Melissa was born in Rome, Italy. In 2019 she graduated cum laude from University of Rome "La Sapienza" with a Master's degree in Industrial Chemistry (Polymeric Materials) under the supervision of Prof. Andrea Martinelli. Her thesis focused on the development of two different approaches for the regeneration of damaged cartilage: the synthesis of an amino acid derivatives of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine and on the other hand, the preparation, surface modification and evaluation of Poly(L-actide) (PLLA) scaffolds for in vitro colture of chondrocytes and fibroblasts.
After participating to the "Torno Subito 2018" program, an initiative organised by government of Lazio Region, Melissa won a grant and from February to July 2019 she joined Prof. Aileen Crawford on a work experience at the University of Sheffield. Her research focused on the preparation and biological evaluation of microporous Polyglycerol Sebacate (PGS) scaffolds. The biocompatibility of these scaffolds was tested seeding chondrocytes isolated from bovine tissue.
In October 2019 she joined the Gibson group to start her PhD project joint with Prof. Michael Ward. The aim of the project is to create glycan-functionalised coordination complexes for luminescent imaging lectins. In particular, the objective of her work is the synthesis of modified natural carbohydrates for the functionalisation of the metal complexes and the evaluation of their ability to bind lectins.
Thanks to her varied experiences Melissa developed a passion for several topics. Some examples are carbohydrates chemistry, applications of chemistry in biological systems, biopolymers and biomaterials chemistry and cell colture.
Preparation of scaffolds, thermal (DSC, GTA) and mechanical characterisation of biomaterials and biopolymers, multi-step organic synthesis, carbohydrates synthesis, IR spectroscopy, NMR, 2D and 3D cell colture.