Student Spotlight

Domenico M. Taglieri
University of Illinois at Chicago
Solaro Lab



Q: What initially attracted you to biophysics?

I am absolutely fascinated by the physiological and pathological signaling pathways in the heart. Also, my advisor was very instrumental in attracting me to this particular field.

Q: What specific areas are you studying?

Signaling pathways involved in cardiac hypertrophy and ischemia, and long-term myocardial remodeling.

Q: What is your current research project?

We study the Pak-1/PP2A signaling cascade controlling stress-induced cardiac growth. We recently published that active Pak-1 is a natural inhibitor of Erk1/2 and a novel anti-hypertrophic signaling molecule upstream of PP2A.

Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?

I am an anesthesiologist trained in Italy, and I aspire to obtain a faculty position as a physician-scientist. Wherever I end up, I hope to perform cutting-edge research and be able to translate that research to the bedside, to improve the lives of everyday people that I meet when they become ill.

Q: Tell us about a great experience or opportunity you’ve had in the past year?

Quite a few exciting things happened last year. I had the opportunity to present my research at the International Society for Heart Research in Philadelphia, where I received a Young Investigator Award. Also, the results of my research got accepted in several top-tier journals.

Q: Why did you join the Biophysical Society?

The Biophysical Society has a lot of people who share my goals to improve healthcare. I have met a lot of people who made research their lives’ work and accredit that (or dedicate their research, if you will) to a loss of someone who really made an impact on them. It’s very important for me to attend meetings and surround myself with people who are trying to improve our society. And I always get great ideas!

Q: If you were not a biophysicist, what would you be?

I consider myself very lucky. I have the privilege to practice what I have always studied for. Medicine and Science are the two things that I enjoy most, besides taking care of my family. Civil aviation would have been an interesting alternative career.

R. John Solaro, Taglieri’s PI says:

“I selected Domenico for the spotlight as he represents an unusual pre-doctoral candidate pursuing a passion for research related to biophysics after practicing as a physician in anesthesiology. After getting a taste for scientific investigation, he decided to take on the full task of returning to graduate school with all the attendant course work, preliminary exams, etc. As a result Domenico is now able to put his clinical perspectives in the context of the biophysical aspects of cardiac growth, repair, and mechanics.”







 June 2012 Table of Contents