Dr. Paolo Cesare

Senior Scientist

The main focus of Dr. Paolo Cesaré’s work at the Natural and Medical Sciences Institute (NMI) is the development of novel assays for the implementation of physiologically relevant in vitro systems for basic research and drug discovery in neuroscience. This is achieved by integrating microfabrication technologies, electrode arrays, microfluidics and advanced cellular models to recapitulate in vitro features and phenotypes relevant to human neuronal disorders. Of particular interest is the study of chronic pain and neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Cesaré received a Ph.D. in physiology from King’s College London and has many years of experience in the field of pain transduction involving both primary and human IPSC derived cells. He developed a functional and structural in vitro platform for the study and characterization of three-dimensional neuronal networks (central nervous system) and innervation of somatic and visceral structures (peripheral nervous system). Such a revolutionary nerve-on-a-chip (NoC) platform for drug discovery has the unique capacity to form, interrogate and image 3D neuronal circuits in high-throughput. This work is supported by a number of national (Baden Württemberg Stiftung; BMBF; Volkswagen Foundation) and international (Eurostars; Horizon2020; IMI Innovative Medicines Initiative; NC3Rs) grants.

The proprietary technologies on which this platform is built is now protected by two Patent Applications (International Patent Application PCT/EP2018/083715; European Patent Application 17 206 438.8) and its commercial potential was also recognised by BioRegio STERN with two different Science2Start prizes awarded in 2015 and 2018.


B. Molina-Martínez, L.-V. Jentsch, F. Ersoy, M. van der Moolen, S. Donato, T. V. Ness, P. Heutink, P. D. Jones, P. Cesare
A multimodal 3D neuro-microphysiological system with neurite-trapping microelectrodes
Biofabrication, 2022, 14, 025004, https://doi.org/10.1088/1758-5090/ac463b

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