CURRENT TEAM

Simone Rossi, MD, PhD, Professor of Human Physiology. I am also Neurologist and Neurophysiologist, currently leading the Brain Investigation & Neuromodulation Lab (Si-BIN Lab) at the Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology Unit, University of Siena, where I also lead the Parkinson’s disease clinical activity. I also have a national full professorship habilitation in Neurology. Author of the popular scientific book “Il cervello Elettrico” [The Electric Brain], Raffaello Cortina Ed., September 2020. International leader in the field of noninvasive brain stimulation where my contributions include: technical developments (one patent for a new sham coil for TMS); use and developments of noninvasive brain stimulation techniques (TMS, tDCS, tACS) as neuroimaging procedures in cognitive neuroscience, with a focus on memory, therapeutic neuromodulatory tools in neuropsychiatry, and neuroehnancement (including ethical issues); Individuation of neurophysiological markers of psychiatric diseases;  noninvasive investigation of neural plasticity mechanisms and brain connectivity, studied with EEG, TMS-EEG combination and rsFMRI. I also help the development of wearable robotic devices (in collaboration with Prof. Domenico Prattichizzo) to improve human health, for stroke people, Parkinson’s disease patients and tinnitus sufferers (three patents).I have authored 167 full text publications on peer-reviewed scientific journals indexed by Current Contents-Life Science (and 11 chapters in books), with an overall Impact Factor of about 711 (mean per publication: 4.2), H-index: 55. I have more than 15500 citations (see:http://scholar.google.it/ciations?user=2egMvssAAAAJ&hl=it, public GoogleScholar profile). I received my M.D. in 1987 at the University of Firenze, my specialization in Neurophysiopathlogy in 1990 at the University of Genova, and a second specialization in Neurology in 1999 at the University of Siena; in 1996 I obtained the PhD in “Pathophysiology of nervous functions”. I have been trained in neurology and neurophysiology in Siena, in Roma, under the supervision of Prof. Paolo Rossini and in Germany (Ulm, Freiburg). I’m or had been member of the Editorial Board of “Behavioural Neurology”, of “Brain Stimulation”, of ISNR Neurology and of Clinical Neurophysiology and past President of the Italian Society of Psychophysiology & Cognitive Neuroscience. Currently, I am secretary of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology. I am also occasional reviewer of 96 international scientific journals in neurology, neurophysiology, psychiatry and neuroscience areas (including Nature Reviews Neurology, Neurology, Annals of Neurology, J. Neurosci., Trends in Cogn. Sci., Curr. Biol., Biol. Psychiatry, Am. J. Psychiatry, Elife, etc…..). I’m Referee for the European Research Council, for the Medical Research Council (MRC) UK, for The French National Research Agency (ANR), for the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, for the Israeli Scientific Foundation, for the Weston Brain Institute. Reviewer of the Italian Ministry of Research for the evaluation of scientific production of Italian Universities. I am –or have been- granted as Unit Leader in many Italian research projects and is responsible of the local neuroscientifc aspects in two European granted projects in Robotics.

I am currently an Instructor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. I am also a Clinical research scientist at the Berenson-Allen Center for Non-invasive Brain Stimulation (Beth Israel Medical Deaconess Center, Boston, MA, USA), and the co-scientific director of the Brain Investigation and Neuromodulation laboratory at the University of Siena School of Medicine, Italy. I am also the co-director of the CME international course in Transcranial Electrical Stimulation (tES) at Harvard Medical School in Boston. My main interests lie in the combination of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS) with electrophysiology (e.g. EEG, MEG) and neuroimaging (e.g. fMRI) tools to modulate brain connectivity and understand how the human brain response to perturbations. My contributions include: application and developments of NIBS techniques (TMS, tDCS, tRNS, tACS) for cognitive enhancement (i.e. increase executive functions and abstract reasoning); use of NIBS to assess mechanism of brain plasticity in the healthy and pathological brain (e.g. patient with schizophrenia, epilepsy, Mild Cognitive Impairment); identification of EEG/fMRI computational biomarkers of altered brain connectivity in patients with neurological and psychiatric conditions. I am an ad Hoc Reviewer for scientific journals such as Annals of Neurology, Cerebral Cortex, Cortex, Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, PLoS One, Neuroimage, Intelligence, Brain Stimulation, Human Brain Mapping, Journal of Visualized Experiments, Frontiers in Neuroscience. I’m a Referee for the Israeli Scientific Foundation and a consultant for companies developing NIBS technology, as well as for EU grants involving NIBS.

