Francesco Stellacci - Biography#

Francesco Stellacci got his degree in Materials Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano in 1998. He then moved as a post-doc in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Arizona. There he developed a technique to microfabricate silver structures in polymeric matrices that was later licensed to 3M. In 2002 he became as assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, Cambridge, USA), where he was promoted to the ranks of associate professor without (2006) and with (2009) tenure. There he developed a method to fabricate DNA microarrays that served as the key for a start-up called “Molecular Stamping” that existed for six years. In 2010, he moved as a full professor in the Institute of Materials and in the Interfaculty Bioengineering Institute at EPFL where he holds the Constellium chair. In 2014, Stellacci founded the Food and Nutrition Center at EPFL, an interdisciplinary center that fosters research in various aspects of the food chain. In 2017, Stellacci discovered novel additives to keep viral vaccines thermally stable for up to two months at room temperature. This is a key discovery to lower the price of vaccinations programs in developing countries. He decided not to patent his discovery so that its use would be free of charge for anybody interested. In recent years, Stellacci has focused on the development of novel antivirals both nanoparticles and small molecules. In 2019 he has founded a company (Asterivir) to bring them through clinical trials. Stellacci was one of the three founders of the RSC journal “Nanoscale”, one of the top five journals in the field on Nanotechnology. He has won numerous awards, among them, the Technology Review TR35 ’top innovator under 35’, the Popular Science Magazine ’Brilliant 10’, and the EMRS EU40. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, of the Global Young Academy, and of the European Academy of Sciences.

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