firc institute of molecular oncology

Aldo Ferrari

Aldo Ferrari

Aldo Ferrari studied biology at the University and Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. He was then selected for a PhD in Physics at the Scuola Normale Superiore in the laboratory of Prof. Fabio Beltram, where he developed mutants of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) for single molecule applications in cell biology and virology. In 2004 he moved to ETH Zurich for a PostDoc in Biochemistry where he applied a combination of physical modelling and live cell fluorescent analysis to investigate lumen formation during epithelial morphogenesis.

In 2007 he went back to Scuola Normale Superiore as research scientist in mechanobiology and material interfaces. During this period he acquired knowledge in material science and engineering fabrication and their application to the study of fundamental biological questions in physiology and development. Since 2009 he is back to ETH Zurich, where he is currently leading a group of Biothermofluidics in the department of Mechanical Engineering. The main activities of the group are in the development of active interfaces supporting the establishment and maintenance of endothelial monolayers, the investigation of interstitial migration of cancer cell using nanofabricated obstacles, and the definition of new protocols for traction force microscopy. In addition, since 2014 he is CTO and head of R&D of the ETH start-up company HYLOMORPH AG commercializing a platform technology to protect body implants from fibrotic encapsulation.

At ETH, Aldo is organizing yearly classes in 'Mechanobiology' and 'Energy Conversion and Transfer in BioSystems' and serves as editor for Scientific Reports and Frontiers in Biomaterials. He co-organises the international symposium 'NanoEngineering for Mechanobiology' which will see its third edition in 2018.

Ferrari's article

September 2017

Be still like a mountain and flow like a river: The role of endocytosis in the control of collective epithelial movements

Commentary on Giorgio Scita paper's published in Nature Material