(project coordinator)

M.G. was trained as an Electronic Engineer, specialized in Biomedical Engineering and  received a 5 years laurea-degree summa cum laude in 1997, from the University of Genova. He developed a strong interest for Biophysics and for Computational Neuroscience and he was awarded in 2001 by the Politecnico di Milano (Italy) with a PhD in Bioengineering, supervision of the late Prof. Massimo Grattarola. He was the recipient of a long-term postdoctoral fellowship from the Human Frontier Science Program Organization. He received postdoctoral training in experimental neuroscience at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Bern (Switzerland) from 2001 to 2005, as a member of the Department of Physiology, in the team of Prof. Hans-Rudolf Luescher and collaborating also with Prof. Stefano Fusi. From 2005 to 2008, he was Junior Group Leader at the Brain Mind Institute of the EPFL, in the lab of Prof. Henry Markram, where he further developed an interest for novel (nano)materials for neurotechnology.

Since 2008, he is faculty at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, where he is the spoke-person for the Laboratory of Theoretical Neurobiology and Neuroengineering. From 2008 until 2011, he was recipient of the Francqui Foundation Assistant Professorship. M.G. is tenured Associate Professor (ZAP-BOF research mandate, Hoofddocent) and Principal Investigator. He retains visiting academic appointments at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Sheffield (UK) (here), and at the Brain Mind Institute of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (Switzerland) (here). His academic ResearchID and ORCID profiles are publicly accessible.



L.G. studied Physics as a bachelor student in London. During his PhD studies under the supervision of Dr Greg Stuart in Canberra, Australia, he investigated glycine receptor channel activation kinetics and directly measured the specific membrane capacitance of neurons. In his first postdoctoral period (2001-2003), he joined the laboratory of Dr Daniel Ulrich to investigate synaptic transmission in the thalamus. During a second postdoctoral period with Dr Stephen Williams (2004-2006), he studied the impact of dopamine auto-inhibition on signal propagation in dendrites of dopamine cells. Finally, he joined Prof. Carl Petersen’s lab (2007-2011) where he perfected the technique of in
vivo whole-cell targeted patch-clamp recordings in awake mice, with the aim of obtaining a causal and mechanistic understanding of the role and function of GABAergic interneurons in sensory processing. He continues this goal as a PI first at the Universiteit van Amsterdam and next at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center of the INSERM.

Who is who

BRAINLEAP is a consortium of academic partners, from 6 different European countries: Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, and Israel.

The institutions involved are the University of Antwerp (UA), the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Institut national de la santé et de la recherché médicale (INSERM), La Sapienza University of Roma (UNIROMA1), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI), and the Natural and Medical Institute of the University of Tubingen (NMI). 


Dr. Micha SPIRA

M.S. obtained his PhD in Electrophysiology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI, Cum laude), and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM, USA). He was nominated by AECOM as a visiting Professor. but selected to return to HUJI and nominated as a full professor. Among the functions that he carried he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Sciences (institutes of Mathematics, Physics, chemistry, Computer sciences, Applied sciences, Life sciences and earth sciences). Spira served as a visiting Prof. at La Pitie Salpetrier, Stanford U., Columbia U. School of Med., AECOM, Kyoto and Cambridge universities. He is currently the director of the Smith-Elkes laboratory for collaborative research in psychobiology. His research focuses on neuroelectronic hybrids, the cell biology of neuronal regeneration, degeneration, learning and memory acquisition processes.

Dr. Ramona SAMBA, 
Dr. Martin STELZLE

R.S. received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Applied Chemistry from Reutlingen University, Germany including a semester abroad at the Dublin City University, Ireland. She received her PhD in physical chemistry at the University of Tübingen in 2012. She leads projects in material science for application in bio- and neurotechnology. Her interest and expertise lie in electrochemistry, surface analytics and the material-biology interface.

C.B. graduated in Physics at the Univ. Tübingen and received his Ph.D. in surface science and instrument development at the Institute of Applied Physics in 1997. He joined the NMI in 1998. He was research staff at the group Physical Technology where he developed different techniques for analytical electron microscopy with a focus on analyzing biological/technical interfaces. Since 2008, he is head of the Microsytems- and Nanotechnolgy group at the NMI. Research areas are (cryo)FIB/SEM microscopy, secondary ion mass spectroscopy, development of new MEAs on glass and polymer substrates, 3D electrodes, nanoimprinting, rapid prototyping of nanosystems with FIB Lithography.

M.S. graduated in Physics and Biophysics from the Technical University Munich in 1988, and obtained a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the TUM. He received a postdoctoral scholarship from the German Research Council and worked at the IBM Almaden Research Center, Polymer Science & Technology Dept., in San Jose, USA from 1992 to 1995. In 1995 he joined the group of H. Möhwald at the Max-Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces in Berlin, Germany. In 1996 he moved to the NMI, Applied Physics Dept. In 2000 he became head of the Physical Chemistry & Sensors group, now BioMEMS & Sensors group. His scientific interests include microsystems for applications in biomedicine and biotechnology as well as functional coatings and nanotechnology.


Dr. Stefano FERRAINA (project deputy coordinator)

S.F. received the MD and PhD degrees (the latter in Neurophysiology) from Sapienza University. After completing residency and fellowship training in Neurology at University of Ancona, Italy, and University of Rome, he spent two years, 1997-1999, as Visiting Scientist at the Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research, NEI-NIH, Bethesda MD, USA. Thereafter, he moved to the Dept. of Physiology and Pharmacology at Sapienza University, Rome. Currently, he is full professor of Neurophysiology at the Medical School. Area of expertise: basic and clinical neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neural bases of visuomotor transformations, single unit activity, multiunit activity and local field potential recording during behavior, neural population decoding, neuropsychology. He received a Marie Curie Award in 1995 and a Human Frontier Scientific Program award in 1997. Associate Editor for Frontiers in Neuroeng. Referee for Nature Review Neurosci., J. Neurosci, J. Neurophysiol., Exp. Brain Res., Neurosci. He published 35 papers and 5 book chapters on the topic.