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Principal Investigator  

Research Topics

Bertacchini Jessika

 

MUSCLE-BONE CROSS TALK

Signaling mechanisms involved in bone cell relationship during osteogenesis.
Signaling mechanism involved in the muscle bone cross talk.

Bicciato Silvio

 

 

 

BIOINFORMATICS

Ongoing research projects:

– Integrative analysis of multi-omics data from bulk and single cell high-throughput technologies;

– Reconstruction of gene regulatory networks in physiological and pathological cell states;

– Identification of of cell–cell interactions and communication from single cell gene expression data;

– Development of computational methods to model the cellular ecosystem of normal and cancer tissues.

Bortolotti Carlo Augusto

 

 

 

 

DEVELOPMENT OF BIO-(IN)ORGANIC INTERFACES FOR NANOBIOTECHNOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS; ORGANIC BIOELECTRONIC DEVICES FOR HEALTH (SENSORS) AND INVESTIGATION OF BIOLOGIC PROCESSES

Design, fabrication and characterization of bio(in)organic interfaces, with a focus on organic electronic devices, for health and life science applications.
Demonstration of organic electronics biosensor for detection of small compounds, antigens and for monitoring biological processes. structure/function relationship in health-relevant (metallo)proteins

Carnevale Gianluca

 

DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY AND MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF NEURAL CREST-MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS

– Immunomodulatory properties of dental pulp stem cells;
– Differentiation ability of dental pulp stem cells.

De Luca Michele

 

 

 

 

 

MOLECULAR MECHANISMS REGULATING EPITHELIAL STEM CELL RENEWAL AND PROLIFERATION AND EPIDERMAL STEM CELL-MEDIATED CELL AND GENE THERAPY

– Molecular and functional characterization of human epidermal stem cells;
– studies of molecular mechanisms regulating self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation of squamous epithelial stem cells by conventional methods integrated with genomic (genotyping and next generation sequencing), epigenomic and transcriptomic technologies;
– Definition of experimental and clinical protocols for ex-vivo combined cell and gene therapy of Epidermolysis Bullosa and other genodematoses.

Dominici Massimo

 

 

 

 

CANCER AND MESENCHYMAL STROMAL/STEM CELLS

Our study focuses on the interaction between tumour and stroma cells in order to provide new insights on cancer development, simultaneously aiming to generate new therapeutics based on modified mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSC).
Current research:
– Dissection of malignant and stromal cell interactions in tumours using ex vivo and in vivo assays;
– Gene manipulation of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSC), as putative stromal cell precursors to specifically deliver anticancer molecules within tumour microenvironment

Fanelli Francesca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMPUTATIONAL STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY

Ongoing projects:
- structural characterization of rhodopsin mutants associated with the Autosomal Dominant form of Retinitis Pigmentosa (ADRP); 
- structure-based discovery/development of pharmacological chaperones with therapeutic potential against ADRP caused by rhodopsin mutations; 
- structure-based discovery/development of inhibitors of Lbc-RhoA interaction with therapeutic potential as anticancer agents; 
- structural characterization of vasopressin 2 receptor (V2R) mutants linked to the Nephrogenic Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuresis (NSIAD) and structure-based discovery of V2R ligands as potential therapeutic agents against NSIAD and cancer;
- structure-based discovery of small ligands of the KDEL receptor;  
unveiling the functional dynamics of RhoA and RhoGEFs of the Dbl family; 
- development and application of the Protein Structure Network (PSN) analysis tool and Web server to unveil the structural communication in biomolecular systems; 
- maintenance and development of the Wordom software for the analysis of molecular structures, trajectories, and free energy surfaces.

Imbriano Carol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRANSCRIPTIONAL CONTROL OF CELL PROLIFERATION AND DIFFERENTIATION BY NF-Y SPLICE VARIANTS

The activity of the laboratory is focused on NF-Y,  a heterotrimeric transcription factor with a  “pioneering” role in the establishment of transcriptional programs. NF-Y regulates the transcription of several genes, such as cell cycle, pro- and anti-apoptotic genes, whose expression is fundamental in the balance between cell proliferation and cell death. NF-Y is one of the transcription factors orchestrating oncogenic transcriptional changes,and clinical studies correlated upregulated expression of its target genes to poor clinical prognosis in multiple types of cancer.  Moreover, NF-Y has a key role in the control of proliferation and differentiation programs of pluripotent and adult stem cells.
Our research is directed towards investigating the transcriptional activity of NF-Y in cancer and muscle stem cells.
In the last years, we focused our activity on NF-Y splice variants generated by alternative splicing events and, through in vitro and in vivo genetic, molecular and cellular biology approaches, we are shedding light on the role of NF-Y isoforms I) in cancer phenotype and their possible use as novel biomarkers in patients stratification and II) in controlling the fate of muscle stem cells, namely satellite cells, which are involved in skeletal muscle regeneration.

