Current PhD Students

Started 2018
Started 2017
Started 2016
Started 2015
Started 2014
Started 2013
Started 2012
Started 2010

Started 2017

Andrea Faraone

andrea.faraone@sns.it

Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
Paola Pacifico

paola.pacifico@sns.it

Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
Aurelia Viglione

aurelia.viglione@sns.it

Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
Ottavia Vitaloni

ottavia.vitaloni@sns.it

Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:

Started 2016

Ajesh Jacob

ajesh.jacob@sns.it

Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:

 

Sara Bagnoli

sara.bagnoli@sns.it

Current Scientific Interest:

Nothobranchius furzeri as a model for neurodegeneration

Research Project:
Notobranchius furzeri is a teleost part of the annual killifish group endogenous of central-east Africa. This group of fish lives in temporary pools formed during rainy seasons and dies when the pools evaporate in dry season. To adapt to such environment, the killifish evolved a particular life cycle, developing one of the shortest lifespan along vertebrates: the Notobranchius furzeri MZM-04 strain has a median lifespan of only 27 weeks.
Professor Cellerino’s group proposed Notobranchius furzeri as animal model to study ageing due to its phenotype that recapitulates most of the aging aspects of mammals, humans included. Moreover Notobranchius furzeri shares some of the advantages of zebrafish, the most notable of those are the external fecundation and the great number of eggs created for reproductive event, both leading to easiness in transgenic lines creation.
We know that brain undergoes major changes during ageing, and these changes seems to be mandatory to the evolution of neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, there is an increase in iron content, gliosis, and lipofuscin accumulation. The same molecular events also occur during Norhobtanchius furzeri brain ageing. Seen the strict correlation between brain ageing and neurodegenerative diseases, finding a model in which we can study such pathologies in old brains could be a former step in the research.
Seen the valuable advantages that Notobranchius furzeri offers our goal is to check if it can be used as a neurodegenerative disease model, in particular to investigate two of the most studied neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer and Parkinson.
Using RNA-seq data analysis, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry, we assessed that the principal genes involved in the development of Alzheimer and alpha-synuclein are conserved and expressed in Nothobranchius furzeri. Moreover using the 4G8 antibody against aβ and an anti phospho-synuclein antibody it is possible to observe the presence of some aggregates even if we analyzed only brains from wild-type animals.

Keagan Dunville keagan.dunville@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
Leonardo Lupori

leonardo.lupori@sns.it

Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
Fabiana Miraglia

miragliafabiana@gmail.com

Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
 

Vincenzo Verdi

vincenzo.verdi@sns.it

 Current Scientific Interest:

Research Project:

Started 2015

Francesco Cacciante francesco.cacciante@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
Nadia Concetta Giordano nadia.giordano@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
Manuella Martins manuella.martins@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
Maria Teresa Mazzetto mariateresa.mazzetto@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
Alexia Tiberi alexia.tiberi@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:

Started 2014

Cinzia Caterino cinzia.caterino@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
 
  renatacerna_cropped

Renata Cerna renata.cerna@sns.it

Current Scientific Interest:

I got my M.Sc. degree in Cell Biology at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City in 2012. My M.Sc. thesis was focused on expression of DCLK-1, a putative cancer stem cell marker, in a rat model of hepatocarcinogenesis. I started my PhD studies at Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa in November 2014. In our laboratory we aim to understand the molecular mechanisms of long-lasting analgesic effect of anti-TrkA and anti-NGF antibodies in a mouse model of neuropathic pain. Among my research interests highlight regulation of gene expression, epigenetics, chronic pain. In my free time I like travelling, studying foreign languages, knowing other cultures, playing volleyball, Ping-Pong and swimming.

Research Project: Long-lasting analgesic effect of anti-TrkA and anti-NGF antibodies in neuropathic pain
 marcoMarco Fantini marco.fantini@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:

Marco Fantini  joined SNS in 2008 as an undergraduate student in the Biology department and then, after obtaining the diploma, he was readmitted in 2014 as PhD student in Neuroscience. He received his BS and MD in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Pisa, where, in partnership with SNS, he researched intracellular antibodies and their application in neurodegenerative diseases research. His current research interests include intracellular antibodies technology and bioinformatics. Marco is a computer enthusiast and occupies nearly any free time with it.

