• About SNS

    The Scuola Normale Superiore is a public institute for higher education that in its two centuries of life has earned itself a special place, both in Italy and abroad, a place characterised by merit, talent and scientific rigour.  Two types of course are available: the undergraduate course and the PhD course.The teaching activity is distributed among three academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, placed in Pisa, and the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, located in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. 

  • Admission

    The evaluation for entrance to the first year of the undergraduate course does not include the high school leaving certificate, and the bachelor's degree is not taken into consideration in the entrance examination for the fourth year course. For each PhD course, candidates’ level of competence, talent, motivations and aptitudes to scientific research will be assessed on the basis of their qualifications and research project and an interview.

  • Academics

    The Scuola Normale Superiore offers two types of course: the undergraduate course, leading to first and second level university degrees, and the PhD course, the international equivalent of the Italian Dottorato di ricerca.The teaching and research activity is distributed among three academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, and the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences.The first two academic structures, housed at the Pisa site, organize courses for both the  undergraduate course and the PhD course. The Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, situated in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, deals only with the PhD course.

  • Research

    A highly qualifying feature of the Normale way is the strong link between teaching and research that is a characteristic of both the undergraduate and the graduate programmes of the Scuola. The research structures of the two Faculties welcome students with a relevant study interest, enabling them to collaborate in a mature way with the activities of the researchers.

  • International

    The Scuola Normale is an institute of a decidedly international nature. Examinations for admission to the undergraduate degree course and for the PhD course are open to all citizens worldwide. A certain number of places on the PhD course are reserved for students from other countries. During the pre laurea and  post lauream teaching courses, study and research programmes are made available at overseas universities and research centres with which the Scuola forms an intense network of collaboration.  The doctorate course in particular is taught in a veritable graduate school in line with the highest international standards. 

Colla Emanuela
Emanuela Colla
Research Fellow
Tel. +39 050 3153198

Palazzo della Carovana

Classe di Scienze Matematiche e Naturali
Piazza dei Cavalieri, 7
56126, PISA

Research interest
My research focuses on investigating basic cell mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of Parkinson's Disease and α-synucleinopathy. More specifically, I am interested in the pathobiology of α-synuclein, a gene associated with familiar and sporadic forms of the disease. Through a multidisciplinary approach that uses human tissues from Parkinsonian brains and cellular or animal models of α-synucleinopathy, I investigate the molecular mechanisms of α-synuclein induced cellular toxicity that lead to neuronal degeneration.

Current Appointment
Research Faculty at Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Laboratory of Neurobiology.

Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Pathology, University of Parma, Italy, 2004.

M.S. (Laurea) in Biological Sciences, Molecular Biology major, summa cum laude, at the University of Parma, Italy, 1999.

Postdoctoral fellow at the Division of Neuropathology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA, 2004-2010.

PhD student:
Division of Nephrology Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine/University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore, USA, 2001-2004.
Department of Experimental Medicine, General Pathology section, University of Parma, 2000-2001.
PhD thesis title: Study of mechanisms of cell response to hypertonic stress and inflammation. (Advisors: R. Sala MD PhD, HM Kwon PhD).

MS student
Department of Experimental Medicine, General Pathology section, University of Parma, Italy, 1998-1999.
MS thesis title: Cationic amino acid transporters in human endothelial cells: identification and modulation by Lipopolysaccharide. (Advisors: R. Franchi–Gazzola MD, R. Sala MD PhD).