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Silvia de Santis

Silvia de Santis




Affiliation: Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, CSIC-UMH

Fields or areas of research Neuroimaging

My journey in research started with a PhD in physics at Sapienza University (Rome) in 2011  during which I studied water diffusion dynamics in complex systems using diffusion-weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). During my pre and early postdoctoral years, I focused on pushing the boundaries of MRI to investigate brain microstructure through the development of more specific models, able to account for different relevant aspects of the cerebral tissue composition. In my more senior postdoctoral research, driven by a growing interest in neurobiology and a desire to amplify the impact of my results, I developed a precise translation of diffusion parameters into biological variables by demonstrating that specific tissue compartments, such as axons and glia, leave a characteristic signature in the diffusion MRI measurements, allowing their quantitative description. I applied these methodologies to answer important neurobiological questions, like the impact of alcohol use, the evolution of brain microstructure along the lifespan and the interplay between myelination, axonal loss and neuroinflammation in early multiple sclerosis.

Thanks to a Subvencion a la Excelencia cientifica de Juniors Investigadores followed by a CIDEGENT grant from the Valencian government, I was able to establish my research line in the prestigious Institute of Neuroscience of Alicante, where my investigation focus on developing and applying non-invasive imaging techniques to look at neuroinflammatory markers in health, ageing and disease with a translational focus. 

People associated with the project as predoctoral research staff: 1

People associated with the project as technical support staff: 1