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Alessandro Esposito

Affiliated Researcher
PhD student

Research Line

Neuroscience and Smart Materials

Center

IIT Central Research Labs Genova

Contacts

+39 010 5558 357

About

EDUCATION

2014: Master's degree in Neurobiology  at the Sapienza University of  Rome, Italy.

2010: Bachelor’s degree in General and Applied Biology  at the University of  Naples “Federico II”, Italy.

2004: High School Diploma  at Liceo Scientifico statale of Naples “Vincenzo Cuoco”, Italy.

 

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

November 2015-present : Laboratory activities at the Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genoa, Italy, under the supervision of Prof. Fabio Benfenati and Prof.Anna Fassio. Project title: “Vacuolar ATPase and synaptic homeostasis: a new pathway for neurodevelopmental disorders”.

July 2014-October 2015: Laboratory activities at the at the Department of Neuroscience and Brain Techologies, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genoa, Italy, under the supervision of Dr. Evelina Chieregatti. Project title: “ Effect of extracellular alpha-synuclein on the morphology, connectivity and synaptic efficiency of neurons in culture and brain slices”

March 2014-June 2014: Laboratory activities at the Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources (IBBR-CNR), Naples, Italy, under the supervision of Dr. Elia Di Schiavi. Project title: “Study the role of tcab-1 genes in the survival and functionality of Cholinergic Motor Neurons of  the animal model Caenorhabditis elegans”

March 2013-March 2014: Experimental thesis in Neurobiology at the Institute of Genetics and Biophysics (IGB-CNR), Naples, Italy, under the supervision of Dr. Elia Di Schiavi. Project title: “Study and characterization of genetic and/or physical interactors o smn-1 gene in a model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy set in Caenorhabditis elegans”

February 2010-May 2010: Experimental thesis in Cytology and Histology at the Departement of Biology, University of  Naples “Federico II”, Italy, under the supervision of Prof. Gaetano Odierna. Project title: “Characterization of family of satellite DNA in Patella intermedia (Mollusca, Gasteropoda)

 

TECHNICAL EXPERTISE

  • DNA estraction and purification, mouse genotyping, agarose gel electrophoresis, mouse brain slices dissection and ex-vivo treatment, purification and analysis of complex protein samples by SDS PAGE and western blot, lipid rafts isolation with sucrose gradient, surface biotinylation of cell membranes, proteins pulldown, co-immunoprecipitation, handling of small laboratory animals, immunofluorescence, dissection, plating, and maintenance of mouse embryonic cortical and hippocampal neurons, neurons live imaging (FRAP, vesicles tracking), acquisition and analysis of images from immunostained neurons or brain slices with confocal microscope, lentivirus production, C. elegans techniques: maintaining, cleaning and freezing worms, performing genetic crosses, PCR and fusion PCR, RNA interference (neuron specific RNAi and systemic RNAi), generation of transgenic lines by microinjection, mutants genotyping, behavioral analysis, epifluorescence and DIC microscopy for morphological analysis of C. elegans neurons.

Projects

Current projects:

- Vacuolar ATPase and synaptic homeostasis: a new pathway for neurodevelopmental disorders

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 - Characterization of new genes involved in childhood epileptic encephalopathy 

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Selected Publications

 

-Nature Communications (2015 Jul 22)

HDAC6 and RhoA are novel players in Abeta-driven disruption of neuronal polarity.

Hanako Tsushima, Marco Emanuele, Alice Polenghi, Esposito Alessandro, Massimo Vassalli, Andrea Barberis, Francesco Difato, and Evelina Chieregatti

-EBioMedicine (2016 May 7)

Exogenous Alpha-Synuclein Alters Pre- and Post-Synaptic Activity by Fragmenting Lipid Rafts.

 Emanuele Marco, Esposito Alessandro, Camerini Serena, Antonucci Flavia, Ferrara Silvia, Seghezza Silvia, Catelani Tiziano, Crescenzi Marco, Marotta Roberto, Canale Claudio, Matteoli Michela, Menna Elisabetta, Chieregatti Evelina.

-Hum Mol Genet. (2016 Jun 15)

Neuron-specific knock-down of SMN1 causes neuron degeneration and death through an apoptotic mechanism.

 Ivan Gallotta, Nadia Mazzarella, Alessandra Donato, Alessandro Esposito, Justin C. Chaplin, Silvana Castro, Giuseppina Zampi, Giorgio S. Battaglia, Massimo A. Hilliard, Paolo Bazzicalupo, Elia Di Schiavi.

 -Neurobiology of disease (2017 May 11)

WDR79/TCAB1 plays a conserved role in the control of locomotion and ameliorates phenotypic defects in SMA models.

Esposito Alessandro+, Di Giorgio Maria Luisa+, Maccallini Paolo+, Micheli Emanuela, Bavasso Francesca, Gallotta Ivan,Vernì Fiammetta, Feiguin Fabian, Cacchione Stefano, McCabe Brian D, Di Schiavi Elia, Raffa Grazia Daniela.

-The Journal of neuroscience (2018 January 18)

 PRONOUNCED HYPERACTIVITY, COGNITIVE DYSFUNCTIONS AND BDNF DYSREGULATION IN DOPAMINE TRANSPORTER KNOCKOUT RATS.

 Leo D, Sukhanov I, Zoratto F, Illiano P, Caffino L, Sanna F, Messa G, Emanuele M, Esposito A, Dorofeikova M, Budygin EA, Mus L, Efimova EE, Niello M, Espinoza S, Sotnikova TD, Hoener MC, Laviola G, Fumagalli F, Adriani W, Gainetdinov RR.

-Brain (2018 April 13)

De novo mutations of the ATP6V1A gene cause developmental encephalopathy with epilepsy

 Alessandro Esposito*, Anna Fassio*, Mitsuhiro Kato, Hirotomo Saitsu, Davide Mei, Carla Marini, Valerio Conti, Mitsuko Nakashima, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Akgun Olmez Turker, Burcu Albuz, C. Nur Semerci Gündüz, Keiko Yanagihara, Elisa Belmonte, Luca Maragliano, Keri Ramsey, Chris Balak, Ashley Siniard, Vinodh Narayanan, Keri Ramsey, Chris Balak, Ashley Siniard, Chihiro Ohba, Masaaki Shiina, Kazuhiro Ogata, Naomichi Matsumoto, Fabio Benfenati, and Renzo Guerrini

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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.