Cell and Developmental Biology

biologia cell e dello sviluppo ok descrizioneResearch groups in the Unit of Cell and Developmental Biology share a common interest in exploring the mechanisms underlying the coordinated interactions of molecules, cells and tissues to form living organisms. They combine genetic, biochemical, molecular, cellular and nanotechnology approaches to investigate fundamental biological processes.

This Unit seeks to understand, in particular, the biology and function of the nervous system at multiple levels of analysis. Researchers focus their interest on aspects of developmental and cellular neurobiology ranging from molecular mechanisms, intercellular signaling, gene expression, neuronal commitment, to the organization of cells into structurally and functionally integrated circuits.

Different research groups use a variety of experimental models, from frog, fish to mammals, including mouse and human stem cell systems, and exploit the power of genetics and innovative methods to investigate pivotal issues in contemporary developmental and cellular neurobiology. The Unit also has strong interest in disease, dysfunction and repair of the nervous system, and in connecting innovative basic research to translational medicine and nanomedicine.

Research lines are:

  • Eye and retina differentiation
  • Epigenetic regulation of brain development and differentiation
  • Neural crest development and differentiation
  • The study of mechanotransduction of the axonal growth
  • Development of nano-therapeutics for the posterior eye segment
  • Use of zebrafish embryos as Avatar for approaches of personalized medicine
  • How neural stem cells generate distinct types of neurons in the cerebral cortex
  • Human pluripotent and neural stem cell models to investigate the mechanisms of neurodevelopment, regeneration and disease
  • Zebrafish models to study healthy and pathological brain aging
  • CRISPR/Cas9 and omics approaches to unveil new players in embryonic and adult neurogenesis
  • Study of the role of serotonin in development and function of the central nervous system
  • Mapping the structural and functional connectome in animal models of autism
  • Use of gene editing for the generation of animal models of human diseases


Personnel of the Unit:

Full Professors:
Luciana Dente
Massimo Pasqualetti

Associate Professors:
Massimiliano Andreazzoli
Ugo Borello
Michela Ori
Vittoria Raffa
Robert Vignali
Marco Onorati
Elisabetta Ferraro
Chiara Gabellini

Andrea Cerase

TA Staff:
Guglielma De Matienzo
Corrado de Petris
Elena Landi
Davide Martini
Sara Migliarini
Gabriella Sbrana

Here you can find the address.