Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

Emanuele Leoncini has dreamed about being a scientist since he was a boy, capturing frogs and lizards in the countryside around Sambuca (Tavarnelle).

Now 34 years old, Emanuele finds himself in the laboratory with pipettes and test tubes. Over the last 2 1/2 years he has been following his “young” idea in one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Emanuele began as a theoretician at the research Harvard University, and concentrated on experiment, living the fruits of his passion. Emanuele is tenacious with the courage to risk and is extremely intelligent, qualities that make him an unusual “chiantigiano” abroad.

“When I was still in Porta Romana”, says Emanuele, “I attended the scientific high school, Niccolò Rodolico. Still in Florence, I followed up with three years of math with a specialization in applied mathematics”.

“In 2009, I moved to Paris, where I received a Masters degree. I then spent some time at the National Institute for Computer and Automation research. I began my doctorate in October 2010, and in December, 2013, I defended my thesis on stochastic models for the production of proteins. I remained in the doctoral laboratories for a few months,” he remembers,” and contacted various laboratories in Europe, where I had interviews. Finally, I was admitted to Harvard for my post doc. I left in May 2014”.

“At Harvard Medical School”, he explains “I do research on basic biology, mainly in bacteria. I use various approaches: from the microscope to florescence to microfluidics to mathematic models. The objective is to better understand specific aspects of bacterial biology”.

“Despite the pressure and a hard schedule,” he continues, “it is really stimulating to face the frontier of knowledge. I also like the environment, meeting culture as a fount of personal enrichment”.

“I am motivated by a strong passion characterized by various interests”, he recounts. “My colleagues come from all over the world: mathematicians, physicists, chemists, biomedical engineers… each one with his own work instrument”.

“Boston is the most European City of the United States, economic and cultural center of New England. Although I had to adapt to the rigid winters, in the summer the river is full of activity. Once a year, during the Christmas season, I return home to the place I love, Chianti”.

“From the point of view of personal growth,”  concludes Emanuele, “my Parisian experience was fundamental. From a working and research point of view, my present experience is unique. In any case, I don’t deny that one day I would like to return to Europe”.

Noemi Bartalesi