MCAA – Meet the board


Dr Brian Cahill

Dr Brian Cahill is Chair of the Marie Curie Alumni Association. He studied Mechanical Engineering in Ireland and moved to Germany in 1998 to take up a position with Hewlett Packard. He received his PhD for work in electrokinetically-driven fluid flow  from the ETH Zurich in 2004 and subsequently carried out postdoctoral research in colloid and interface science at the University of Geneva. He was a Marie Curie fellow at the Institute for Bioprocessing and Analytical Measurement Techniques in Heilbad Heiligenstadt and is currently leader of the Junior Research Group at the same institute. His research interests focus on measurement techniques for droplet-based microfluidics.

Vice Chairs

Mr Amit Zodge

Amit Zodge is a ITN researcher at Budapest University of technology and economics, Hungary. His current research is use of supercritical carbon dioxide for chiral separation. Amit also worked as a research fellow at premier research institute " National Chemical Laboratory " Pune, India from 2010 to 2013. He is also the chairman of POTOBA Food Processing Ltd. Pune, India.  Amit was born and brought up in Pune district, west part of India. Being interested in chemical sciences, he chose organic chemistry as major for his master study at “MES, Abasaheb Garware College, University of Pune India.
In 2013, Amit came to Europe and joined Marie Curie ITN early stage researcher position at BME Budapest in Chemical engineering. Amit is the recipient of “Budding Scientist award-2007” by Marathi Vidnyan Parishad Mumbai, India for his significant research contribution in Biofuel research. Amit was extensively worked with Marathi Vidnyan Parishad Pune chapter for the popularisation of science in vernacular languages in Pune District from period 2005-2013.
Amit is elected as a vice chair to MCAA board on 5th March 2016 at General assembly in Venice, Italy.

Dr Marco Masia

Dr. Marco Masia is board member of the German Chapter and has been chair of the Policy for Successful Researchers Working Group since Ferbuary 2015. In addition, from February 2016 he represents MCAA in the Marie Slodovska Curie Actions Advisory Group. He received his PhD in Physics in 2005 at the Technic University of Catalunya (Spain). After his postdoctoral experience at the Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), he has been employed as Assistant Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Sassari (Italy). His primary expertise resides in computer modelling of complex chemical systems. In December 2011 he was awarded the UNESCO prize Chemistry in South East Europe for the UN International Year of Chemistry. He has been Marie Curie International Ougoing Fellow at Frankfurt and Boston Universities from 2012 to 2015. Currently he is collaborating with the Science Policy unit at EMBO as visiting researcher. Recently, to broaden his background and seek opportunities in management, he has enrolled in the Executive MBA at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. He also volunteers with Chemists without Borders, a north American not-for-profit organization.


Dr Maria-Antonietta Buccheri

Maria-Antonietta is a researcher working at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Italy. She is a biologist involved in the European project “Winning Applications of naTEchnology for Resolutive hydropurification” (WATER), where she deals with the biological facets of the project in a multidisciplinary environment.

She graduated at the University of Catania in 2001 with a thesis on molecular genetics. She enrolled in the PhD program at the University of Catania (Italy) in 2003, which she completed in 2007. In 2004, Maria-Antonietta Buccheri was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship (FP6-EST) which she spent at the CNRS in Villejuif (Paris, France).

Since 2005, she has been actively involved in the Marie Curie Fellows Association (MCFA). In the last two years, she served the MCFA as Chair. Over the years, she was responsible for different tasks such as National Group activities, promotion of the MCFA presence in EU Conferences, organisation of workshops on soft skills and Science Policy


Dr Kiran Kumar Chereddy


Kiran Chereddy is a Sandoz Talent Excellence Program trainee, currently working as a project manager at Strategic Planning and Transformation team, Sandoz (a Novartis company) International GmbH. 

He was born in Guntur, a small town in Southern India. Being interested in health sciences, he chose Pharmacy as major and studied 'Licentiate in Pharmacy' at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU). In 2010, Kiran came to Europe and joined Erasmus Mundus Advanced Spectroscopy in Chemistry master. As part of master course, he studied one year each at the University of Lille-1 (France) and University of Leipzig (Germany). Later, Kiran joined as a Marie Curie ESR in NANODRUG network and did PhD research at Louvain Drug Research Institute, Universite catholique de Louvain in Belgium (2012-15). Parallelly, Kiran also completed Master of Business Administration with majors in Finance and project management. 

Kiran enjoys the European culture, cities and food. During his free time, he likes to go out with friends, travel, acting and cook. Kiran also writes poems and news articles. 

Ordinary Board Members

Mr Bala Attili

Bala Attili is a PhD researcher at KU Leuven, Belgium. He is currently working on Neuroinflammation and Glioma imaging at Laboratory for Radiopharmacy with Prof. Guy Bormans. He was born in Paderu, southern part of India. His curiosity on science made me to join in pharmacy profession with Diploma, Bachelors and Masters in Pharmaceutical SciencesHe graduated masters degree from University College of Pharmacy, Andhara University, Masters project he worked with Prof. J.V.L.N. Seshagiri Rao and Dr. V. Jayathirtha rao, Chief Scientist, Organic Chemistry division, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology. Immediately after masters he worked as lecturer at St. Paul’s College of Pharmacy for a year involved in teaching and research activities of bachelors and masters students. Mean while he got an opportunity to work in a German based Pharma Company 3S Pharmacological Consultancy and Research at Bucharest, Romania. he had 12 national & international publications into his credit.

