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Universitäts-Herzzentrum Freiburg - Bad KrozingenUniversitäts-Herzzentrum Freiburg - Bad Krozingen

Leonardo Sacconi, PhD

  • Interplay between sub-cellular alterations of calcium release and T-Tubular defects in cardiac diseases.
  • Real-time optical manipulation of cardiac conduction in intact hearts.
  • Structural mapping of action potential propagation pathways through healthy and diseased heart.

Leonardo Sacconi received his Master's degree in Physics in 2001 at the University of Florence and then moved to Trento, where he obtained his PhD in Physics in 2004. He spent one year as a visiting scientist in the Watt Webb laboratory at Cornell University. There he developed an imaging method to optically record neuronal action potentials using non-linear microscopy. When he returned to Italy, to the laboratory of Professor Francesco S Pavone at European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy, he started new research projects focused on the in vivo functional imaging of brain by non-linear microscopy. In this period, Leonardo developed a system called Random Access Multi-Photon (RAMP) microscope that was capable to record action potentials from multiple neurons simultaneously. The RAMP microscope was also exploited to investigate the action potential propagation in cardiac cells. This represents the beginning of his independent activities in the field of cardiovascular research. He is now a Researcher at the National Institute of Optics in Florence where he is developing innovative imaging methodologies to increase the understanding of cardiac physiology.  In 2020 Leonardo joined the IEKM in Freiburg as a visiting scientist.