RNA - Genetherapys

Rosario Rizzuto

President of the National Center for Gene Therapy and Drugs based on RNA Technology
Professor and Director of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padua

As President of the National Center Foundation for Gene Therapy and Drugs based on RNA Technology and former Rector of the University of Padua (2015-2021), Prof Rosario Rizzuto, Director of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Padua, continues to pursue research activities in cell biology with a focus on intracellular signaling mediated through calcium ions. With an h-index of 109 in Scopus and over 300 publications in international peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Nature, and Cell, Prof Rizzuto has received the Chiara D’Onofrio Prize, the Biotec Award, the Theodor Bucher Medal, and the Antonio Feltrinelli prize from the Accademia dei Lincei. Prof Rizzuto is a member of the Academia Europaea, as well as a member of the Accademia Nazionale del Lincei, the Galileian Academy, the Veneto Institute of Science, Letters and Arts, and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

Elena Quagliato

Program Manager/Director

As the Director of the National Center Foundation for Gene Therapy and Drugs based on RNA Technology Elena coordinates the different affiliates of the project and plans the organization of the activities of the newly established Foundation. As a University of Padua MA graduate in Foreign Languages (German) Elena holds a second qualification in conference interpretation from the University of International Studies in Rome (LUSPIO) (English, French, and German). She spent several years abroad, including working in Brussels for a national public administration. She holds an additional degree in Public Administration from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. With 15 years of experience in the national and international university context (University of Padua and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) Elena has managed several EU-funded programs, and implemented tools and models for the management of EU and national research funding within public organizations, gaining experience in the field of research, innovation and technology transfer.


Alessandra Didonè

Research Manager

Alessandra obtained a PhD in Study and Conservation of Archaeological and Architectural Heritage at the University of Padua in 2015. She holds an MA in Archaeology (2008) and a Diploma of Specialization in Archaeology (2010) from the University of Padua.
Before joining the Foundation, she worked as researcher at the universities of Padua, Udine, and Rome La Sapienza. She has coordinated several university research projects and collaborated on national-funded (PRIN) projects.

Emanuela Roman

Research and Communication Manager

Emanuela obtained a PhD in Human Rights at the University of Palermo, Law Department (2017). She holds an MA in Human Rights from the University of Padua, Faculty of Political Sciences (2010) and an LLM from the International University College of Turin (2012).
Before joining the Foundation, she worked as researcher at FIERI (Forum of International and European Research on Immigration, Turin) in the framework of several EU-funded Horizon2020 research projects, while collaborating with universities and research institutions across Europe and the Middle East.

Silvia Blecich

Accounting and Data Manager

Silvia obtained her MA in Economic and Statistical Sciences at the University of Padua in 1998 with high marks. Before joining the Foundation, she worked with private companies operating in Italy as management control specialist in close collaboration with the General Managers.


Martina Corte De Checco

Data Project Manager

After obtaining a BA in Languages, Literature, and Cultural Mediation at the University of Padua in 2021, Martina completed an MA in Journalism and Multimedia Communication from the University of Parma in 2024. Her thesis focused on personal branding strategies in modern journalism through the lens of social media. Before joining the Foundation, she worked as a Social Media Manager in the agrifood sector in Parma where she gained experience in marketing and social media management for cultural events and copywriting.


Chiara Mariagrazia Merlo

Data Project Manager

Chiara obtained her MA in Economics and Finance at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in 2020.
Before joining the Foundation, she primarily gained experience at private firms and in public administration offices by operating in crowdinvesting, auditing, and European reporting.


Viola Santi

Data Project Manager

Viola gained a MA in Contemporary History at the University of Bologna in 2014. Before joining the Foundation, she gained significant experience in project management and reporting thank to her work with private and public entities, both in Italy and across the world (South America; Africa; Middle Est; Asia; North America; Europe). She has worked in several EU-funded (Erasmus+; Horizon2020; DEAR) and national funded projects. She has also worked as historical researcher at Istituto Storico Parri, Bologna Metropolitana and at Museo Storico della Liberazione, Roma.


Ellen Corcoran

Website and Social Media Manager

Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Ellen brings over 15 years of experience editing scientific research for peer-reviewed journal and website publications. As a social media content creator, she aims to cultivate a deeper relationship between the scientific community and the public through international event planning and fundraising. Ellen holds a BFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California.


Erika Mancuso

External Consultant
Expert in legal and administrative issues

Erika obtained a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Padua, Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education, and Applied Psychology. She currently works at the University of Padua as the Head of the General Affairs Office, and in the past, she was the Head of the Recruitment and Careers of Teaching Staff Office.


Marco Baccanti

External Consultant
Expert in IP and technology transfer issues

As an Industrial Chemistry graduate of the University of Milan and an MBA course participant at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Marco Baccanti is the Managing Director of the Foundation for Innovation & Technology Transfer (FITT), which oversees the technological transfer of five major Italian research hospitals (IRCCS) with more than 2500 scientists. As the former Managing Director of ENEA Tech and Biomedical Foundation, Baccanti also acted as the CEO or Managing Director for several international government life science agencies, research and tech transfer organizations, science parks and biomedical companies.