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Davide De Pietri Tonelli

Senior Researcher Tenure Track - Principal Investigator
Group Leader of Neurobiology of miRNA lab.

Research Line

Neurobiology of miRNA


IIT Central Research Labs Genova


Via Morego 30
+39 010 2896 725
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2014-current Senior Researcher (Tenure Track), Group Leader of the Neurobiology of miRNAs lab at IIT

2008-2013 Researcher (no independence of budget). Kickstart of the Neuroscience wet labs and animal facility at IIT. 

2006 External collaborator with Clontech inc. (Mountain View, CA, USA). Development of vectors for the detection of miRNAs expression at the single-cell level in vivo.

2004-2008 Fellow Wieland Huttner lab. at Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Cell-Biology and Genetics, Dresden (Germany). Topic: microRNAs in mouse neurogenesis and neocortical development.

1999-2003 Fellow at DIBIT, Vita-Salute San Raffaele Institute, Milano (Italy). Topic:  post-transcriptional control of gene expression in Neural cells.


PhD in Neurobiology at University of Varese (Italy).

MSc Molecular and Cellular Biology at University of Milano (Italy).

Organization of Scientific Meetings:

2017     Co-organizer/Chair/lecturer, Workshop “Emerging complexity and functions of miRNAs-dependent regulation in neuroscience” at the 12th German  Neuroscience Society meeting, Göttingen, Germany.

2016     Organizer, 1st IIT-Merck-Sigma-Aldrich industrial collaboration meeting, Aug 23rd IIT Genoa

2014     Organizer,1st IIT-Promega industrial collaboration meeting, Oct 27th, IIT Genoa

             Co-organizer/Lecturer, Symposium on microRNAs in brain development ad function, 9th FENS forum, Milan, Italy,

 2012     Chairman/lecturer, 7th International MicroRNAs Meeting Europe. Symposium “MicroRNAs in Development”. Nov. 1 - 2. University of Cambridge, UK.

External Reviewer:

National and international Grants: 2010, “IIT-SEED” projects (IIT grants for External labs); 2011, Singapore Medical Research Council; 2017, Royal Society-Wellcome-Trust, UK; 2015-2018, Swiss National Research Foundation, CH.

As Panelist of a PhD committee: 2017 Amsterdam Univ (The Netherlands); 2018 Univ. of Geneva (Switzerland).

Scientific Journals (in Alphabetical order, several/year): Biol. Psych.; Brain Plast.; Cell. Mol. Life Sci.; Development; Developmental Biol.; EMBO. Rep; Front. Neurosci; Front.Genetics; Heliyon; Human Mol. Gen.; J.Mol.Neurosci.; J.Neurosci.; Mol. Neurobiol.; Mol. Psychiatry; Nature Comm.; Neurogenesis; Neuron; Nucl. Acids Res.; PNAS; Prog.Neurobiol., RNABiol.; RNA; Sci.Reports; Stem Cells Dev.; Stem Cell. Rep.; Trend.Biotech.

Membership of professional societies:

2015 – Present   Associate Member, Japan Neuroscience Society

2010 – Present   Full Member, International Society for Stem Cells Research

2008 – Present   Full Member, RNA Society 

Teaching activities:

2018-present     Contract Professor of “Developmental Neurobiology” Master degree in biotechnology, University of Genova, Italy (24 hours/year, 10 students on average). 

2017-present     Habilitation as Associate Professor (Italian Ministry of Reasearch and Education) in “Molecular Biology”; “Applied Biology” and “Comparative Anatomy and Cytology”.

2008-present     Lecturer of “Stem cells and noncoding RNA biology”, IIT-Univ of Genoa joint doctoral school (8 hours/year, 30 students on average)

2008-2010        Contract Professor of “Neural stem cell differentiation” for the Master degree in Molecular and Cell Biology, at University of Genova, Italy (24 hours year; 10 students on average)


Dissecting control of neurogensis by noncoding RNAs and other post transcriprional mechanisms as key to understand brain (mal)formation and aging.

Research of my group focuses on:
i) Small RNAs in basic and translational aspects of neurogenesis in mammals
ii) New technological approaches enabling oligotherapy for human brain dysfunctions



EU-REA, Marie Curie Actions (MCA) Call: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-RG. TITLE: NEUROGENESIS IN 22Q11.2 DELETION SYNDROME: ROLE OF microRNAs. ACRONYM: MIRNAS/22Q11DS. D. De Pietri Tonelli, Coordinator; F. Niola, Grantee. Project Budget, 100.000 Euros. Project duration 2011-2015.

FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IEF. Acronym: “ASTROCLOCK”; Title “Astrocyte regulation of circadian behaviour” Olga Barca Mayo (Grantee); Davide De Pietri Tonelli (Scientific Coordinator). Project Budget: 241.567 €; Project Duration: 2014 – 2016.

AIRC - Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro. Title: Stimuli-Responsive Nanoparticles for eradicating different subsets of cancer cells within tumors. PI Teresa Pellegrino; Davide De Pietri Tonelli (Collaborator). Project Budget 180.000 €; Project Duration 02/01/2014-01/01/2017.

Fondazione CARIPLO, Call 2015 “Biomedical research on ageing-related diseases”. Title “Role of the astrocyte-mediated circadian clock in neurodegeneration and brain aging”. PI/Coordinator Francesco Nicassio IIT@SEMM, Milan; Co-PIs: Davide De Pietri Tonelli, Olga Barca Mayo (NBT Dept. IIT Genoa) and Michele Cilli (H San Martino, Genoa). Project Budget 349,650 €. Project duration 2016-2020

AIRC - Investigator Grant. Role PI. Title: Differentiation therapy for GBM through synergic action of 11 miRNAs/drugs delivered via lipid/polymeric nanoparticles. Project Budget 599.610 €. Project Duration 2018-2022


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