I am a third-year PhD student in Neuroscience at the University of Florence. I obtained the Bachelor’s degree in ‘Behavioral sciences and social relationships’ in 2014 and the Master’s degree in ‘Neuroscience and Neuropsychological Rehabilitation’ in 2016, both at the University of Bologna (Italy). After my graduation I did an internship at the Siena Si-BIN Lab Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology Section, Le Scotte Hospital, University of Siena, where I worked as a PhD student the following two years under the mentorship of prof. Simone Rossi. I worked in a research team interesting in Neuromodulation through non invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Transcranial Electric Stimulation (tES) during cognitive task to investigate high cognitive function as memory, attention and intelligence. Moreover, I used functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) to evaluate the modulation of brain networks both during resting state and tDCS/tACS (transcranial direct current stimulation/transcranial alternating current stimulation) protocol in healthy subjects (also using innovative multifocal stimulation). I had the opportunity to treat patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or substance addiction using rTMS/TBS protocols. Finally, I collected and analyzed EEG data in order to evaluate perturbation biomarker and modulation of brain activities in different brain conditions (i.e. during resting state, tACS, cognitive tasks and multisensory stimulations) in healthy subjects. I am currently working at Berenson-Allen Center for Non-Invasive Brain stimulation (Harvard Medical School), under the supervisor of Prof. Emiliano Santarnecchi, where I follow two studies aimed at examining the perturbation biomarker in Alzheimer’s patients by means of NIBS and multisensory stimulation. Author of six publications in the years 2018- 2019

During my professional internship I learned how to administer and correct neuropsychological tests, interviews and questionnaires to patients with acquired neuropsychological deficits: adults with cognitive impairments due to cerebral lesions and children with neurodevelopment disorders. In the same period, I learned how to plan a rehabilitation treatment for these patients. From 2016 I have been attending the “Siena Brain Investigation & Neuromodulation Lab” (Si-BINLab) in Siena at the Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, University of Siena. From then on, I participated in the setting numerous experiments on healthy subjects and patients. My research long- term goal is the explanation and characterization of neural mechanism underlying high cognitive functions in humans as memory, attention, fluid intelligence, working memory. My work tools include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), electromyography (EMG), and Behavioral Tasks. I know how to set up experiments requiring the registration of structural magnetic resonance imaging, functional magnetic resonance imaging (Arterial Spin Labeling and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and Motor Evoked Potential (MEP) data. Farther, I can preprocess and analyze functional and EMG signals and behavioral data using the main statistical analysis programs (SPSS, Matlab, SPM, CONN). Moreover, I use state-of-the-art NIBS techniques as TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) and tES (Transcranial Electrical Stimulation) to modulate neural activity.

My first exposure to Neuroscience was during my master’s thesis at the Si-BIN Lab (Siena Brain Investigation and Neuromodulation Lab) at the University Hospital of Siena. For my thesis, I explored the neural correlates of insight problem-solving by applying transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) on healthy subjects. After this experience, I decided to continue research at the Si-BIN Lab, while also pursuing my radiology residency at the University Hospital of Parma. Currently, the focus of my research is to explore the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) correlates of patients as well as to combine neuromodulation with imaging techniques.

I am interested in the neuroimaging correlates of brain tumors and neurodegenerative diseases, such as functional connectivity changes and perfusion alteration, as well as to their correlation with cognitive functions and pathology progression.

I am a first-year PhD student in Neuroscience at the University of Florence, currently working at the Siena Brain Investigation and Neuromodulation Lab (Si-BIN Lab), Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology Section, Le Scotte Hospital of Siena. Before the current collaboration I obtained a Bachelor in Psychology and Neuropsychology at the University of Milano-Bicocca and a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology at the University of Padua, both degrees obtained cum Laude. After my graduation I was hired and worked for 3 years as a Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist at the Civile Hospital of Brescia. During a semester of enrollment at Harvard University in Boston I had the chance to learn from innovative projects on the application of noninvasive brain stimulation at the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA) after a meeting with Professor Emiliano Santarnecchi. Thanks to him I decided to pursue my career in research and started my collaboration with Si-BIN Lab under the mentorship of Professor Simone Rossi, who accepted me as a part of the team. My research interests involve finding new individualized therapeutic approaches employing noninvasive brain stimulation (NiBS) in different diseases and suggesting and simulating innovative NiBS applications to investigate cortical activity under external perturbation to enhance cognitive performance, modify cortical plasticity, and manipulate sleep stages.