wanted to find answers to unknown phenomenon in the field of biology. This curiosity still drives me to want to be a Researcher, a job in which you have to make your head work and you can use your creativity and intuition.
My main interest deals with the molecular mechanisms by which cells are able to receive and respond to stimuli; I want to investigate alterations in different cellular pathways due to diseases, like cancer.

What are your interests outside the lab?

I’ve attended classical ballet and contemporary dance for ten years and I think that this hobby made me more determined but also it developed my artistic soul.
In spare time, I like to draw and speak with my friends and family.