I hold a Chair in Restorative Neuroscience at Imperial College where my research group investigates the molecular signalling and transcriptional mechanisms that control axonal sprouting and regeneration. I also hold a honorary post within the NHS as a consultant in Neurology. Previously, since 2006, I worked at the University of Tuebingen, Germany as a Research Group Leader, where I was also a consultant clinician in Stroke and General Neurology.
I did my post-doctoral training in Neuroscience studying gene expression regulation after spinal cord injury at Georgetown University, Washington DC, 2001-2004 where I became research Instructor (2004-2006). I studied Medicine at La Sapienza University and did my Neurology training at Catholic University, Rome, Italy.
Research in my group aims to investigate the molecular signalling mechanisms that discriminate between axonal regeneration and regenerative failure including following peripheral and spinal cord injuries respectively. In fact, while axons that lie in the periphery mount a regenerative programme, axons in the central nervous system do not. Therefore we prioritize the study of the post-injury differential regenerative ability of dorsal root ganglia neurons. They are pseudounipolar sensory neurons that from the same cell body project a peripheral regeneration-competent axon to the periphery and a central regeneration-incompetent axon into the dorsal column of the spinal cord.
Since axonal regeneration in the peripheral nervous system is imperfect and inefficient, enhancing the regenerative properties of the injured central nervous system such as in the spinal cord may be important to promote recovery of function and limit neurological disability in both spinal cord and peripheral nerve injury. Our work can have broad implications for conditions spanning from traumatic, vascular, inflammatory, degenerative and metabolic (such as diabetes) damage to the spinal cord, spinal roots and peripheral nerves.
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Thomas Hutson, post-doctoral fellow
Ilaria Palmisano, post-doctoral fellow
Paolo La Montanara, post-doctoral fellow
Luming Zhou, post-doctoral fellow
Francesco De Virgiliis, PhD student
Elisabeth Serger, PhD student
Franziska Mueller, PhD student
Guiping Kong, PhD student
Jessica Chadwick, PhD student
Restorative Neuroscience research
For further information the role of Prof. Di Giovanni within the Restorative Neurosciences section please skip to the 3 minute mark on the video below or use the following link:
Additional information on the Restorative Neuroscience section of Imperial's Brain Sciences Division can be found here: http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/departmentofmedicine/divisions/brainsciences/restorativeneuroscience/
et al., 2019, PP4-dependent HDAC3 dephosphorylation discriminates between axonal regeneration and regenerative failure, Embo Journal, Vol:38, ISSN:0261-4189
et al., 2019, Cbp-dependent histone acetylation mediates axon regeneration induced by environmental enrichment in rodent spinal cord injury models, Science Translational Medicine, Vol:11, ISSN:1946-6234
et al., 2019, Paracrine mechanism of redox signalling for post-mitotic cell and tissue regeneration, Trends in Cell Biology, ISSN:0962-8924
et al., 2018, Reactive oxygen species regulate axonal regeneration through the release of exosomal NADPH oxidase 2 complexes into injured axons (vol 20, pg 307, 2018), Nature Cell Biology, Vol:20, ISSN:1465-7392, Pages:1098-1098
Palmisano I, Di Giovanni S, 2018, Advances and Limitations of Current Epigenetic Studies Investigating Mammalian Axonal Regeneration, Neurotherapeutics, Vol:15, ISSN:1933-7213, Pages:529-540