Staff and contributors

CESJ is still adding new professionals and skills to its ranks.

Among the professionals with a strong record in communication, research and ethics who are currently working or have worked with us:


Cristina Ferrario is a molecular biologist by background, now focused on science journalism, communication and medical writing. She graduated from Milan University and then she worked as a researcher in molecular oncology mostly in Milan (European Institute of Oncology, National Cancer Institute, IFOM ETS – The AIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology), studying cell cycle regulation and gene expression in cancer.
After almost ten years of wet lab, she moved from the bench to the desktop obtaining a Master’s degree in Communication and Health at Milan University.

Oncology is still her main field of interest: as a science journalist and communicator, she writes about the topic both for the lay and the professional audience, also covering the most important national and international oncology congresses (ASCO, ESMO, AIOM, etc).

Her interest in the oncology field is now broader than it was at the beginning of her career, and it also includes the social and psychological aspects of cancer, with particular attention on the patient’s perspective. In 2022 she moderated in Turin the presentation of the first ESMO guidelines on the use of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in the cancer continuum.

Curious and passionate about learning, she completed a post-graduation specialization course in Nutrition and Well-being and, more recently, the VII European Course of psycho-oncology. In April 2023, she obtained a Master’s degree in Cancer Genetics at Pavia University (Italy), with practical training in the Cancer Pharmacology lab at Humanitas Research Hospital (Rozzano, Milan) and a thesis on the communication of cancer genetics (title: Communicating cancer genetics: a content analysis of the information currently available online).


Alexandra Borissova is currently working as a Senior Lecturer at the Center for Science Communication at the ITMO University (St. Petersburg, Russia). She started her career as a crystallographer, she got her Diploma from the Lomonosov Moscow State University (2008) and her PhD degree from INEOS RAS (2012), having published 32 research papers with overall h-index of 12.
Since 2008, she has been active in media as a science reporter and editor of leading Russian news outlets (TASS news agency, Gazeta.Ru, RBC). Her award winning articles and opinion pieces featured science policy in Russia, particle physics/research at the LHC, microelectronics, life sciences, science and technology studies. She has also been involved in science PR as a founder and the first Head of Communication office at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (2014). She co-founded AKSON – the first professional SciComm association in Russia (2016) and was elected as its president back in 2018.
Since 2016 she is back in academia, first as a visiting researcher at Science Communication group at Rhine-Waal University (Germany). Her research project was supported by the prestigious German Chancellor Fellowship (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation) and concered history and practices of science communication in Russia in the context of BRICS. It included a broad literature review, semi-structured interviews, content analysis of science coverage in mass media, surveying top Russian universities about their science communication practices and resulted in a book chapter, a research paper and three conference abstracts. Currently she is with ITMO University (St. Petersburg) as a co-director of master programme in STS (in cooperation with European University in St. Petersburg). She teaches the MOOC “Science Communication and Journalism”, that since 2016 was accomplished by more than 500 students. She is a scientific supervisor of master theses in science communication, topics vary from science communication attitudes of Russian researchers to legal regulation of science communication in Russia, science communication in natural parks and studies of vaccination communication in social media in Russia.
Her teaching curriculum includes online news journalism (Moscow Polytechnical University), SciComm studies (ITMO University, St. Petersburg), she was a guest lecturer of media studies (Rhine-Waal University and TU Delft) and SciComm management (Rhine-Waal University). She currently supervises several research projects reviewing Russian SciCom practices, major players, legislation and media. Dr. Borissova speaks Russian, English, Italian and German.

Relevant publications: 

  • “SciComm in Russia: lessons from 50 years of top-down approach evolved into diverse landscape”, Science in Public, 10-12 July 2017, University of Sheffield, UK.
  • “MOOC and mass media: how to make an online course popular”, eSTARS Summit, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.
  • “Search for new identity of science communication in Russia: between science propaganda and popular science communication”, XIX April Conference, 10-13 April 2018, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.
  •  “Five Faces of Russian Science Comunication”, Ecsite Spokes, March 2018.
  • Searching for a new Identity of Science Communicators in Russia: Between Science Propaganda and Popular Science Communication, JComm, prepared for submission.


Carlotta Micaela Jarach is a biostatistician but began her career as a science journalist, writing mainly about oncology and public health; after graduating in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology in Milan, she moved to Switzerland, then to the United States, to conclude her Master’s with an interdisciplinary program with strong science communication and public health components. Back in Italy, she joined the Mario Negri Institute as a researcher in social epidemiology and geriatric epidemiology; in 2020, she obtained her third MSc in Biostatistics and won a Marie-Curie fellowship provided by the European Commission. That fellowship enabled her to move to Israel for almost two years, where she continued her research on optimizing care in old adults. She is now back at the Mario Negri Institute, where she is doing her Ph.D. on the epidemiology of tinnitus in collaboration with Maastricht University.

Relevant publications:

1) Jarach, C. M., Tettamanti, M., Nobili, A., & D’avanzo, B. (2021). Social isolation and loneliness as related to progression and reversion of frailty in the Survey of Health Aging Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Age and ageing, 50(1), 258–262. 

2) Jarach, C. M., & Cesari, M. (2018). Frailty beyond the clinical dimension: discussion about the underlying aspect of the social capital. Minerva medica, 109(6), 472–478.

3) Jarach, C. M., Lugo, A., Stival, C., Bosetti, C., Amerio, A., Cavalieri d’Oro, L., Iacoviello, L., Odone, A., Stuckler, D., Zucchi, A., van den Brandt, P., Garavello, W., Cederroth, C. R., Schlee, W., Gallus, S., & LOST in Lombardia Study Investigators (2022). The Impact of COVID-19 Confinement on Tinnitus and Hearing Loss in Older Adults: Data From the LOST in Lombardia Study. Frontiers in neurology, 13, 838291.

4) Wang, Y., Lugo, A., Amerio, A., d’Oro, L. C., Iacoviello, L., Odone, A., Zucchi, A., Gallus, S., Stuckler, D., & Lost in Lombardia Project Investigators (2022). The Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown Announcements on Mental Health: Quasi-Natural Experiment in Lombardy, Italy. European journal of public health, ckac035. Advance online publication.


Medical doctor, free-lance journalist and science writer, Roberta Villa has been contributing for more than 25 years to many Italian and International magazines and newspapers, such as Corriere della Sera, Le Scienze (it. edition of Scientific American) Vaccine today and Cancer World. For almost 10 years, she has been working with the communication office of the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC). She is currently in the working group created by the Italian Federation of Medical Associations (FNOMCeO) to fight hoaxes and fake news and actively contributes to the related website “Dottore, ma è vero che…” (“Doctor, is it true?”).

Working with different entities, she has been in charge of communication and dissemination in 2 EU funded projects about communication and other Science-in-Society issues in infectious crises: TELL ME and ASSET. Within TELL ME project (36 months 7th FP), in addition to dissemination, she was responsible for 2 online courses addressed to healthcare workers on ebola, flu and other emerging infectious diseases and cooperated with BMJ, ISS and Haifa University to the Practical guide for Health risk communication. Within ASSET project (48m 7th FP), she was media officer and editor-in-chief of the website. She wrote the D7.1 Communication Strategy, D3.3 Action Plan Handbook and cooperated to the Final publishable Summary Report.

She took part in the “Global Initiative to Educate the Media on Hepatitis C“ launched by the World Federation of Science Journalists, and contributed to produce the online toolkit.

For Clinica Terapeutica, an indexed Italian journal, she prepared a paper on communication in Zika epidemic. She contributed to a document on the elements of an effective communication in public health, published on Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics.

Relevant publications:

  • Villa R. Michienzi A. «Acqua sporca. Che cosa rischiamo di buttare via insieme al caso Stamina» («Dirty water: what we risk to throw away along with the Stamina case»). Book published by Editore Zadig (2014).
  • Villa R. «For Media, “Women’s Health” often stands for “Beauty”». In Health and Gender. Resilience and Vulnerability Factors For Women’s Health in the Contemporary Society, edited by Tarricone I and Riecher-Rössler A. Springer ed. In press (2018).
  • Villa R. «Vaccini. Il diritto di non avere paura. Tutto quello che occorre sapere sulle vaccinazioni» (Vaccines: the right not to have fear. Everything that one should know about vaccinations). Book distributed by Corriere della Sera (2017). New edition in press for Il Pensiero scientifico editore (2018).


Ilario D’Amato is a journalist and media professional with more than ten years’ experience in journalism and content production, four of which were leading on digital media at The Climate Group, an international environmental charity in London.

Ilario specialises in investigative journalism and science communication. In 2017, he wrote “Dossier Hamer” – a journalistic exposé of a pseudo- medicine called ‘Germanic New Medicine’ (GNM) – published by Mondadori, the biggest publishing house in Italy. The book quickly gained wide appreciation in the Italian media landscape.
Ilario holds two Masters in International Journalism (City University London) and Communication for Development (Malmö University), and is also proficient in digital marketing and content production – particularly in video production and social media management.

Relevant publications:

  • D’Amato I (2017) Dossier Hamer. Book published by Mondadori (2017)
  • D’Amato I «Dossier Hamer: the role of investigative journalism in exposing pseudo- medicines», in Medical Misinformation and Social harm in Non-Science Based Health Practices: A Multidisciplinary Perspective, edited by Lavorgna A and Di Ronco A, in press by Routledge (2019)