Losi Lorena

 

 

 

IDENTIFICATION OF GENETIC AND EPIGENETIC ALTERATIONS IN CANCERS TO SEARCH BIOMOLECULAR MARKERS FOR DIAGNOSIS, PROGNOSIS AND SELECTIVE THERAPIES

Special area of research activity:
-Histological and molecular alterations involved in neoplastic pathogenesis focused on colorectal and ovarian tumors.

Luppi Mario

 

 

 

 

 

 

GENETIC AND IMMUNOLOGIC PATHOGENESIS OF HEMATOLOGIC DISEASES

Special areas of research activity: 
– The study of genetic and immunologic risk factors for viral and fungal infections in bone marrow/stem cell and solid organ transplantation; 
– The development and validation of new immunologic tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of infectious agents in at risk immunocompromised patient groups; 
– The study of anti-tumor immune responses in acute leukemia patients undergoing targeted therapy and in monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance/multiple myeloma patients and in monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance/multiple myeloma patients; 
– The investigation of new  immuno-therapeutic approaches for virus-related tumors. 

Manfredini Rossella

 

 

 

 

 

MOLECULAR AND FUNCTIONAL CHARACTERIZATION OF NORMAL AND CANCER STEM CELLS

– Identification of the deranged regulatory networks mRNA/microRNA/lncRNA/circRNA in Leukemic Stem Cells (LSC) of blood neoplasms (Acute leukemias and myeloproliferative diseases);
– Identification of novel therapeutic targets in Leukemic Stem Cells (LSC) of blood neoplasms;
– Molecular and functional characterization of the hematopoietic stem cell niche;
– Genomic and trascriptomic characterizaztion at single cell level of normal and Leukemic Stem Cells (LSC) of blood neoplasms;
– Molecular characterization of Epithelial stem cells.

Marasca Roberto

 

 

 

 

GENETIC AND IMMUNOLOGIC PATHOGENESIS OF HEMATOLOGIC DISEASES

 Special areas of research activity:
– Role of microenvironment in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia;
– Acquired or inherited resistance to new agent in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia;
– The immunologic assessment of CLL and the role of new drugs as immunomodulator agents;
– Role of B-Cell Receptor Pathway in pathogenesis of lymphoproliferative disorders

Marigo Valeria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF RETINAL DEGENERATION

The focus of the laboratory is basic and preclinical research on rare diseases affecting vision: retinal degeneration and albinism. Retinal degenerations, specifically Retinitis Pigmentosa and Leber Congenital Amaurosis, are the major cause of incurable blindness during early adulthood and working age. They are neurodegenerative diseases caused by cell death in photoreceptor cells. Retinal degeneration is characterirised by high genetic heterogeneity with more than 100 genes identified and this feature hampers the development of a treatment. The genetic defect has been identified for some of them, however the pathogenetic mechanism causing photoreceptor cell death is still poorly understood and the dieseas represents an unmet medical need.
We are currently studying the molecular mechanisms underlying cell death during retinal degeneration and developing molecular and pharmacological approaches to delay or inhibit photoreceptor cell death in the retina. These studies are based on in vitro molecular analyses either on retinal stem cells derived from murine models of the disease or on genetically modified photoreceptor cell lines. We defined in vitro the neuroprotective activity of a cGMP inhibitory analogue, of a chaperone and of PEDF and we are now developing delivery systems for these molecules in vivo and testing them on murine models of the disease.

Mattioli Anna Vittoria

 

CARDIOVASCULAR APPLICATION OF REGENERATIVE MEDICINE

– Cardiac, muscolar and vascular regeneration: trigger and mecanism

Palumbo Carla

 

 

 

 

MUSCLE-BONE CROSS TALK

 Muscle-bone cross talk and related signaling during bone regeneration.

