Board of Directors
Co-founder & CEO
Co-founder & Board member
Roberto Della Marina
Co-founder & Head of Science
Head of Business Development
Head of Biology Lab
Co-founder & Board member
Maria Letizia Barreca
Scientific Advisory Board
Medicinal chemist at University of Naples Federico II.
Former VP Drug Discovery at IRBM.
Head of Laboratory of Synthetic and Structural Vaccinology (SSV) at CIBIO, University of Trento.
Head of the Laboratory for Neurogenic Biomarkers at CIBIO, University of Trento.
Formerly senior scientist at GSK and Roche.
Head of the Laboratory for Transational Genomics and director of CIBIO at the University of Trento.
Lidia Pieri earned a Master’s degree with honors in high energy physics at CERN and a Ph.D. in theoretical astroparticle physics from Rome-3 (Italy). In the following ten years, she gained international experience working as a research associate in several highly recognized institutes in Europe. She authored about 20 peer-reviewed papers in astrophysics, high energy physics, and computational biophysics. She proactively helped create new practices and a multidisciplinary research group, where she experienced scientific and team project management. Passionate about challenges and new experiences, she founded and managed the Argentinian tango academy RossoAOvest. She created an internationally recognized environment, flourishing with cultural exchange and growth with a niche, quality-driven business model.
In 2017 she played a key role in the vision and founding of Sibylla Biotech. As a co-founder and CEO, she raised the seed round, fostered, negotiated, executed a collaboration contract with a major international Pharma company, and built the business and financial plan, leading the company to fulfill objectives. Attention to the people and their engagement and welfare in the company is her major commitment.
Driven by a never-stopping scientific passion for incoming technologies and their possible exploitation for a better future, she is expanding accounting, managerial and entrepreneurial skills by taking part in the Executive MBA in Business Innovation at the MIB school in Trieste.
Prof. Biasini received a broad education in pharmacology, biochemistry, molecular biology and neurobiology, with specific training in various aspects of neurodegenerative disorders. During his postdoctoral training at Washington University in St Louis, at the Mario Negri Institute in Milan, and later as a junior faculty at Boston University School of Medicine, he employed a variety of techniques of biochemistry and biophysics to elucidate basic principles of protein aggregation in several model systems, including cultured cell lines, primary neurons, neural stem cells and transgenic mice.
For the last 8 years, as a group leader at the Italian National Institute of Health, and later as an Associate Professor at the Department of Cellular, Computational and Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento, he built a team of young researchers with expertise in the fields of computational chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics and neurobiology. Work in the Biasini’s laboratory covers a wide spectrum of topics related to prions and amyloids, across physiology and disease, with the ultimate objective to define novel therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative disorders.
In 2017, Prof. Biasini co-invented the PPI-FIT technology with Prof. Faccioli and co-founded Sibylla Biotech S.R.L. to exploit the commercial potential of the invention.
Roberto dalla Marina
After one decade of experience mostly in Switzerland at CERN (Geneva, CH), CSEM SA (Neuchâtel, CH) and Colibrys SA (Neuchâtel, CH), where he started working as a researcher and then moved to managerial positions, in 2003 he accepted the position of VP Business Development and Director of Technology Innovation of Olivetti I-Jet SpA (Ivrea, TO).
In 2007 he became General Manager of the Cluster in Molecular Biomedicine of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, a public-private initiative focused on linking together research centers, companies, institutions and financing bodies in the field of personalized medicine. From 2010 till 2017 he became Partner of AlAdInn Ventures Fund, Friulia Veneto Sviluppo SGR SpA, as well as Deputy Chairman of AREA Science Park – an Italian National Research body dedicated to Technology Transfer – as well as GM of Innovation Factory, its first mile company incubator.
Today he continues to serve as Board Member in several companies and foundations, among those, the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trento, Italy. He holds a Laurea cum laude in Physics from the University of Trieste (I) and a Ph.D. in Physics from ETH Zürich (CH), is co-author of more than hundred scientific papers and he keeps teaching finance and innovation in some universities and institutions in Italy. In 2015 he won the AIFI-EY “Claudio Dematté Price – Private Equity of the Year” for the best Italian Early Stage operation.
Dr. Spagnolli received a Master’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology (110/110 Cum Laude) in 2016 and a PhD in Biomolecular Sciences in 2021. During his doctoral research, he worked on the development and validation of the PPI-FIT technology on the cellular prion protein. This study led to the discovery of the first small molecule degrader acting by specifically targeting a protein folding intermediate. Concurrently, he worked on the application of enhanced sampling molecular dynamics techniques to achieve atomic-level characterization of the prion propagation mechanism. His thesis work and additional contributions to different multidisciplinary projects were acknowledged in more than 10 peer-reviewed publications, including research articles, reviews, and a book chapter.
