Valentina Massa, PhD
Prof Valentina Massa is an Associate Professor in Applied Biology in the Department of Health Sciences at University of Milan. She is a developmental biologist with a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology, with a scientific interest developed within complementary biological fields aimed at elucidating pathogenetic mechanisms underlying central nervous system malformations and pregnancy related pathologies.
Her first research projects were focused on the effects of toxicological agents on mammalian embryos development. She then became interested in studying Valproic acid as cause of neural tube and other birth defects, especially during an 18 months training in Professor Finnell’s lab (Houston, TX). These studies initiated an interest in neural tube defects (NTDs), their etiology and their molecular mechanism. Following this interest, she gained postdoctoral scientific training in a lab renown for genetics of NTDs (Professor Copp & Greene, UCL, London).
Moving back to Italy, she started investigating molecular alterations underlying central nervous system malformations in a cohesinopathy (Cornelia de Lange Syndrome) as an independent researcher, discovering an underlying molecular pathway that could be used for developing a therapeutic approach. She also developed fruitful collaborations with pathologists and obstetricians for studying pregnancy related pathologies. Been awarded competitive grants, she has established her own group currently composed of a one postdoctoral researcher,2 PhD student and 3 master students. Full list of publications available at ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2246-9515