– Peripheral neurodegeneration and correlated alterations of the bone-muscle cross-talk

HISTO-PHYSIO-PATHOLOGY OF SKELETAL TISSUES AND REGENERATIVE STRATEGIES FOR THE RECOVERY OF OSTEOCHONDRAL LESIONS

– Interaction between skeletal tissues and biomaterials, for the recovery of locomotor apparatus defects

– Scleral Ossicles (SO): development of “naturally decellularized new biomaterials” in defining novel strategies for regenerative medicine

– PLC family: up/down-regulation in bone cells involved in bone turnover during physiological/pathological conditions

– Role of exosomes derived from amniotic fluid stem cells in counteracting age-related disorders.

 

Pellegrini Graziella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOLECULAR MECHANISMS REGULATING EPITHELIAL STEM CELL RENEWAL AND PROLIFERATION AND EPITHELIAL STEM CELL-MEDIATED CELL THERAPY

– Molecular and functional characterization of human epithelial stem cells (epidermis, cornea, conjunctiva, urethra, oral mucosa and airway epithelia);
– Studies of molecular mechanisms regulating self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation of squamous epithelial stem cells by conventional methods integrated with genomic (genotyping and next generation sequencing), epigenomic and transcriptomic technologies;
– Definition of experimental and clinical protocols aimed at clinical application of: limbal stem cells in different pathologies of the ocular surface; stem cells of conjunctival, urethral and buccal epithelia in traumatic destruction of the conjunctival epithelium, dry-eye Syndrome, posterior hypospadias, recurring urethral stenosis, reconstructive surgery of oral cavity; stem cells of respiratory epithelia for the reconstruction of upper respiratory tract. 

Pietrangelo Antonello

 

 

 

GENETIC AND MOLECULAR BASIS OF IRON DISORDERS

Ongoing research projects: 
– Transcriptional studies on hepcidin regulation in physiology and pathophysiology ;
-The pathogenic basis for hereditary hemochromatosis and the ferroportin disease;
– The role of iron in the metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; 
– Pre-clinical and phase 1 clinical studies with small molecules to cure hereditary metal transporter diseases.

Potenza Leonardo

 

 

 

 

 

 

GENETIC AND IMMUNOLOGIC PATHOGENESIS OF HEMATOLOGIC DISEASES

Special areas of research activity: 
– The study of genetic and immunologic risk factors for viral and fungal infections in bone marrow/stem cell and solid organ transplantation; 
– The development and validation of new immunologic tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of infectious agents in at risk immunocompromised patient groups; 
– The study of anti-tumor immune responses in acute leukemia patients undergoing targeted therapy and in monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance/multiple myeloma patients and in monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance/multiple myeloma patients; 
– The investigation of new  immuno-therapeutic approaches for virus-related tumors. 

Quaglino Daniela

 

 

 

BIOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY OF THE EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX

Ongoing research projects: 
– Role of ABCC6 and of modifiers genes in the phenotipic expression of  Pseudoxanthoma elasticum;
– On the pathogenesis of ectopic calcification in aging and in genetic diseases;
– Ectopic calcification: identification of markers  in experimental models;
– Elastin assembly and degradation in aging and diseases.

Recchia Alessandra

 

 

 

GENE TRANSFER AND GENE EDITING

Recchia’s lab is focused on the design, development and validation of gene editing systems for in vitro or in vivo gene correction/engineering. Non viral (plasmid, RNA , ribonucleoparticles transfection/electroporation) or viral (Adeonviral, AAV or lentiviral) delivery of gene editing tools have been approached. Gene editing systems and viral vectors aim to correct rare genetic diseases or to engineer T cells for cancer immunotherapy.

Tarugi Patrizia

 

 

 

 

GENETICS, MOLECULAR PATHOLOGY AND PATHOPHYSIOLOGY OF MONOGENIC DISORDERS OF CHOLESTEROL AND PLASMA LIPOPROTEIN METABOLISM

The more significant research lines are the following: 
– Characterization of molecular bases and phenotypic expression  of monogenic and polygenic hypobetalipoproteinemias; 
– Genetic determinants of Non Alcholic Liver Disease (NAFLD) associated with inherited dyslipidemias; 
– Molecular bases of monogenic disorders of intracellular metabolism of cholesterol and triglycerides.