Who we are, our aims and how we are organized

The Laboratory of Biomedical and Health Informatics addresses the development of computational methodologies for the collection, processing, analysis and interpretation of biological, medical and health data. In many cases, developing such methodologies requires the collaboration of experts in different disciplines of computer sciences, such as IoT and smart applications, data science and machine learning, bioinformatics and systems biology. Consequently, the laboratory is structured as a network of research groups and individual researchers of the Department of Computer Science of the University of Pisa, and it aims to (i) foster and coordinate interaction among its members, (ii) increase the visibility of their research, (iii) create opportunities for joint participation in research projects, and (iv) establish or strengthen relationships with external stakeholders.

Biology, medicine and health are nowadays sectors in which several of the major developments are obtained through the analysis of large amounts of data, or the application of ICT methodologies and tools. Biological systems related to the functioning of living cells are characterized by a high level of complexity. However, the technological progress of biological analysis instruments in the last few decades makes it possible to collect huge amounts of data about such systems, which can be analyzed through the application of bioinformatics, machine learning and systems biology methods. Also in medicine the increasing availability of heterogeneous (e.g. genomic, clinical, dietary and lifestyle) patient data, in some cases collected through IoT and smart devices, is nowadays a key factor for the understanding of diseases and the development of new therapies. This led to the paradigmatic switch from evidence-based medicine to precision and personalized medicine, in which patient stratification, obtained for example through machine learning and systems medicine methods, enables the optimization of treatments. Finally, in the health sector, most of the recent innovations come form the application of IoT and smart applications technologies to the collection of data from patients (as well as from healthy individuals) for monitoring and prevention purposes, and from the analysis of health data using big data approaches.

In order to contribute to research and innovation in the three strongly overlapping application areas of biology, medicine and health, the Laboratory of Biomedical and Health Inforamtics aims at bringing together the competences in the involved computers sciences disciplines that are available at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Pisa. This will lead to the development of innovative algorithms and computational approaches for the analysis of -omics data, the multiscale and data-driven modelling and simulation of biological networks, the stratification of patients, the prediction of the therapeutic effects of drugs, the smart collection and processing of patient data, and the analysis of health data at the population level.

Our research aims at improving the diagnosis and understanding of diseases as well as the safety and efficacy of therapies and health policies. The research is highly interdisciplinary and builds on strong collaborations with life scientists, clinicians, industry and with world-leading research institutes.

The laboratory is organized as a network of research groups and individual researchers of the Department of Computer Science of the University of Pisa. Members include also researchers from partner institutions.

Research groups:

Coordinator:

Members (non exhaustive list):

  • Davide Bacciu (Associate Professor)
  • Dimitri Belli (PostDoc, @CNR)
  • Chiara Bodei (Associate Professor)
  • Pasquale Bove (PostDoc, @CNR)
  • Antonio Brogi (Full Professor)
  • Stefano Chessa (Full Professor)
  • Paolo Cintia (PostDoc)
  • Augusto Ciuffoletti (Assistant Professor)
  • Alessio Conte (Assistant Professor)
  • Federico Errica (Phd Student)
  • Paolo Ferragina (Full Professor)
  • Claudio Gallicchio (Assistant Professor)
  • Fosca Giannotti (Director of Research @CNR)
  • Roberta Gori (Associate Professor)
  • Roberto Grossi (Full Professor)
  • Francesca Levi (Associate Professor)
  • Francesca Lizzi (Phd Student)
  • Fabrizio Luccio (Emeritus Professor)
  • Daniele Mazzei (Assistant Professor)
  • Alessio Micheli (Associate Professor)
  • Paolo Milazzo (Associate Professor)
  • Anna Monreale (Associate Professor)
  • Davide Morelli (Managing Director – @BioBeats)
  • Lucia Nasti (PostDoc)
  • Michela Natilli (PostDoc)
  • Luca Pappalardo (@CNR)
  • Dino Pedreschi (Full Professor)
  • Nadia Pisanti (Associate Professor)
  • Marco Podda (Phd Student)
  • Giuseppe Prencipe (Associate Professor)
  • Corrado Priami (Full Professor)
  • Giovanna Rosone (Associate Professor)
  • Giulio Rossetti (Researcher @CNR)
  • Alessio Rossi (PostDoc)
  • Maria Grazia Scutell√† (Full Professor)
  • Alina Sirbu (Assistant Professor)