Davide has a background in thermal physiology, and he is internationally recognised as a leading expert in the neurophysiology of human skin temperature and wetness sensing. He has >10 years of experience in conducting human research in healthy and clinical groups such as multiple sclerosis patients.
In 2017, Davide founded the THERMOSENSELAB, a laboratory that specialises in skin sensing research in health and neurodegeneration, and which is now part of the Skin Health Research Group at the University of Southampton.
Davide’s research has a strong enterprise ethos, and he believes that major advances in skin and health care can arise from bridging the gap between academia and industry. For example, he has collaborated with leading sport clothing manufacturers to map regional differences in skin sensing across the body, to inform the design of sport clothing that improve thermal comfort for female athletes. Also, he has co-operated with global goods manufacturers to model the biophysics and physiology of wetness on the skin, to improve the design of absorbency products for babies and adults.
- Davide’s original research programme investigates:
- i) the biophysical and physiological mechanisms that allow humans to sense changes in the temperature and wetness of their skin.
- ii) the role of these mechanisms in body temperature regulation and the initiation of thermal behaviours.
- iii) the impact of neurodegeneration (as induced by diseases like multiple sclerosis) on optimal skin sensing and body temperature regulation.
After completing a BSc and MSc in exercise physiology (University of Palermo, Italy), Davide obtained a PhD in thermal physiology (Loughborough University, UK).
Following on his doctorate, Davide received an Endeavour Research Fellowship to investigate thermoregulation in multiple sclerosis at the University of Sydney (awarded by the Australian Government). He then held a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley, where he researched patterns of skin thermosensing across the body in healthy individuals (funded by the US Dept. of Energy).
In October 2016, Davide was recruited to a research-intensive Vice Chancellor’s Lectureship by Loughborough University, where he set up the THERMOSENSELAB (http://www.thermosenselab.com/).
In March 2021, Davide joined the University of Southampton’ Skin Health Research Group as an Associate Professor, where he continues to investigate how the skin detects and reacts to the thermal challenges posed by our surrounding environments.