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“Brain Drain” inverted trend: when brilliant minds come back home

Two successful Italian stories

“Brain Drain” inverted trend: when brilliant minds come back home

Claudia Astarita

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We talk about "brain drain" when smart people leave their country in order to go and work in another country offering them more opportunities. Although, sometimes these brains come back home thanks to innovative initiativesideas. This is the case of Andrea Lunardi and Graziano Martello, two scientists who are able to go back to Italy thanks to the programme Armenise-Harvard Career Development Award. It is one of the first institutions born out of the Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation, created in order to support the biomedical research and foster the mobility of excellent Italian scientists towards the Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The brilliant Italian minds awarded this year are Andrea Lunardi - who will manage a research group at the Centre for Integrative Biology (CIBIO) of the University of Trento -  and Graziano Martello, who is preparing a lab at the Molecular Biology Department of the University of Padua. The story of these two professionals is similar to the one experienced by the great majority of Italian graduates, who are not able to find an adequate job in their country.

Andrea was born in 1971 and he graduated in Biological Sciences from the University of Pisa. At the same university he completed a PhD program in Molecular Biotechnology. After a post-doc period at the National Lab of the Trieste Inter-university consortium for biotechnologies, Andrea became research fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston. Since 2012, Andrea has occupied the position of instructor in medicine at the same institution, becoming a specialist of prostate cancer.

With regard to Graziano Martello, he was born in Padua in 1980 and he graduated in Medical Biotechnologies from the University of Padua. In the same city, Graziano accomplished a PhD program in Genetics and Molecular Biology for Development. Graziano has started off the academic world with outstanding publications on exclusive academic journals like "Nature" and "Cell" and he was soon employed at the Stem Cell Institute of Cambridge University.

Italy can certainly be cheerful for the return of these two brilliant minds and to their contribution to the Italian research world.

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