Reprogramming and Regeneration
Gene Regulation, Stem Cells and Cancer
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1994-1995 CNR Postgraduate Fellow, “Federico II” University of Naples
1995-1999 PhD student in Cellular and Molecular Genetics, “Federico II” University of Naples
2000 PhD in Cellular and Molecular Genetics, “Federico II” University of Naples
1997-2000 Marie Curie Fellow, Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna, Austria
2000-2003 Research Associate, Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM), Naples
2003-2010 Group Leader (Associate Investigator), TIGEM
2003 EMBO Young Investigator (YIP)
2004-2010 Lecturer, European School of Molecular Medicine (SEMM), Naples
2005 Marie Curie Excellence Award
2009 Associate Investigator, Institute of Genetics and Biophysics (IGB), CNR, Naples
2010 ICREA Research Professor and Senior Group Leader, Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Barcelona, Spain
2010 EMBO Member
A step forward in neuronal regeneration (11/07/2013)
CRG researchers have discovered a pathway that triggers the reprogramming and regeneration of retinal neurones.
Differentiation from zygotes has been considered as a unidirectional route in all cells of the body. Recently, however, it has become clear that the reverse path is also possible: the reprogramming of somatic nuclei, i.e. the de-differentiation of somatic cells into pluripotent stem-like cells. To date, reprogramming has been induced in vitro by transferring somatic nuclei into enucleated oocytes, by fusing embryonic stem cells (ESCs) with somatic cells, and by transferring specific factors into different types of somatic cell.
Whether reprogramming can occur in vivo in higher vertebrates and what the molecular mechanisms and genes driving reprogramming are remain to be defined. We have recently shown that activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway enhances reprogramming of somatic cells after their fusion with ESCs. Remarkably, the activation of this signalling pathway also controls regeneration in response to damage in lower and higher vertebrates; furthermore, cell fusion is one possible mechanism of regeneration in vertebrates. Our main goal is to determine whether in mice activation of Wnt/β-catenin signalling controls tissue regeneration by enhancing cell-fusion-mediated reprogramming.
Other information about the group
Honours & Awards of the members of the group:
1) Wassim Altarche Xifró, PhD, Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowships
2) Lucia Marucci, PhD, EMBO Long-Term Fellowship
3) Frederic Lluis Viñas, PhD, Miguel Servet Contract
4) Daniela Sanges, PhD, Juan de la Cierva Contract
5) João Frade, PhD student, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
6) Giacoma Simonte, PhD student, Boehringer-Ingelheim Fellowship
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