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Enrico Castroflorio

PhD Student

Former colleague


NSYN@Unige Genova


+39 010 5558 357


My research interests lay in understanding the molecular basis of epilepsy and autism. As an undergraduate in the laboratory directed by Dr. Maurizio Giustetto, my research focused in the cellular and molecular defects that affect nerve cells in the brain of Mecp2 mutants that represent a murine model of  Rett Syndrome and Cdkl5 mutant mice that represent the murine model of the Hanefeld variant of Rett Syndrome. I have analyzed two different phosphorylation patterns of the ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) in the brain of MeCP2, CDKL5 knockout and wild type mice at different postnatal ages. My experiments revealed a deficit in the activation of this pathway most likely leading to reduced rates of protein synthesis in different brain regions.

After my master degree, I have been in Lexington, Kentucky, like a Short Term Research Scholar in the department of Neurology at the University of Kentucky, in the laboratory directed by Dr. Franca Cambi. Here I was responsable of the molecular and biochemical experiments aimed to characterize a novel mouse model deficient of a kinase, named GSK3b, which they have found to regulate splicing and cell differentiation in oligodendrocytes during brain development.

I later joined Prof. Benfenati’s lab for my doctoral training, where I currently study the physiology of presynaptic plasticity, and different uncharacterized genes that have been found mutated in patients affected by different form of epilepsy. I hope this works further expands our knowledge about the molecular mechanisms at the basis of epilepsy, and other neurological and psychiatric disorders.

My technical experience was mostly focused on preparing histological samples from rodents brains, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence procedures on brain sections and primary hippocampal neurons, western blotting analyses, RT-PCR and sample examination using light- confocal- and electron microscopy

Selected Publications

Elena Amendola, Yang Zhan, Camilla Mattucci, Enrico Castroflorio, Eleonora Calcagno, Claudia Fuchs, Giuseppina Lonetti, Davide Silingardi, Alexei L. Vyssotski, Dominika Farley, Elisabetta Ciani, Tommaso Pizzorusso, Maurizio Giustetto, Cornelius T. Gross. "Mapping Pathological Phenotypes in a Mouse Model of CDKL5 Disorder" - PlosOne (May, 2014).




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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.