An incredible itinerary, made up of enthusiasm and tenacity, entirely carried out at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University: a Degree in Medicine and Surgery, a Residency in Neurology and a PhD in Molecular Medicine – Experimental Neurology. Martina Absinta rightfully enters among our #TalentiUniSR: a neurologist and researcher trained at our University, since 2012 she has worked at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) based in Bethesda (north of Washington, USA), where her research group has “rediscovered” the presence of lymphatic vessels in the dura mater of the meninges. “Rediscovered – she specifies – because they had already been described in the 19th century by the Italian anatomist Paolo Mascagni, but not considered for about 200 years by the entire scientific community”. In addition to lymphatic vessels, the “network” responsible for the elimination of waste products in our body, Martina studies how the chronic inflammation in the Multiple Sclerosis plaques prevents the brain from repairing itself correctly.


Martina Absinta

Your University studies

My university career was carried out entirely at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, and it includes a Degree in Medicine and Surgery obtained in 2006, a Residency in Neurology in 2012 and a PhD in Molecular Medicine – Experimental Neurology achieved in 2016.

Why you enrolled at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University

Because it offered me the opportunity to get in touch with the most experimental part of medicine, that is scientific research

What opportunities our University has given you

  • Excellent clinical training (in particular at the Neurology department, directed by Giancarlo Comi);
  • the meeting with scientific research and people doing research (in particular at the Neuroimaging Research Unit, directed by Massimo Filippi);
  • participation in international conferences;
  • the opportunity to spend part of the clinical training and research abroad (I have been a Visiting Fellow for 2 and a half years at the NIH – part of the last year of Neurology Residency and part of the PhD)

What you currently deal with

I am a researcher at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, USA. Here I use the scientific expertise in the field of neuroimaging (acquired mainly at the laboratory of Prof. Massimo Filippi) on very high resolution magnets (7-tesla MRI) conjugated with new skills such as pathological study of brain tissues (neuropathology). With this dual approach (neuroimaging and neuropathology) I mainly study how chronic inflammation in the plaques and leptomeninges [the complex of the visceral leaflet of the arachnoid and the pia mater, Editor’s note] of patients with Multiple Sclerosis prevents the brain from repairing itself in appropriate way (remielination). My main scientific publications can be found on Pubmed

Your best quality

I am highly organized

Favorite quote

“Travel as much as you can. As far as you can. As long as you can. Life’s not meant to be lived in one place”

Your dream in the drawer

To open a laboratory of MRI-pathology [which studies neurological diseases through a dual and complementary approach: neuropathology and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Editor’s note]


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