During the Young Stroke Physicians and Researchers (YSPR) session at ESO-WSO 2020 virtual conference, four early career stroke physicians and researchers will present their planned or ongoing projects and receive feedback from two renowned stroke experts.

The session will be held on Saturday November 7th at 09.45 in Hall C.

In these series of interviews, we are going to meet them and hear about their story.

First, we are meeting with Matteo Paolucci.

Matteo is a neurologist from Italy and he is going to present “Patent foramen ovale as a marker of altered vascular development in migraine with aura patients”. Please stay tuned!


Something about myself

Hi everybody, I’m Matteo. I am an Italian Neurologist. I come from Rome, where I attended the Medical school and the Neurology residency. At the moment, I work as a clinical neurologist in Cesena, Italy, mainly as a stroke specialist. I am also a PhD student in Neurological Sciences.

How did you get involved in stroke research?

Back in the residency, I was involved in Neurosonology and post-stroke neuroplasticity studies. Then, I spent a fantastic year in Oxford, joining the Oxvasc study. Once back in Italy, I wanted to shift towards more acute-phase focused research.

Why did you choose this topic?

I’ve always found fascinating the research on the pathogenesis of neurological diseases. In this light, stroke field it is so broad and complex. It is not just a clot in a vessel. Moreover, there is a challenging clinical side that is continuously developing.

What have been the most difficult challenges regarding your research career so far? 

The two main issues of my research career are time and funding. My clinical contract doesn’t provide for research activities, so I have to conduct my studies in my free time. The other issue is money. I am continually struggling to find fundings for my projects.

How do you balance work life and free time/home life?

Honestly, they are quite unbalanced! I try to make weekly plans, but it the end is a day-to-day process. I attempt to make the most of every possible situation. Like night shifts: the glass half full is that you have free days for research.

What do you think a mentor should do to support the projects and the career of a mentee and, conversely, what should a mentee expect from a mentor?

Ideally, the mentor should adjust the mentee’s aim without altering the proposed projects. It’s about to obtain the best from your hard work, and someone more experienced may (or should) know better what is “the best” in a broader way. The mentor should also assist the mentee to get into his networks.

I think that what a mentee wants from the mentor is sharing common purposes. If the mentor is not interested or involved in your research project, you are wasting your time. So, let’s be clear from the beginning!