Stroke Science: From Lab to Life. Meet Federica Borgarelli, our EMEA Field Clinical Engineers Lead – and learn about the role her team plays in advancing stroke science.

Stroke Science: From Lab to Life. Meet Federica Borgarelli, our EMEA Field Clinical Engineers Lead – and learn about the role her team plays in advancing stroke science.

Stroke Science: From Lab to Life. “At CERENOVUS, we are always learning and innovating because there is a continuous cycle of knowledge sharing between our lab and stroke physicians.” Federica Borgarelli, EMEA Field Clinical Engineers Lead.

Welcome to the second instalment of our ‘Stroke Science: From Lab to Life’ series
The most common type of stroke, ischemic stroke, happens when a blood clot disrupts the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. In this series, we shine a light on the pioneering work of our CERENOVUS team who focus on understanding how and why strokes and clots occur and behave and share this knowledge among the neurovascular community. 

Meet Federica Borgarelli
As the EMEA Field Clinical Engineers Lead within CERENOVUS, Federica leads a diverse team of highly skilled individuals that act as a bridge between researchers and stroke physicians. Their role is two-fold: not only do they play an essential role in educating physicians about our innovative devices and share new insights on stroke research, they also collate valuable feedback on any unmet needs to help inform further research and development in the lab. 

We spoke to Federica about how her team’s work helps make a difference in stroke science, the characteristics that are key to her team’s success, and what excites her most about the future of stroke care. 

What attracted you to the field of stroke science?
I was drawn to stroke science – the study of how and why strokes and clots occur and behave – because of the huge potential for innovation and advancement. I started working in this field in 2015, when mechanical thrombectomy was introduced as standard care for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke – and that was a really exciting time. As I have a technical background, I was extremely interested in the engineering side of the devices, especially the EMBOTRAP™ Revascularization Device, which has a unique design.

How would you describe the work you do within your team? 
My team acts as the bridge between the lab and stroke physicians. We convey the research and knowledge from scientists in the lab to the real world, where we inform stroke physicians on the latest advancements in stroke science and provide education and training support on how to use our devices for the best patient outcomes. 

Image two

What do you think sets CERENOVUS apart in the field of stroke science? 
At CERENOVUS, we are always learning and innovating because there is a continuous cycle of knowledge sharing between our researchers and stroke physicians – and my team acts as the two-way bridge that facilitates that communication. 

We don’t just share the latest scientific advances in stroke science with physicians; we also constantly collaborate with them to obtain feedback and learnings that are conveyed back to the lab to inform further research, improvements, and developments. This approach provides real value for the neurovascular community and patients.

This is important because each clot, the cause of ischemic stroke, is different. By working in close collaboration with physicians, researchers and universities, we can continuously test and research different clots to create devices and improve patient outcomes. 

This constant stream of communication also creates the foundation for future collaborations. We have had physicians come to us for support on research angles. For example, they may have collected a unique clot from their patient, but they might lack the equipment to perform in-depth analysis, so we will collaborate with them on their research. This results in a knowledge-sharing network that spans countries and continents. 

This cycle of knowledge sharing is so important, as collaboration and scientific partnership are the first steps to advancing innovation. 

Image 3

How has your team made a difference in stroke science? 
The work we do is essential in advancing stroke science. For example, research and development at CERENOVUS was initially focused on creating a device that could target and act on the widest range of clots. While this solution was effective on a wide range of clots, we realised, through our constant connection and collaboration with physicians in the field, that there were certain tough clots that required an alternative approach. We took this feedback to the lab, and this led to further research and development. Another device was then created to handle tougher (generally fibrin rich) clots – and this is now being used by physicians to help improve the outcomes of patients with tough clots.

But this journey of learning and development continues. We will continue generating additional knowledge to create the next generation of devices to ensure that a stroke does not mean a life sentence for patients.
Tell us about your team – what characteristics do you need to succeed in the team, and what do you enjoy most about working with them?
As a team that has to share stroke knowledge across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, the two most important characteristics for success are: a willingness to learn and listen, and diversity. 

Having a passion for continuous learning is essential to the work we do. We have to learn about the challenges physicians are facing, along with the latest research and technologies being developed in the lab, and we have to understand it well enough to convey it effectively to both sides. It’s a never-ending cycle. 

Diversity is equally important because the EMEA region covers a huge range of countries and diverse populations with different cultures – from Russia, Spain, Germany and all other European countries, to Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Israel and more. Our team has to be flexible and able to adapt to different cultures in order to understand and engage with physicians across various geographies. 

As for what I enjoy most about my team? It’s our teamwork. We are always collecting and sharing information with each other, and we collaborate to find solutions together. This creates a great team dynamic, and it makes the work we do much more enjoyable. 

Federica with her team

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The work we do here at CERENOVUS is very purposeful. I always say that I would like to live with purpose, and to bring tangible value – to patients and the scientific community – and my work allows me to do that. 

The best part of my job is when a physician tells me that our innovative devices saved their patient’s life. It brings me such joy, because it is never just the patient’s life that is saved; it is an outcome that also positively affects their entire family and friends. 

What excites you about the future of stroke science?
The future of stroke science still holds so many possibilities. While there have been many advances in recent years, there is still so much potential for more research and development. I’m excited to be able to play a role in this future, to make a difference that will positively impact on patient outcomes and save more lives.