Barbara is a molecular biologist (BSc in Biological Sciences with full honours at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, 1997), with a professional PhD in Clinical Pathology (University of L’Aquila, 2003). She was appointed as researcher at the Division of Health Protection Technologies (ENEA) in 2009, and is currently the head of the Laboratory “Health & Environment” (since 2019).
Barbara started her work experience at the Italian National Cancer Institute “Regina Elena” in Rome, where she specialized in the molecular characterization of human tumors, mainly focused on the role of oncogenes and redox homeostasis in melanoma and prostate cancers progression and response to chemotherapy. In 2005, she moved to Boston, at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute-Harvard Medical School, to study tumor gene expression profiling by high-throughput and omics approaches, and to be trained on emerging technologies applied to epigenetics studies.
In 2009 she joined the ENEA, where she started being involved in the study of the impact of the environment on human health. She has been focusing on the characterization of the cellular response, with particular interest on the epigenetic profile, to different environmental hits (such as non-ionizing radiations, chemical pollutants and -more recently- natural and food-derived biomolecules), with the objective to identify the mechanism(s) responsible for their impact on human aetiopathogenesis and aging.