As a chief scientist of Sibylla Biotech, Dr. Spagnolli coordinates the research efforts of the computational team and the wet lab. He is also responsible for managing the R&D activities of the company and for the execution of the research plans involving external collaborations and services.
She earned a Master degree with honours in Chemical Engineering, a PhD in nanotechnologies, gaining broad R&D experience in the pharmaceutical field, as a material scientist and project manager of European funded projects. She’s been operating for more than 20 years in the non-dilutive finance sector.
She moved to Sales and Key Account Management in the year 2007, gaining experience in negotiation, international sale, supply and cooperation agreements, and sales network management.
Keenly interested in science and technology, she dealt with technology transfer and business development. She strongly promoted the scale-up and international reputation of different companies. She gained the most experience in the European, United States, Russian, Korean, Eastern Asiatic markets.
Dr. Massignan received a broad education in biochemistry and neurobiology, with specific expertise in various aspects of neurodegenerative disorders. Between 2005 and 2010, as a Ph.D. student in Neuroscience at The Open University of London (UK), she investigated the impact on cellular homeostasis of a mutant form of the cellular prion protein (PrPC). This work generated the first experimental evidence about the existence of a specific cytotoxic feedback loop initiated by the intracellular accumulation of mutant PrP molecules.
Between 2006 and 2007, as part of her Ph.D. training, Dr. Massignan visited the laboratory of Prof. David A. Harris at Washington University in St Louis, where she continued to study prion diseases by characterizing the neurotoxicity of another PrP mutant, called ΔCR, which causes neonatal lethality in transgenic mice. Her research identified a specific cytotoxic effect of the ΔCR protein and defined a completely novel cellular assay (DBCA) for studying the toxicity of mutant forms of PrP. In 2010, Dr. Massignan was recruited as a post-doctoral fellow at Boston University School of Medicine.
Her project employed the DBCA as a primary assay to carry out a large drug screening campaign aimed at identifying small molecules capable of suppressing mutant PrP toxicity. This work led to the identification of a number of candidate anti-prion compounds currently under investigation and development. For such an achievement, Dr. Massignan received the Bioeconomy Award 2014.
Since 2015, sponsored by fellowships from the Fondazione Veronesi and the Telethon Foundation, Dr. Massignan joined as a Senior Scientist at the Laboratory of Prions & Amyloids at the Department of CIBIO, University of Trento. Her current research covers a broad spectrum of topics related to prions and amyloids but maintains the ultimate objective of defining novel therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative disorders.
Dr. Bonifati’s scientific expertise lies at the interface between cancer biology and virology. She completed her Ph.D. in 2014 at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany, where she worked on the development of novel anti-cancer strategies based on the oncolytic virus H-1PV. In 2015, she moved to the US to perform her post-doctoral training at the Ohio State University in Columbus.
In the past 5 years, her research has focused on elucidating the mechanisms of pathogenesis of retroviruses, particularly HIV-1 and HTLV-1. Her work contributed to the characterization of the molecular mechanisms by which the cellular restriction factor SAMHD1 controls innate immune responses to viral infections and inflammatory stimuli.
In her 8+ years of research experience in diverse therapeutic areas, including oncology, immunology, and virology, dr. Bonifati gained extensive expertise in various cellular and molecular biology techniques.
Andrea Astolfi received MSc degree in Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies (110/110 cum laude) in 2014 from University of Perugia where it was awarded as one of the best graduate students. In 2018, at the same University, he earned a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences. His PhD thesis work received the national award as the best PhD thesis in Medicinal Chemistry organized by Società Chimica Italiana (SCI) and the international Paul Ehrich MedChem Euro-PhD Network certificate for the excellence.
Along these years Andrea Astolfi acquired a strong experience in the application of computer-aided drug discovery (CADD) methodologies, both structure-based and ligand-based, spanning from protein structure analysis the design of virtual screening workflows.
This experience perfectly fit and integrate the multidisciplinary nature of the Sibylla Biotech S.R.L research pipeline.
Alberto Boldrini has a degree in Physics with a master in Quantitative and Computational Biology. His background combined with the interest in mathematics and computer science has allowed him to accumulate a wide experience in all the fields in which Sibylla Biotech focuses.
In particular, during his internship he tackled the protein folding problem employing molecular dynamics simulations and enanched sampling techniques at the University of Trento.
His strong experience in statistical mechanics, software development, data analysis and high performance computing makes him a key people in Sibylla’s multidisciplinary staff. He takes care of the development and innovation of our computational platform. He is also in charge of administering of the computing resources.
Luca Terruzzi graduated in Computer Science at the University of Trento, consolidating his knowledge about programming techniques and software design and development. To pursue his idea of exploring new areas in which to apply his expertise, he continued his education receiving a Master of Science degree in Quantitative and Computational Biology at the University of Trento, with particular focus on the field of biophysics.
