Barbara Mazzolai is Associate Director for Robotics and Director of the Bioinspired Soft Robotics Laboratory at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Genoa. From February 2011 to March 2021 she was the Director of the IIT Center for Micro-BioRobotics (CMBR). She graduated in Biology (with Honours) at the University of Pisa, Italy, and received the Ph.D. in Microsystems Engineering from the University of Rome Tor Vergata. She was Deputy Director for the Supervision and Organization of the IIT Centers Network from July 2012 to 2017. From January to July 2017 she was Visiting Faculty at Aerial Robotics Lab, Department of Aeronautics, of Imperial College of London. She is member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (Tübingen and Stuttgart, Germany) and of the Max Planck Queensland Center on extracellular matrix, and member of the Advisory Committee of the Cluster on Living Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems – livMatS (Freiburg, Germany). In 2020, she has obtained the Italian National Scientific Qualification of Full Professor in Bioengineering. Her research activity is in the field of bioinspired soft robotics, combining biology and engineering for advancing technological innovation and scientific knowledge. In particular, she focuses her investigations on plants and invertebrate animals. In the field of plant-inspired robotics, she was the Coordinator of the EU FET-Open PLANTOID project, and currently she is the Coordinator of the EU FET-Proactive Projects GrowBot and I-SEED. In May 2021, she has started the European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant “I-Wood”, Forest Intelligence: robotic networks inspired by the Wood Wide Web. She has received various awards for her work, including the Marisa Bellisario Award and the Medal of the Italian Senate. She is author and co-author of more than 260 papers appeared in international journals, books, and conference proceedings. In 2019, she published her book “La Natura Geniale” and in 2021 “Il futuro raccontato dalle piante” (ed. Longanesi).