Following an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and a year studying Arabic and Middle Eastern studies in Egypt and Dubai, Manfredi’s interests eventually led him to study Biology at Harvard. Shortly thereafter he joined the Beijing Genomics Institute as a scientific coordinator, where he landed in a lecture by Andrew Hessel that inspired him to take part in the International Genetic Engineering Machine (iGEM) competition in Boston. He then decided to return to academia to do a Masters in Synthetic Biology back in the UK, where his project focused on dissecting a cancer drug resistance mechanism using theoretical modelling. While studying drug delivery, his interest moved towards vascular biology and how tissues are perfused by the creation of new blood vessels. This led him to start a PhD in Oscar Ces’ lab at Imperial College, working between the Chemical Biology Institute and National Heart and Lung Institute in order to develop a platform to sustain disease-state cardiac tissue in vitro – a technology that could have far reaching consequences for reducing animal testing in drug development. In his free time he primarily enjoys the company of beagles and occasionally designs hedge mazes.