Gaia Colasante RicercatoreMedicina

Research Activity

Curriculum Vitae

Publications

Research Activity

The coordinated activity of neuronal circuits underlies brain activity and aberrant changes occurring in those networks can result in seizures. Spontaneous seizures are the main features of epilepsy, a chronic disorder that affects over 65 million people worldwide. Although many anticonvulsant drugs with good effects on several patients are available, almost 30% of patient are resistent to pharmacological treatments. For these reasons, alternative therapies need to be developed.

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Our laboratory has a great interest toward the comprehension of the mechanisms underlying the development of the cerebral cortex and in particular of GABAergic interneurons, the neuronal population accounting for inhibition in this compartment of the brain. Alterations in the activity of GABAergic interneurons cause an unbalance between excitation and inhibition in the cerebral cortex, ultimately leading to seizure onset. We are now employing our knowledge in the development of interneurons to exploit new gene therapy and cell therapy approaches for the treatment of drug resistant epileptic encephalopathies.

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • January 2007/April 2011: PhD in Molecular Medicine, Neuroscience Program, at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan.
  • October 2000/November 2005: M. Sc. in Biotechnology, University of Milano – Bicocca.

 

Professional experience

  • 2016/present: Project leader at Ospedale San Raffaele in Stem Cell and Neurogenesis Unit.
  • 2011/2015: Post-doctoral fellow at Ospedale San Raffaele- Division of Neuroscience (Milan) in Dr. Vania Broccoli’s laboratory. Leader of a study aiming to obtain GABAergic cortical interneurons by direct reprogramming of fibroblasts to be applied in innovative therapies for epilepsy.
  • June 2008/October 2008: Visiting PhD student in the laboratory of Prof. Jeffrey Golden at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA).
  • January 2007/ April 2011: PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. Vania Broccoli at San Raffaele Scientific Institute.
  • November 2005/ December 2006: Telethon Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Vania Broccoli, at Stem Cell Research Institute of San Raffaele Hospital.
  • June 2004/ November 2005: Undergraduate student in the laboratory of Prof. Laura Popolo at University of Milan.

 

Grants

  • OSR Seed Grant 2017: “Toward the generation of a human model of Lafora Disease and the setting of a combined gene and cell therapy approach”.
  • Finalizzata GR-2016: “Exploring the symptomatic reversibility in Dravet syndrome and setting transcriptional stimulation of the Scn1a gene as a new therapeutic strategy”.
  • Fondazione Cariplo: Biomedical research conducted by young researchers call 2016 for the project: “Exploring the symptomatic reversibility of Dravet syndrome in murine and human models”.
  • Fondazione Veronesi Postdoctoral fellowship 2014.