In October 2013 Bala Attili  joined in Dr. Pal Mikecz group at Dept. of Nuclear medicine, Debrecen, Hungary , here was is appointed as Early stage Researcher within Marie Curie Actions under RADIOMI ITN. After that he moved to KUL for Radiopharmaceutical development, under EU funded FP7 collobarative project INMiND, Leisure time he used to play cricket, reading books and meeting new people and travelling are his interests.

Claudia Simao

Claudia Simão is a chemist working in materials science In 2007, started her PhD has a Marie Curie fellow in Insitut Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), working in synthesis of polychlorotriphenylmethyl radicals andtetrathiafulvalenes for ITO and gold surface functionalization by self-assembly monolayers. In 2011, has obtained her PhD degree with the thesis untitled ‘Self-assembly of electroactive molecules as wires and switches” in Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, which has been awarded one national prize from the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry and the UAB best materials science PhD thesis of 2011.After a post-doctoral assignment in the Phononics and Photonics Nanostructures group (P2N) in Institut Català de Nanotecnologia (ICN) working in directed self-assembly of block copolymers for phononic applications, currently she is a Senior Scientist in Eurecat - Centre Tecnologic de Catalunya, head of the Printed Electronics group.

Dr Francesco Grassi

Francesco is currently working as senior scientist at the Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute in Bologna, Italy. His group is engaged in pre-clinical research regarding regenerative medicine for osteoarticular diseases.

He graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Bologna in 1995. After earning his Ph.D in Biomedical Sciences and a post-graduate specialisation in Toxicology, he spent almost four years in the USA (Emory University, Atlanta) as a post-doctoral student, supported by a Marie-Curie OIF Fellowship, an experience which has been key to his training.

A former member of the Board of Directors of the University of Bologna, Francesco is the author of various manuscripts and book chapters in the field of skeletal biology, and serves as a reviewer for several biomedical journals. He is married, and father of four children.

Matthew DiFranco

Matthew DiFranco earned his PhD in Computer Science from University College Dublin in 2010. His doctoral research focused on machine learning in medical imaging, with a focus on the emerging field of digital pathology. Following his doctoral studies, Matthew worked as a post-doc at Innsbruck Medical University 4D Visualization Lab on project Rhinospider, an Austrian Wirtschaftsservice (aws) funded project for the research and development of a novel surgical navigation device prototype.

In May 2012, Matthew began a two-year Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (IEF) to carry out research in multi-modal bone imaging at the Computational Imaging Research (CIR) , Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, Medical University of Vienna . Following that experience, Matthew joined the Hybrid Imaging Group at the Center in May 2014 to focus on computational methods in multi-modal biomedical imaging, including PET/MR, PET/CT, and digital pathology.

Dr Wuraola Akande

Dr Wuraola Akande is a lecturer at the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Administration, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Prior to that, she was the Chief Pharmacist Tristate Cardiovascular Institute Nigeria. Her first degree was in Biochemistry at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria 2002, followed by a Master of Pharmacy at the University of Brighton, UK in 2007. Her research career began in 2008 as a Marie Curie Early Stage researcher, working for a PhD funded by the FP7 Marie Curie MONACO-EXTRA project (218242). 

Dr Akande's research was on designing an appropriate matrix for use in extracorporeal apheresis systems. Such a matrix would be of use in a wide range of clinical situations where specific removal of blood components would be of beneficial to patients.She presented her research results at international conferences such as: UK Society for Biomaterial and European Society for artificial organs and American Society for artificial organs.

She is a registered pharmacist with good standing with: the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, UK; General Pharmaceutical Council, UK; and the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria. She is particularly keen to help promote awareness amongst young people in life Sciences, and one of her preferred ways of doing this is to go into schools and talk on the subject.

Having lived, Studied and worked in Nigeria, UK, Sweden, Germany and Austria, travelled over 20 countries, she is considered a global citizen.

Dr Wuraola Akande is presently a Board Member, of Marie Curie Alumni Association, founding Chair of African Chapter and Communication Working Group of Marie Curie Alumni and a member of the Gender Equality for Mobile Researchers in Science within Marie Curie Alumni Association

Prof Zoran Andjelic

Zoran received his PhD degree from Zagreb University, Croatia in 1984.

Until 1991 he worked as a professor at the University of Sarajevo, BiH. In 1991 Dr. Andjelic joined the ABB Corporate Research Center in Heidelberg-Germany, and later, in 2001, transfered to ABB Corporate Research in Baden, Switzerland.

He ran a number of international research projects, among which with NSF (National Science Foundation-USA), Marie-Curie EU research programs (coordinator of three projects in FP3, FP5 and FP7) and KFA (Nuclear Research Center Jülich-Germany). Currently Zoran is with POLOPT Technologies (