Hello, I am Lucia Quitadamo from Italy, Rome. I started my fellowship in October 2015 at Aston University. I am a biomedical engineering and my research has been developed in the field of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI), in particular in the detection of brain states associated to different mental activities produced by disables subjects to communicate with their surroundings. I gained significant experience in the development and application of signal processing tools applied to electromagnetic brain signal, during my PHD studies and my collaboration with different laboratories all over Europe, and this gave the way to a collaboration with Aston University, in particular with Aston Brain Center and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. In 2014 this collaboration emerged into a project proposal to the EU, in the H2020-MSCA-IF-2014 Individual Fellowship (IF) call. The project was named EPINET (Epileptic Networks) and aims at developing and validating innovative methods to localise and characterize non-invasively functional properties of the epileptogenic zone. Once validated, the analyses methods will add value to the existing analysis platforms and the development of a database of intra and extra-cranial data will facilitate the circulation of knowledge in the European epilepsy research community.
This project is really important for the development of my career as it will give me the possibility to extend my expertise in signal processing and clinical assessment of patients, developing new and complementary skills applied to specific clinical applications. Moreover it will allow me to live in a multidisciplinar environment and work in a fervent University, the Aston University, which is very close and devoted to the needs of its staff and very passionate in promoting all the research advancements produced by its memebers.
Finally some words on Birmingham: I come from Rome, Italy, the most beautiful city in the world, and at the beginning I was a little uncertain about UK cities and Birmingham in particular. You know, rain and clouds and cold and then cold and rain and clouds. But as soon as I came here, I changed my mind: the rain is real, but Birmingham is a lovely city, full of shops and restaurants and entertainment. Also, it’s in the middle of UK so you can easily reach all the beauties in the country with less than two hours.
I am very happy with this fellowship and with all the opportunities it will give me to my future career.