Simona Lodato is junior group leader at Humanitas Research Hospital, where she leads the Neurodevelopmental Biology Lab, and Associate Professor of Human Anatomy and Histology at Humanitas University.

Simona Lodato obtained her PhD in 2011 from the European School of Molecular Medicine (SEMM) and the University “Federico II”, in Naples (Italy), under the supervision of Prof. Michéle Studer at the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM). During her PhD training, she studied the intrinsic molecular mechanisms controlling the generation of distinct classes of inhibitory interneurons (IN) in the developing mammalian cerebral cortex. She then joined the group of Prof. Paola Arlotta at Harvard University, in Cambridge (USA), where she shed light on fundamental aspects of the molecular principles that govern how neuronal diversity and circuit assembly are established during brain development. In particular, she focused on the mechanisms that regulate the acquisition of distinct subtype-specific projection neuron (PN) identity, such as corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) clinically relevant as centrally involved in degeneration in ALS and other motor disorders.

In December 2016, she was elected member of the Next Generation Leader Advisory Council, a group of eighteen esteemed early-career scientists who act as scientific advisors for the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. And since 2018 Simona is a member of the Fens-Kavli Network of Excellence (FKNE), a network of leading neuroscientists advising research strategies to shape the future of European neuroscience.

Lodato’s research is funded by a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), as well as by the Prader-Willi Research Foundation, the Cariplo Foundation, the Italian Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Education, University and Research.