Dr Massimiliano Baldassarre

Dr Massimiliano Baldassarre

Dear colleagues,

It is with deep sadness that I am writing to let you know of the sudden and unexpected death of Dr Max Baldassarre, Lecturer in Medical Sciences.

Max was a valued friend, colleague and collaborator to many of us.

 Max joined the University as a research fellow in the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) in October 2013 and was subsequently promoted to Lecturer in May 2017. Max’s research focused on studying how cell and organism (the host) interact with bacteria and other microorganisms as a tool to shed light on fundamental cell biology mechanisms and reveal mechanisms used by microbes to colonise and survive in the host, addressing important human health-related diseases.

Prior to arriving in Aberdeen, Max worked in David Calderwood’s laboratory at Yale University from 2004-2013, where he enjoyed a productive and highly formative period unveiling critical molecular mechanisms underlying cytoskeleton-extracellular matrix interaction, cell migration and invasion.  In November 2012, in recognition of his ability and managerial skills, he was appointed to set up and direct a new pooled-shRNA screening facility for high-throughput identification of novel oncological targets at Yale medical school.

Max did his early training in the laboratory of Prof Roberto Buccione at the Consorzio Mario Negri Sud from 1994 to 2004 in Italy. He originally joined the group as a laboratory technician. Prof Buccione described Max as “From the start, he clearly emerged as bright, ambitious, and willing and able to learn. This drive inexorably transformed him into a researcher, leading to his appointment as staff scientist in the Institute in 2000. His work led to multiple publications as first author and other co-authorships.”

Max was married to the late Stefania Spanò, Professor of Microbiology, with whom he had a daughter, Isabella.  Our thoughts are very much with Max’s family at this time.

Donations can be made to a fund established by Max in memory of Stefania through the University's Development Trust here. The fund is used to support early career woman researchers within the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.

Anyone affected by this sad news can make use of the University services available including:

Best wishes


Siladitya Bhattacharya

Head of the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition

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