Current position (January 2016-present)

Astrophysicist at Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian


  • 2004 – 2007: PhD student at the Astronomy Department of the Alma Mater Studiorum-Universita’ degli Studi di Bologna, Italy.
    Thesis title: Formation and co-evolution of black holes and their host galaxies at high redshift.  Advisor: Dr A. Comastri
  • 1998 – 2003: Master degree in Astronomy (maxima cum laude) at the Alma Mater Studiorum-Bologna University.
    Dissertation title:  X-ray spectral analysis of high X-ray-to-optical flux ratio sources in the Chandra Deep Fields. Advisor: Prof. G. Palumbo, Dr A. Comastri.

Appointments and Fellowships

  • 2016 – present: Chandra X-ray Center, Deputy Data Processing Manager
  • 2013-Jan 2016: Associate Research Scientist and Debra Fine Fellow at the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (YCAA)
  • 2012 – 2013: Research Associate at the Dartmouth College Physics and Astronomy Department
  • 2007 – 2012 : Post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • 2007: Post-doctoral fellow at the Bologna University Astronomy Department (Italy)
  • 2003-2006: Pre-doctoral fellow at the INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna (Italy)


  • 2016: Finalist for early career prize by Italian Scientist and Scholar North America Foundation
  • 2012: AstroFIt Marie Curie Reintegration fellowship (declined)
  • 2010: “Blanceflor Boncompagni Ludovisi” Swedish Foundation scholarship (euro 9500)
  • 2009: “Angelo Della Riccia” foundation research fellowship (euro 4000)
  • 2006: “ Marco Polo” pre-doctoral fellowship at the MPE institute (Munich, Germany)

Research Grants as Principal Investigator

  • Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array: “Deep NuSTAR Observations of the JWST-NEP time domain field” ($175,000)

  • 2016: CXC grant “Chandra stacking analysis of CANDELS galaxies at z>1.5” ($51,500)

  • 2015: Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array grant “ NuSTAR extragalactic surveys” ($ 177,942)
  • 2013: STScI NASA “A dedicated search for Gravitational Wave recoiling supermassive black holes in COSMOS” ($ 85,000)
  • 2012: Chandra X-ray Visionary project “The Chandra COSMOS Legacy” ($ 400,000)
  • 2011: NASA Astrophysical Data Analysis grant “A Variable Energy, Redshifted, Iron Absorption Line in a recoiling Black Hole” ($ 124,000)
  • 2010: STScI grant “A Runaway Black Hole in COSMOS” ( $ 13,701)
  • 2010: CXC grant “A Runaway Black Hole in COSMOS” ($ 38,651)
  • 2010: CXC grant “The Dark Matter – AGN Connection and Weak Lensing” ($ 51,281)


155 refereed publications; h index=48; 8708 citations. For metrics click here.


  • 2015: CID-42: A Recoiling, Supermassive Black Hole? (SciTechDaily)
  • 2014: Dead Star and Distant Black Holes Dazzle in X-Rays (NuSTAR NASA press release)
  • 2012: Dartmouth Astronomer Probes the Early Universe (by J. Blumberg, Dartmouth Now)
  • 2012: Giant Black Hole Kicked Out of Home Galaxy (Chandra press release; featured by NASA, Boston Globe, Science News,, Universe Today, and others worldwide)
  • 2010: Forward, into the past by D. Robins (Harvard Gazette)
  • 2010: CID-42: A Black Hole Slingshot (Chandra press release; featured by NASA, Sky and Telescope, Science Magazine, SI science news website, APOD and others worldwide)
  • 2010: Interview about Black Holes for The Astronomer’s Universe (
  • 2010: Invited talk at the press conference on “Black Holes” (215 AAS meeting)


  • 2018-2019 Advisor for summer SAO Latino Initiative Project students
  • 2016-2019 Advisor of SAO postdoctoral fellow F. Fornasini
  • 2016 Advisor of SAO predoctoral fellow A. Masini (grad student at Univ. of Bologna)
  • 2014-2015 Advisor of SAO predoctoral fellow H. Suh (grad student at Univ. of Hawaii)
  • 2012–2015 Advisor of S. Marchesi (grad student at Univ. of Bologna)
  • 2013–2014 Advisor of SAO predoctoral fellow E. Kalfountzou (grad student at Univ. of Hertfordshire)
  • 2013 Advisor of summer high-school student Richard Feder
  • 2012 – 2015:     Supervisor of S. Marchesi, graduate student at the Bologna University funded by the Chandra COSMOS Legacy Survey
  • 2011 – 2012:     Advisor of SAO REU summer students B. Nevin and E. Cunningham
  • 2010:                Advisor of D. Robins, an Herchel Smith Harvard Undergraduate Research Fellow
  • 2010:                Advisor of E. Kruse, sophomore Harvard student

Click here to download the full CV (updated July 2019)