Giulia Ammirati

PhD student at ETH Zurich

My name is Giulia, and I am a biophysics PhD student from Lugano. My “why-phase” started as I was a kid and possibly never ended.  In fact, I always had a great curiosity towards nature and its way of functioning. This inclination led me to my current job in Basel where I investigate how mechanical properties of cells, e.g., their stiffness or tension, influence their biological behavior. In fact, in addition to biochemical stimuli as neurotransmitters or hormones, physical stimuli within tissues also affect many aspects of biological processes as cell division, migration and tissue morphogenesis. What has always fascinated me about this field of research, namely mechanobiology, is the beauty behind biological mechanisms which appear very complex at first but often reveal an intrinsic simplicity and originality in the way they function.

Before science, music had a remarkable impact on my personality and character over the years. In fact, as a child I was a very quiet and shy girl almost afraid of my shadow. It was only by playing the violin for almost ten years that I developed the spontaneous, enthusiastic, and outgoing personality I am usually described with.

Participating at the Locarno Film Festival gives me great pleasure for several motivations. Firstly, going back to my canton is a rather rare occasion as often my peers and I leave these beautiful landscapes for better opportunities in other parts of Switzerland. Also, I am eager to participate as it would be one of the very sporadic opportunities to take the science out of the lab.  Nevertheless, what I am really looking forward to, is the diversity in terms of people and perspectives I will meet and engage with during these ten days. In fact, one of my greatest interests in life is meeting people, getting to know their viewpoints and share my enthusiasm for science. Lastly, and certainly less important I am also secretly hoping that this time in Locarno will push me to pursue with more consistency my secret passion for video editing.