Palazzo della Carovana
Neurobiology of Development and Aging:
cell cycle regulation; molecular mechanisms of neurogenesis; cell diversity in the central nervous system; mechanisms of neuronal cell fate specification; cell reprogramming; embryonic stem cells as in vitro model of neurogenesis; adult neurogenesis; cell and organism aging; molecular mechanisms of aging-related neurodegeneration.
We have recently established a method of in vitro mESC neuralization in minimal culture medium, which allows to investigate the effects of growth factors and morphogens endogenously produced by ESCs on the types of neurons produced. Interfeering with BMP, Wnt and Activin/Nodal signaling allows to steer the identity of mESC-generated neural progenitor cells toward cortical or retinal cell identity. By manipulating morphogens and microRNAs of retinal and cortical development, ongoing projects in the lab aim to:
- obtain progenitor cell populations with retinal or cortical identity from either mouse or human pluripotent cell cultures;
- specify the identity of retinal or cortical progenitor cells toward distinct cell types.