These studies coupled with Luca’s passion gave him an interdisciplinary background in the fields of mathematics, physics, biology and computer science. He applied this knowledge during his internship and thesis work at the departments of Physics and Cellular, Computational and Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento. This experience allowed him to deepen his understanding of advanced Molecular Dynamics techniques and data analysis tools, applied to the protein folding problem.
The multidisciplinary nature of his education with a strong computer science background make him a perfect choice for the cross-disciplinary research staff at Sibylla Biotech S.R.L.
Enrica Colasurdo graduated in Physics at the University of Trento. Her passion for computer science and data analysis led her to approach computational studies in the field of biophysics during the Master in Quantitative and Computational Biology, gaining experience with molecular dynamics and enhanced sampling techniques applied to the protein folding problem.
Alexandros Patsilinakos holds a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Rome – La Sapienza. His background encompasses ligand-based and structure-based drug design, ab initio quantum chemistry, machine learning and advanced IT skills.
During his 10+ years of experience in academia and the pharmaceutical industry, Alexandros has developed a deep knowledge of molecular modeling, cheminformatics, and bioinformatics applied to drug discovery. In addition, he also has hands-on experience in entrepreneurship, with a past as company CTO.
His work is focused on developing and applying computational methods for predicting biological and physicochemical properties, the design of chemical libraries, the exploration of the chemical space, ADMET in silico models and AI-enabled workflows to accelerate hit identification and lead optimization.
Alexandros holds a rich academic record, with 20+ peer-reviewed publications and numerous attendances to international conferences, where he strengthened a network of academic and industry collaborations.
Maria Letizia Barreca
Prof. Barreca has 25-years of experience in the field of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery, and her main topics include infectious, neurodegenerative, and inflammatory diseases, and more recently cancer. She started her career at the University of Messina, where she founded a research laboratory in the field of computational chemistry applied to drug discovery. In 2000−2001 Prof. Barreca was Visiting Scientist at the University of Houston and in 2007 she moved to the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of University of Perugia, where she set up and led the I2D Lab (In silico Drug Discovery Laboratory) and is now Associate Professor.
She has successfully collaborated on different multidisciplinary national and international projects where she made a crucial contribution to the rational identification of small molecules possessing the desired biological activity. Prof. Barreca has received awards and acknowledgments for her scientific activity, including the prestigious “Best Young Researcher in Medicinal Chemistry” by the Italian Chemical Society (Farmindustria Prize). She is also a medchem consultant for two global healthcare companies (this consultancy is privileged and confidential)
Prof. Barreca has identified the bioactive small molecules which validated the innovative drug discovery protocol exploited by Sibylla Biotech S.R.L., which she co-founded in 2017.
Pietro Faccioli received his PhD in physics from Stony Brook University (USA) with a thesis in theoretical subnuclear physics. Later, he became a postdoctoral fellow at the European Centre for Nuclear Physics and Related Areas. In 2005, at the age of 30, he was permanently hired by University of Trento, where he is now Associate Professor and PI of a scientific initiative in biophysics of the Trento Institute for Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics (INFN-TIFPA).
In 2005 he realized that a specific mathematical formalism used in subatomic physics could be adapted and extended in order to represent rare conformational transitions of macromolecules. This observation led to the creation of an interdisciplinary research line aiming at investigating the dynamics of biological molecules. In over 15 years of dedicated research, his group developed, validated and applied new powerful algorithms, which made it possible for the first time to simulate the folding of proteins consisting of hundreds of amino acids, using state of the art atomically resolved models.
This combination of mathematical and computational methods provided the driving technology paving the way to co-inventing a new approach to rational drug discovery. In 2017, he co-founded Sibylla Biotech S.R.L. to exploit the commercial potential of this invention.
In recent years, he has started a new research endeavor aiming at developing a new generation of molecular simulation methods based on integrating statistical mechanics, chemical modeling, and artificial intelligence with quantum computing.
Prof. Lolli started his scientific career in the field of Protein Chemistry and Proteomics to move then to Biophysical Chemistry and X-ray Crystallography.
His research activities focused on oncogenic proteins and epigenetics, participating in or directing drug development campaigns both in pharmaceutical companies and in academia. His multifaceted experience matured in highly competitive and production-driven environments having been employed by Pharmacia Corporation, University of Oxford, Merck&co., University of Padua and University of Zurich, in chronological order. The excellence of his work was recognized by the Federation of the European Biochemical Societies with the Distinguished Young Investigator Award. He currently directs a research team at the Dept. of Cellular, Computational and Integrative Biology, University of Trento, where he is Assistant Professor, developing novel drug candidates inhibiting protein kinases and bromodomains with a clear role in the pathogenesis of cancer, inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases. The laboratory employs a complete set of biochemical, biophysical and structural techniques.
His interest in fully exploring the targetable space drove its decision of founding Sibylla Biotech S.R.L., where the structure-based approach will profit from the revolutionary target identification protocol.