COVID-19 Patient Experience Survey

Athena Akrami, a SISSA PhD graduate in 2010, is a Group Leader at Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, UCL in London, is leading a survey-based study  to investigate recovery from COVID19.

Here you can find the information on how to participate.

COVID-19 Patient Experience Survey

You might have heard of the term “Long Covid”, a peculiar condition where the COVID19 symptoms wax and wane for weeks or months. In April, together with other fellow researchers/patients from across the globe, we formed a Patient-Led Research Team, all researchers in various fields, from USA, Canada, and UK, to start collecting data on experience of those COVID19 patients with prolonged symptoms. In early May we issued a survey that reached 640 people with Long COVID, and published our first report which documented the extensive range of symptoms of COVID-19 (including neurological, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and cardiovascular symptoms), the volatile and long recovery, the stigma and lack of support, and the inappropriateness of relying on testing as the sole way to determine whether someone has had COVID-19. We have presented the findings to CDC, NIH, and WHO and our research helped raise awareness of those who are not recovering

We recently launched our second survey, a UCL study, for which I am the Principal Investigator. We are also collaborating with physicians and researchers in Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), and NYP/Weill Cornell Medical Center in the US. In this study, we will be examining testing results, wider and more detailed symptom time-course as well as COVID-19’s impact on mental health, different treatments and coping mechanisms.  

We invite you to take part in our study if you: 

The survey, which is available in multiple languages, takes around 45-75 minutes and can be completed in multiple sittings. While we recognize this is a lot of time to commit, especially for those still experiencing symptoms, all the information is so important in order to capture the long haul experience. We appreciate your time, energy, and dedication to helping us collectively find answers!

Job Fair 2020

The 2020 edition of the JOBFair will take place on October 21 and 22. This is the job meeting of the job meeting of the Italian Schools of excellence.

The event will take place online.

The JobFair is open to all Alumni of SISSA. They can register, visualize the companies that will participate to the event, and schedule meetings with them.

By clicking here you can fin all the information to register and participate to the event. The deadline for register is Monday October 19.

Giulia Galli’s Webinar

The second edition of the Tales from the AfterSISSA is here!
As first speaker we have the pleasure to have Giulia Galli (website).

The webinar will take place on October 3 at
6PM CEST – 5PM UK time – noon EDT – 9AM PDT

Members of the Society will receive the link via email and will have the possibility to watch the recording of the video anytime by logging in on this website.

If you are not a member and you want to participate to the webinar, please write to us at secretariat@alumni.sissa.it

Marco Brancaccio’s Webinar

On July 4, Marco Brancaccio talked about his academic journey that led him to built his own research group and about the intriguing scientific questions he is addressing in his investigations.

If you want to know more about Marco’s research, please visit his website.

Luca Naso

Luca started in 2020 a rather peculiar project, called Correre ai confini: running across all of the Italian borders in 1 year.

When we do what we like, we become better people. Unfortunately (far too) many people think that it is impossible to do what we like. With Correre ai confini I hope people can change their idea of “impossible”. I want to give people a real example that even an ordinary person can achieve an epic result (I am no professional runner, and nobody has ever attempted a run like this in Italy). I hope they can think twice before saying “I cannot do this because “.


To achieve this dream, I have to go out of all of the main comfort zones that I can think about: work, friends, and family. I had to give up a job I liked with no certainty of getting it back; I had to stop seeing friends; I had to stop living with my family. Luckily, today it’s easy to keep relationships remotely.

If you want to know more about Luca’s adventure, please visit

Facebook page          Instagram account          Youtube account

Pasquale Siniscalco’s webinar

The second seminar of the first season of the ‘Tales from the afterSISSA’ has been delivered last Saturday by Pasquale Siniscalco.

Pasquale Siniscalco shared with us his experience that took him from being a PHD student in Mathematical Physics in SISSA, to the financial sector, and now to the world of art dealers (Siniscalco Arte, website here).

Members can have the possibility to watch the video of the seminar.

SISSA Talent Valorization Webinar

SISSA Valorization and Innovation is organising a series of webinars on stategies to valorise yourself beyond academia.

Next event “How a Ph.D. student becomes a successful
innovator also beyond academia and how to train for this goal?
“will see as a speaker Riccardo Furlanetto and will take place on Thursday May 28 at 14.30 (Italian time).

For more information and for registering, please visit this page.

Lorenzo Di Pietro

I am a type B researcher at the University of Trieste, after winning a Montalcini fellowship.

I have been in SISSA from 2010 to 2013, studying to get my PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics. For a short period, I was also the President of the SISSA Club and I organized the drawing class.

In SISSA I really liked the courses during the first year, the scientific environment, the good number of visitors and seminars, and of course the presence of the ICTP. More importantly, I liked my PhD supervisor (Matteo Bertolini): I had a very good relation with him and he helped me a lot, also after my PhD.

Getting a permanent position is very hard, and although it may not be nice to hear, you should always be aware of the fact that the risk of failing is very high and you should try to be prepared for this possibility.
When you are a postdoc, remember to interact with faculty members and do not isolate yourself, although I know it may be hard at times, especially in some institutions. To find postdoc positions, if I have to be honest I feel that more than my research, what helped me was having recommendation letters from influential people; of course it is also important to get yourself known, by asking to give seminars when you have some interesting results to present (but be careful not to give bad talks!).

A PhD will give you many skills that are useful for a lot of different careers, while giving you a taste of what the world of research actually is.

Francesca Mancini

I work in the Chief Data Office team of the Asset Management division of UBS in New York .

I got the PhD in Physics and Chemistry of Biological Systems (SBP) in 2015. Already at the beginning of my PhD I was not sure if I wanted to continue with academia.  But I have to say, for me the years in SISSA were  the last years of carefreeness, when I had time to study, create a network of friendships, meet my husband (!) and discuss with brilliant minds (that does not happen so often in the workplace…). 

In 2013 I decided to move to Milan and start working, while still finishing the PhD. I worked in the Quants Team (Quantitative Analysis Team) at  ENI. In 2015 I graduated and, immediately after that, I left my job in Milan and moved to Zurich in Switzerland, to work for UBS. For two years and a half my job concerned market risk modeling. Then I moved internally to be a Quant in the Sustainable Investing team in Asset Management. Now I am in the Chief Data Office team in New York, and my team develops computational tools helpful for the team I was in before.

One quick piece of advice: if you’re unsure whether to continue with academia, it’s better to bid farewell sooner than later.

Paola Catapano’s webinar

The first seminar of the first season of the ‘Tales from the afterSISSA’ has been delivered last Saturday by Paola Catapano.

She took us on an amazing journey around the North Pole, retracing the steps of her expedition PolarQuest2018 (website here).

Members can have the possibility to watch the video of the seminar.

If you want to know more on PolarQuest 2018 here are some useful links: