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Diego Ulisse Pizzagalli


Diego is an independent researcher in Computational Medicine,
affiliated with the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, the Euler institute and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB).

Main research line
His focus is to shed light on complex pathophysiological aspects, such as immune response, tissue remodelling/fibrosis development, and clinical manifestations of chronic diseases, with the help of artificial intelligence.

In his doctoral studies, supported by, Diego studied the migration and interaction of immune cells in vivo using intravital microscopy and network theory, contributing to bridging the gap between artificial intelligence and immunology.

Afterwards (2020), he translated these techniques from cell behavior to patient behavior, and is currently co-PI in a project aiming at identifying as soon as possible complications in a cohort of patients with chronic liver disease. This is done via continuous monitoring via wearable devices, and personalized predictive models (main PI prof. De Gottardi, with the uspport of Apple inc.)

Recently (2023), he got funded as PI for a project related to the development of new digital biomarkers based on the immune response to cell death, and is co-directing the IMMUNEMAP project (, an international and multi-center initiative that aims at enabling large-scale and data-driven immunological research.

Other projects involve
- A novel screening method for rare cardiovascular diseases (approved clinical study MARFAID with dr. Grego and prof. Demertzis, Istituto CardioCentro Ticino).
- Automated analysis of toracoabdominal CT scans (retrospective clinical study with dr. Rizzo and prof. Del Grande, IIMSI/EOC), and MRI fingerprinting (Universita di Pavia)
- Algorithms to analyze ECG records (collaboration with prof. Pozzi, Politecnico di Milano)

Diego serves as editor for Frontiers in Immunology, Computing and Artificial Intelligence (CAI), as a teaching assistant and lecturer at USI in subjects related to machine learning in medicine, computing theory, and signal processing.

#immunology #microscopy #graphs #network theory #machine learning #trajectory analysis #electronics

Teaching. I give lectures to students at USI, IRB, Liceo Lugano 2 (LaM project in conjunction with USI) on fields related to bioimage analysis, machine learning in medicine, and electronics. I supervise BSc and MSc students willing at pursuing interdisciplinary internships / thesis (projects available). Moreover, I co-founded the USIMakers initiative.

Publications on peer reviewed journals

Tracking unlabeled cancer cells imaged with low resolution in wide migration chambers via U-NET class 1 probability
Antonello, P., Morone, D., Pirani, E., Uguccioni, M., Thelen, M., Krause R., Pizzagalli, D.U.,
J. Biol. Eng. (2023)

in vivo motility patterns displayed by immune cells under inflammatory conditions
Pizzagalli, D.U.
, Pulfer, A., Thelen, M., Krause, R., Gonzalez, S.F.
Frontiers in Immunology (2022)

CANCOL, a Computer-Assisted Annotation Tool to Facilitate Colocalization and Tracking of Immune Cells in Intravital Microscopy
Pizzagalli D.U., Bordini, J., Morone, D., Pulfer, A., Thelen, B., Ceni, K., Thelen, M., Krause, R., Gonzales, S.F.
Journal of Immunology (2022)

Characterization of the Dynamic Behavior of Neutrophils Following Influenza Vaccination
Pizzagalli, D.U., Latino, I., Pulfer, A., Palomino-Segura, M., Virgilio, T., Farsakoglu, Y., Krause, R., Gonzalez, S.F.
Frontiers in Immunology (2019)

A trainable clustering algorithm based on shortest paths from density peaks
Pizzagalli, D.U.
, Gonzalez, S.F. and Krause, R. 
Science advances. (2019)

Protection against influenza infection requires early recognition by inflammatory dendritic cells through C-type lectin receptor SIGN-R1
Palomino-Segura, M., Perez, L., Farsakoglu, Y., Virgilio, T., Latino, I., D’Antuono, R., Chatziandreou, N., Pizzagalli, D.U., Wang, G., García-Sastre, A., et al., and Gonzalez, S.F.
Nature Microbiology. (2019)

A dataset and a semi-supervised clustering algorithm for segmentation and tracking of immune cells in two-photon microscopy
Pizzagalli, D.U., Pulfer, A., Gonzalez,  S.F. and Krause, R.
IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (2019)

Influenza Vaccination Induces NK-Cell-Mediated Type-II IFN Response that Regulates Humoral Immunity in an IL-6-Dependent Manner.
Farsakoglu, Y., Palomino-Segura M., Latino I., Zanaga S., Chatziandreou N., Pizzagalli D.U., Rinaldi A., Bolis M., Sallusto F., Stein J.V., et al. and Gonzalez, S.F.
Cell reports. (2019)

Leukocyte Tracking Database, a collection of immune cell tracks from intravital 2-photon microscopy videos
Pizzagalli, D.U.
, Farsakoglu, Y., Palomino-Segura, M., Palladino, E., Sintes, J., Marangoni, F., Mempel, T., Koh, W.H., Murooka, T.T., Thelen, F., Stein, J.V., Pozzi, G., Krause, R. and Gonzalez, S.F.
Scientific data. (2018)

Imaging Cell Interaction in Tracheal Mucosa During Influenza Virus Infection Using Two-Photon Intravital Microscopy
Palomino-Segura, M., Virgilio, T., Morone, D., Pizzagalli, D.U. and Gonzalez, S.F.
Journal of visualized experiments: JoVE (2018)

Macrophage Death following Influenza Vaccination Initiates the Inflammatory Response that Promotes Dendritic Cell Function in the Draining Lymph Node
Chatziandreou, N., Farsakoglu, Y., Palomino-Segura, M., D’Antuono, R., Pizzagalli, D.U., Sallusto, F., Lukacs-Kornek, V., Uguccioni, M., Corti, D., Turley, S.J. and Gonzalez, S.F.
Cell reports. (2017)