Born in Romania, he moved to Italy at a young age, where he then attended the European School of Varese. There, he developed a passion for the life sciences, which drove him to study biology in higher education. He started his Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacology at University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland, where he learned about how modern research is carried out and the thought process behind the development of novel therapeutics.
He underwent a summer research project funded by the Wellcome Trust in Prof. John Crean’s laboratory in the Conway Institute in UCD, studying Wnt6 and its regenerative properties. This is where he realised that scientific research was his calling, in no short part due to the inspiration that Prof. Crean imparted on him. His final year research project as part of his Bachelor’s Degree was in Prof. Crean’s laboratory, where he studied the role of Wnt signaling during early renal specification, using an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived kidney organoid differentiation protocol.
He then started his Master’s Degree in Biotherapeutics at UCD, where he learned about the importance and role of biologic drugs in the clinic and for precision medicine. He studied the discovery, development, as well as large-scale production of biotherapeutics. His thesis consisted in drafting a proposal for an antibody development campaign using phage display against a novel GPCR target, LGR5, in colorectal cancer.
He then obtained a doctoral position at the Mario Negri Institute in Bergamo, Italy, as ESR15 in the TrainCKDis European Consortium. His project is concerned with the development of novel iPSC-derived 3D models to study the pathophysiology of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), as well as using the new model for drug discovery.