Meet the 2023 Rising Stars


After a difficult selection process, where many interesting abstracts coming from all over the World have been evaluated, we are delighted to present you the Rising Stars of 10th Edition of the International Workshop on Lung Health.

Danilo D’Avino

Ph.D. student, Pharmacology
University of Naples Federico II – Italy

Title: Sex dimorphism contributes to initiation and progression of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice

Topic: IPF – Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis


Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a chronic and progressive interstitial lung disease, where the normal lung architecture is lost and replaced by fibrotic tissue. Epidemiology shows that men are more affected than women and the female sex is associated with major survival. Our data suggest that in early stage of PF both inflammatory reaction and fibrotic process occur in parallel in males and females, but an exacerbated fibrosis process takes place only in males.

Anusmriti Pal

Doctor, Internal Medicine
Pulmonology and Critical Care
Karnali Academy of Health Sciences – Nepal

Title: Nintedanib and its outcome among post-COVID pulmonary fibrosis patients residing in high altitude. Case report

Topic: COVID-19


We used anti-fibrotic drug Nintedanib for initial 3-6 months among critical COVID-19 patients and assessed for improved clinical symptoms, oxygen requirement and lung function using pre- and post-treatment High-Resolution Chest Computed tomography Scan and Spirometry. It was found to be associated with improvement both clinically and radiologically with improvement in lung function.

Dr. Yoon Kyung (Rachel) Chang

Postdoctoral researcher, Sydney Pharmacy School
University of Sydney, Australia

Rising star scientific work:

Inhaled bacteriophage (or phage) therapy has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of respiratory infections caused my multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. We have developed novel phage and phage-antibiotic combination formulations for inhaled therapy that can target and kill MDR pathogens in the lungs with promising safety and efficacy profiles in vivo.

Prof. Shital Patil

Consultant in pulmonary and critical care medicine, Pulmonary Medicine
Venaktesh Chest Hospital, Latur Maharshtra India

Rising star scientific work:

Lung fibrosis in Post-covid 19 cases is documented and should be assessed cautiously to have successful treatment outcome. Age above 50 years, male gender, Diabetes, High CT severity, longer duration of illness, proper timing of initiation of BIPAP/NIV therapy, and its early use in comorbid class has documented significant impact on post covid lung fibrosis. Lung fibrosis is known to occur relatively more often in COVID-19 pneumonia cases in presence of hyperglycemia and it will take more than usual time to resolve in presence of Diabetes mellitus. Response to conventional antifibrotics is excellent and it will have positive impact on radiological and clinical outcome in post covid-19 fibrosis cases.

Ms. Efthymia Theofani

PhD candidate, Cellular Immunology Laboratory
Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens, Greece

Rising star scientific work:

We report an unexplored mechanistic link between impaired TFEB-associated autophagy and excessive NLRP3 signaling that underlies asthma severity. Amelioration of asthma pathogenesis upon TFEB reprogramming, illuminates TFEB as a novel therapeutic target for SA.

Nicol Bernardinello

PhD student at the University of Padova, Italy

Rising star scientific work:

The prognostic role of muc5b rs35705950 genotype in patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) on antifibrotic treatment.

Sara Wijnant

Doctoral researcher, University Ghent, Belgium

Rising star scientific work:

Expression of ACE2, the SARS-COV-2 receptor, in lung tissue of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Ray Animesh

Assistant Professor, Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi

Rising star scientific work:

Nebulised Amphotericin B versus Oral Itraconazole in Pulmonary Aspergilloma: a parallel group randomized controlled trial.

Antonia Morita Iswari Saktiawati

Internal Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM)

Rising star scientific work:

Diagnosis of Tuberculosis (TB) through an electronic nose.

Arjun Khanna

Consultant and Head of the department Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Galaxy institute of Pulmonology, Galaxy Hospital, 5 AGCR enclave, Delhi 110092 and Yashoda Superspeciality Hospital , Kaushambi, UP.


“My primary research focuses are Interstitial Lung diseases, Advanced COPD/Respiratory failure, Pulmonary Infections, Sleep Medicine.”

“Differences in Tobacco smoke associated, and Biomass fuel associated Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD) – A unique disease of the Indian Subcontinent” Biomass fuel associated COPD is a unique subset of COPD, encountered in rural India. Most of the patients are unsuspecting nonsmoker, females. The diagnosis of COPD is commonly missed in these patients, they present late in the course of disease and have poor health seeking behavior.

Nicola Lorè

Infections and Cystic Fibrosis Unit, Division of Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases; Ospedale San Raffaele. Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele MILANO (Italy)


“My primary research focuses on studying immunity, with particular attention on host-pathogen interaction in the context of airway diseases. Using different model of in vivo and in vitro infections, I have demonstrated the role of IL-17/IL-17R immune axis in modulating host defense and immunopathology in the lung. Based on my skills in immunology, microbiology and genetics, my current research interests are focused on the mechanistic comprehension of the immune response during chronic respiratory disease.”

“The IL-17s/IL-17Rs axis in airway defense and immunopathology during chronic respiratory disease associated to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections.”
The exaggerated inflammation and tissue damage, associated to persistent infections, are central pathological features of chronic respiratory diseases. We are interested in elucidating whether the IL-17 cytokines family may modulate chronic lung disease progression associated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa persistent infections.

Isis Fernandez

Helmoltz Centrum Munich

Rising star scientific work:

Circulating MDSC modulate IPF progression by orchestrating immunosuppressive and pro-fibrotic networks.

Matteo Bradicich

Cisanello University Hospital
Pisa , ITALY

Rising star scientific work:

Assessing inflammatory patterns in asthma endotypes; new diagnostic and therapeutic perspectives.

Margit V. Szabari

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care
Wellman Center for Photomedicine
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Rising star scientific work:

Using Optical Coherence Tomography to evaluate airway dynamics in vivo.

Dejan Radovanovic

School of Respiratory Diseases-University of Milan
Pulmonary Unit
Ospedale L.Sacco, ASST Fatebenefratelli-Sacco
Milan, ITALY

Rising star scientific work:

The role of bronchodilation on airway mechanical stress, lung hyperinflation and NO production in stable COPD.

Aran Singanayagam

Academic Clinical Lecturer in Respiratory Medicine
Imperial College London (UK)

Rising star scientific work:

Influence of inhaled corticosteroids on host-defence and the lower respiratory tract microbiota.

Letizia C. Morlacchi, MD

U.O. Broncopneumologia, Dipartimento di Fisiopatologia e dei Trapianti, IRCCS Fondazione Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico di Milano, Università degli Studi di Milano

Rising star scientific work:

Serum cytokines patterns in lung transplant recipients.

Andras Bikov

Department of Pulmonology, Semmelweis University – Budapest (Hungary)

Rising star scientific work:

Circulating biomarkers in asthmatic pregnancy.

Aleksandra Górska

Pneumonology and Allergology Department at the Medical University of Gdansk
Gdansk (Poland)

Rising star scientific work:

Risk factors for anaphylaxis and the differences in B3GAT1 and ITGB1 gene expression in patients with mastocytosis.

The Rising Stars Programme has been realized also thanks to the Unrestricted Grant of: