I am generally interested in neuronal stem cell fate potential during embryonic development and upon neuronal degeneration.
I obtained my bachelor’s and master’s degree in Biotechnology and Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Turin in Italy. During these years, I worked on mouse model of microcephaly, a brain developmental disorder caused by defective division of neuronal progenitors, which leads to a smaller brain. I then switched to study the stem cell potential of parenchymal astrocytes in a mouse model of Huntington’s Disease.
After moving to London, I briefly worked in the laboratory of Prof Christiana Ruhrberg at the Institute of Ophthalmology in UCL on the development of GnRH neurons, the only CNS neurons born outside the brain, which are responsible for the release of reproductive hormones from the pituitary. I then started my PhD with Prof Robin Lovell-Badge at the Francis Crick Institute investigating the role of SOX9 in gliogenic potential acquisition of neuronal progenitors during brain development. Most of my work focused on the development of the dentate gyrus, as I showed that granule neurons migration relies on the formation of an astrocytic scaffold regulated by SOX9. During my PhD I also worked as a teaching assistant at UCL and organised several developmental biology conferences as a committee member of the Young Embryologist Network.
To gain more experience in the field of neurodegenerative diseases, I recently joined the laboratory of Prof Paul Matthews as a Research Associate. Here I will define the transcriptomic profile of vulnerable neurons, the first to be lost at early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Outside of the lab, I enjoy cycling, climbing and gardening.
et al., 2021, Dentate gyrus development requires a cortical hem-derived astrocytic scaffold, Elife, Vol:10, ISSN:2050-084X
et al., 2019, PLXNA1 and PLXNA3 cooperate to pattern the nasal axons that guide gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons, Development, Vol:146, ISSN:0950-1991
et al., 2017, Citron Kinase Deficiency Leads to Chromosomal Instability and TP53-Sensitive Microcephaly, Cell Reports, Vol:18, ISSN:2211-1247, Pages:1674-1686
et al., 2015, Dysfunctional SEMA3E signaling underlies gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuron deficiency in Kallmann syndrome, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol:125, ISSN:0021-9738, Pages:2413-2428
et al., 2015, Striatal astrocytes produce neuroblasts in an excitotoxic model of Huntington's disease, Development, Vol:142, ISSN:0950-1991, Pages:840-845