Publications

  1. Colasante G, Rubio A, Massimino L, Broccoli V. Direct neuronal reprogramming reveals unknown functions for known transcription factors. Front Neurosci. 2019 Mar 26;13:283.
  2. Massimino L, Flores-Garcia L, Di Stefano B, Colasante G, Icoresi-Mazzeo C, Zaghi M, Hamilton BA, Sessa A. Tbr2 antagonizes retinoic acid dependent neuronal differentiation by repressing Zfp243 during corticogenesis. Dev Biol. 2018 Feb 15;434(2):231-248.
  3. Sessa A, Ciabatti E, Drechsel D, Massimino L, Colasante G, Giannelli S, Satoh T, Akira S, Guillemot F, Broccoli V. The TBR2 molecular network controls cortical neuronal differentiation through complementary genetic and epigenetic pathways. Cereb Cortex 2016 Sep 6.
  4. Colasante G, Lignani G, Rubio A, Medrihan L, Yekhlef L, Sessa A, Massimino L, Giannelli SG, Sacchetti S, Caiazzo M, Leo D, Alexopoulou D, Dell'Anno MT, Ciabatti E, Orlando M, Studer M, Dahl A, Gainetdinov RR, Taverna S, Benfenati F, Broccoli V. Rapid conversion of fibroblasts into functional forebrain GABAergic interneurons by direct genetic reprogramming. Cell Stem Cell. 2015 Oct 28.
  5. Broccoli V, Colasante G, Sessa A, Rubio A. Histone modification controlling native and induced neuroal stem cell identity. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2015 Oct
  6. Caiazzo M, Giannelli S, Valente P, Lignani G, Carissimo A, Sessa A, Colasante G, Bartolomeo R, Massimino L, Ferroni S, Settembre C, Benfenati F, Broccoli V. Direct conversion of fibroblasts into functional astrocytes by defined transcription factors. Stem Cell Reports. 2015 Jan 13;4(1):25-36
  7. Dell’Anno MT, Caiazzo M, Leo D, Dvoretskova E, Medrihan L, Giannelli S, Colasante G, Theka I, Russo G, Mus L, Pezzoli G, Gainetdinov RR, Benfenati F, Taverna S, Dityatev A, Broccoli V, In vivo phenotypic and functional stability of induced dopaminergic neurons and chemo-genetic enhancement of their therapeutic potential. J. Clin. Invest. 2014 Jul;124(7):3215-29.
  8. Colasante G, Simonet JC, Calogero R, Crispi S, Sessa A, Cho G, Golden JA, Broccoli V, ARX regulates cortical intermediate progenitor cell expansion and upper layer neuron formation through repression of Cdkn1c. Cereb Cortex. 2013 Aug 22
  9. Sessa A, Mao C, Colasante G, Nini A, Klein WH, Broccoli V, Tbr2-positive intermediate (basal) neuronal progenitors safeguard cerebral cortex expansion by controlling amplification of pallial glutamatergic neurons and attraction if subpallial GABAergic interneurons. Genes Dev. 2010 Aug15;21(16):1816-26
  10. Colasante G, Sessa A, Last but not least: cortical interneurons from Caudal Ganglionic Eminence. J Neurosci. 2010 Jun 2;30(22):7449-50
  11. Colasante G, Sessa A, Crispi S, Calogero R, Mansouri A, Collombat P, Broccoli V, Arx acts as a regional key selector gene in the ventral telencephalon mainly through its transcriptional repression activity. Dev Biol. 2009 Oct 1;334(1):59-71
  12. Colasante G, Collombat P, Raimondi V, Bonanomi D, Ferrai C, Maira M, Yoshikawa K, Mansouri A, Valtorta F, Rubenstein JL, Broccoli V, Arx is a direct target of Dlx2 and thereby contributes to the tangential migration of GABAergic interneurons, J Neurosci. 2008 Oct 15;28(42):10674-86
  13. Colombo E, Collombat P, Colasante G, Bianchi M, Long J, Mansouri A, Rubenstein JL, Broccoli V, Inactivation of Arx, the murine ortholog of the X-linked lissencephaly with ambiguous genitalia gene, leads to severe disorganization of the ventral telencephalon with impaired neuronal migration and differentiation. J Neurosci. 2007 Apr 25;27(17):4786-98.
  14. McKenzie O, Ponte I, Mangelsdorf M, Finnis M, Colasante G, Shoubridge C, Stifani S, Gécz J, Broccoli V, Aristaless-related homeobox gene, the gene responsible for West syndrome and related disorders, is a Groucho/transducin-like enhancer of split dependent transcriptional repressor. Neuroscience. 2007 Apr 25;146(1):236-47.
  15. Ragni E, Coluccio A, Rolli E, Rodriguez-Peña JM, Colasante G, Arroyo J, Neiman AM, Popolo L, GAS2 and GAS4, a pair of developmentally regulated genes required for spore wall assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Eukaryot Cell. 2007 Feb;6(2):302-16.

Il titolare del presente curriculum vitae, pubblicato online sul portale www.unisr.it, è garante in via esclusiva della correttezza e della veridicità dei dati e delle informazioni in esso riportate e del loro eventuale e puntuale aggiornamento. Egli è dunque il diretto ed unico responsabile dei contenuti indicati nei propri curricula.