Developed Software

Bruno Enrique Pinto bruno.pinto@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
  Lucia_RotaLucia Rota lucia.rota@sns.it

Current Scientific Interest:

Lucia Rota got her M.Sc. degree in Pharmacy at Milan University (IT). During the last year of her degree she got interested in neuroscientific research, thus she did her internship and thesis in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University Nijmegen (NL), collaborating with the Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences at Milan University. Currently, she is a PhD student in Neuroscience at Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa (IT), where she is investigating the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in α-synucleinopathies, through methodologies of molecular biology and biochemistry, exploiting cell and animal models. In her spare time Lucia enjoys cooking, playing football, music festivals and traveling.

Research Project: Molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in α-synucleinopathies: α-synuclein and its aggregation
Giacomo Siano giacomo.siano@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
Elena Tantillo elena.tantillo@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:

Started 2013

Valerio Corvaglia

valerio.corvaglia@sns.it

Current Scientific Interest:
Francesco Gobbo

francesco.gobbo@sns.it

Current Scientific Interest:

Francesco Gobbo, born Cittadella (Padua), was an undergraduate fellow in Biology at Scuola Normale Superiore. He received his BSc and MSc from the University of Pisa in Molecular and Cell Biology. During his Master Thesis he became interested in mRNA trafficking and post-transcriptional regulation of translation. In 2013 he joined the PhD program in Neuroscience at Scuola Normale Superiore under the supervision of Professor Antonino Cattaneo, focusing his attention in their role in neuron functioning and memory storage. His interests include neuron cellular physiology, mRNA metabolism and regulation, RNA trafficking, and cellular mechanisms that contribute in shaping the neuron’s asymmetry. He speaks three foreign languages (English, German, and French), and is interested in literature and arts.

Research Project: RNA-mediated subcellular delivery of optogenetic probes in neurons
Debora Napoli debora.napoli@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:
Marco Terrigno marco.terrigno@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:
Research Project:

Started 2012

  CAterina_Rizz1Caterina Rizzi caterina.rizzi@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:

Caterina Rizzi received her B.S in molecular biology in 2010 and Master Degree in Biology applied in biomedical scientis-curriculum neurobiology from Pisa University  in 2012. Her current research involves neurotrophins and glia cells in neurodegenerative disease. She’s focusing on the effect of Nerve Growth Factor on microglial physiology specifically relating to their possible role in Alzheimer Disease. Caterina is pursuing her thesis research studies in the laboratory of Antonino Cattaneo with the supervision of Simona Capsoni. She enjoys traveling, skiing in winter and sailing in the summer, she also particularly loves interior design.

Research Project: Role of Nerve Growth Factor in microglia cells: Relevance for Alzheimer Disease
  GiovannaTestaGiovanna Testa Giovanna.testa@sns.it
Current Scientific Interest:

Giovanna Testa received both her undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology and her MSc in Neurobiology from University of Pisa. Before being admitted to the PhD program in Neurobiology of SNS, she has contributed to research projects about central nervous system development. Currently, she is interested in understanding the role of the neurotrophin NGF and its receptor TrkA in neurodevelopmental diseases characterized by mental retardation and pain insensitivity. Besides, she is also involved in the characterization of molecular details underlying TrkA activation and signal transduction. When she is not busy in the lab, she enjoys reading and visiting art exhibitions.

Research Project: Role of NGF and TrkA mutations in hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies.

Started 2010

 10636135_10205415991423775_5722156874244252678_n

Nicola Maria Carucci

nicola.carucci@sns.it

Current Scientific Interest:

Nicola Maria Carucci graduated in Neurobiology from Pisa University in 2010 with a thesis in electrophysiology in rat visual cortex in Matteo Caleo’s lab. He now works in Prof. Antonino Cattaneo’s lab, with the supervision of Simona Capsoni, at Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. Nicola’s research interests focus on astrocytes homeostasis in the hippocampal and cortical regions, specifically in a context of neurotrophins imbalance. He works both in vitro and in vivo in mouse models of Alzheimer disease. Out of the lab, Nicola’s interests include botanic, entomology, natural history, baroque music.

Research Project: NGF and Astrocytes in neurodegenerative disease models