MCAA – Meet the board | Marie Curie Alumni Association

MCAA – Meet the board


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

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. He obtained his bachelor in chemistry from S.P.College Pune in 2008.
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.


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.


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


Kiran Kumar Chereddy

Kiran Chereddy has been in office of Treasurer and Executive Committee of MCAA board (2016-18). He served as an ordinary board member of MCAA (2014-16) and led several task forces.Outside MCAA, Kiran is a Manager in Strategy and Project Management Office at Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland. Before joining the current role, Kiran experienced Sandoz Talent Excellence Program, a future leadership program of Novartis. As a part of this program, he undertook three rotations in three different Novartis business functions in three different countries.
Kiran received 'Licentiate in Pharmacy' from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, India and Erasmus Mundus Master Advanced Spectroscopy in Chemistry from Lille University (France) and Leipzig University (Germany). He joined Marie Curie NANODRUG network at Louvain Drug Research Institute, Universite catholique de Louvain (Belgium) and received PhD in Pharmaceutical Technology.

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

Bala Attili

Bala Attili is currently serving as MCAA board member and contributor of Financial Affairs working group. Previously, he was chair of BeNeLux chapter and active contributor to internal governance and chapter management working group.

Bala is a final year PhD researcher at Laboratory for Radiopharmaceutical Research, KU Leuven-Belgium. During his doctoral research, Bala has been successful in developing scientific collaborations with national and multi-national pharmaceutical companies alike. Prior to his position at KU Leuven, he worked as an analyst in a European based pharmaceutical company. Bala’s educational qualification includes dual master’s degree in Pharmacy (MPham) and Business Management (MBA) in International Business. Apart from the above mentioned professional life and qualifications, Bala is also active in non-profit organizations such as iCare (Leuven volunteer organization for old and physically challenged people). Since 2014, Bala is a Mo-Bro: An activist at Movember foundation campaign for male prostate cancer awareness.

Bala enjoys spending his leisure time playing cricket and squash. He is also a member of Belgium of National cricket club ‘12 stars’.

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.

ResearcherID nr. A-3466-2012

Francesco Grassi

I graduated at the University of Bologna, Italy, in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 1995.

Currently working as Staff Scientist and Team Leader at Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute in Bologna, where I am team leader and do research on regenerative medicine for osteoarticular diseases (bone, cartilage).

Key to my training has been a 4-years stay in the US (Emory University, Atlanta) as a post-doctoral student, partly supported by an OIF Fellowship.

Former member of the Board of Directors of the University of Bologna, I am author of manuscripts and Book chapters in the field of skeletal biology. Serving as a reviewer for several biomedical journals and Grant reviewer for the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research.

Research Focus: Mechanisms regulating bone turnover and bone pharmacology. Pathogenesis of bone loss in inflammatory and hormonal-driven diseases. Bone and cartilage repair: tissue engineering approaches, bioreactors for development of model system in tissue repair, drug development for bone repair, 3D bioprinting.

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.

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 University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 2002, followed by a Master of Pharmacy at University of Brighton,UK in 2007. Her research career began in 2008 as a Marie Curie Early Stage researcher, working for a Ph.D funded by FP7 MONACO-EXTRA project(218242). 

Dr Akande 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 is a registered pharmacist with Royal Pharmaceutical Society UK, General Pharmaceutical Council UK and Pharmacist Council of Nigeria.

She is particularly keen to help promote the awareness of life Sciences in young people and a way 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, and travelled over 15 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

Zoran Andjelic

Dr. Zoran Andjelic received his Ph.D. degree from Zagreb University, Croatia in 1984.

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

He run a number of international research projects, among others 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 with POLOPT Technologies (