Physiopathology of neural stem cells

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Group leader:  Annalisa Buffo 

Physiopathology of neural stem cells
annalisa buffo

Annalisa Buffo

Associate Professor of Physiology


Tel    +39 011 670 6614
Fax   +39 011 670 6621

Born in Turin on 25.12.1967 - Italian.

1991. Doctor in Biological Sciences summa cum laude, University of Turin
1992-1993. Post-lauream apprenticeship at the II Neurological Clinic, Faculty of Medicine, University of Turin
1992-1998 Research fellow, University of Turin
1994. Professional certificate for Biologists, University of Turin
1998 Research Doctorate in Neurological Sciences, Ministry of Education and Science, Rome
1994-1999 Short research stays at the Rudolf Magnus Institute, University of Utrecht, Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Amsterdam and University of Tuebingen
1998-2000 Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Physiology, University of Turin
2001-present Tenured Assistant Professor of Physiology (BIO/09), University of Turin
2004-2005 Visiting Researcher at the Helmholtz Zentrum (GSF, now Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt, GmbH) and Ludwig Maximilans University, Munich, Germany
2018 Vicedirector NICO, Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi

Research interests
Our research focuses on the role of glia and progenitor cells in brain plasticity and repair, and on the implementation of cell replacement approaches and/or training protocols to promote functional recovery in CNS diseases. We believe that specific issues regarding glia and neural progenitors are particularly promising to unveil new keys to the understanding of physiology, disease and repair. 
We therefore investigate: 
(i) cellular and molecular mechanisms of astroglial heterogeneity and plasticity; 
(ii) physiopathology of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells; 
iii) therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diaseses based on cell replacement and training; main model systems are the cerebellum, the neocortex and the striatum of rodents.

European Science Foundation, Short Term Fellowship, 1994, to study B-50/GAP-43 expression in collateral sprouting in the CNS, under the supervision of Prof. W.H. Gispen of the Rudolf Magnus Institute, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Fondazione Cavalieri Ottolenghi, Turin, January 1998, awarded a one year Post-Doc Fellowship in Neurobiology

CNR Short Term Mobility Fellowship, September 1998, to generate a subtractive library from control and denervated adult rat Purkinje cells in the lab of Dr. Bähr, University of Tuebingen, Germany.

University of Turin, October 1999, awarded a 2 year Post-Doc Fellowship in the field of Neurobiology.

COST Cooperation, Short Term Scientific Mission Fellowship, January 1999, to characterise a subtractive library from control and denervated adult rat Purkinje cells in the lab of Dr. Bähr, University of Tuebingen, Germany.

DAAD Short Term Fellowship, 2004.

Von Humboldt Fellowship 2004-2005 to develop strategies to instruct glia cells to neurogenesis in collaboration with Prof. Goetz, Muenchen.

Guest referee for international scientific journals: 

Brain, Progress in Neurobiology, Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Glia, Nature Communication, Journal of Neurochemistry, European Journal of Neuroscience, PlosOne, Neuroscience, Neurochemical Research, Neuroimmunology, BMC Development, Brain Research, Journal of Visualized Experiments, Archives Italiennes de Biologie.

Scientific Societies:  Società Italiana di Neuroscienze (S.I.N.S.); Society for Neurosciences (USA)

Membership in research centers:  Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi (NICO, Orbassano, Turin)

Membership in research networks:  Neuroscience Institute Turin (NIT); Progetto NEUROTRANSPLANT.

Reviewer in international grant projects:
Italian Telethon (since 2000)
French National Research Agency (ANR, since 2010)
MIUR (since 2013),
Estonian Science Foundation (2012)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation; since 2011)

PhD program
Since 2009, tutor in the Council for "PhD course in Neuroscience"

PhD students:
Annarita De Luca, Chiara Rolando, Gianluca Menichetti, Vivien labat-gest, University of Turin
Dilek Colak and Gwendolyn Behrendt : co-tutoring at the Ludwig Maximilians University with Prof. Magdalena Goetz

Member in final PhD thesis evaluation committee:
-Daniela Gavello, PhD in Neuroscience, University of Turin Leptin-mediated up-regulation of BK currents facilitates the recovery from hypoxia in hippocampal neurons and regulation of adrenal chromaffin cells' function (2014)
-Sara Gosso, PhD in Neuroscience, University of Turin Newly designed diamond-based microelectrode arrays (MEAs) for monitoring neurosecretion
- Cecilia Laterza. SCUOLA INTERNAZIONALE DI DOTTORATO DI RICERCA IN MEDICINA MOLECOLARE Università Vita-Salute San Raffele Induced pluripotent stem cells as a potential autologous source of neural stem cells for multiple sclerosis therapy (2013)
- Member of the Thesis Committee of the Doctorate in Psychobiology and Psychopharmacology, Università la Sapienza, Roma (February 2008)

Main invited conferences
"Glial cells generate neurons: new approaches for neuronal reconstitution in the mammalian brain" Euresco Conference on Cellular and Molecular Basis for Regeneration, San Feliu 2004, Invited Speaker

"Instructing neurogenesis in glia cells: reparative potential in neurodegenerative lesions" Meeting of the German Society for Cell Biology, Braunschweig 2006, Invited Speaker

"Olig2 induction in reactive gliosis - glial lineage analysis and neuronal regeneration", Spring School for Regenerative Medicine "Isolation and induction of neuronal progenitor cells" Rostock 2006, Invited Speaker

"Olig2 induction in cerebral amyloidosis: a novel oligodendrocyte reactivity." Glia cells in health and disease, Cold Spring Harbour, 2006, Selected Speaker

"Olig2 induction upon brain lesion - implications for neuronal repair", Annual Meeting of the Federazione Italiana Scienze della Vita, Riva del Garda 2006, Invited Speaker

"Lineage analysis of reactive gliosis – glial diversity and neuronal regeneration", Conference on Brain Disease & Molecular Machines, Paris, 2008, Invited Speaker

"Intrinsic growth potential, regulatory molecules and experience: the complex interplay regulating neuronal plasticity", Meeting of the German Society of Neuroscience, Goettingen, 2009, Invited Speaker

"Astrogliosis: origin, progeny and reparative potential", Symposium on Reactive gliosis: molecular and cellular mechanisms to limit neural degeneration and promote repair, Congresso della Società Italiana di Neuroscienze, Milan, 2009, Speaker and organizer

"Nicchie staminali nel sistema nervoso centrale adulto: fisiopatologia della neurogenesi ippocampale e potenzialità riparative della glia reattiva" Corso di Aggiornamento in Neuroscienze Città di Catania su "Invecchiamento cerebrale e demenza", 2010, 2011, 2012, Invited Lecturer

"Cellule gliali: attori importanti nella neurogenesi adulta e nella riparazione cerebrale", AINO and AIRC joint Congress, Squillace, 2010, Invited Speaker

"Isolation of astrocytes and neural progenitors to understand adult CNS germinal niche functioning" Satellite Symposium on

"Rapid isolation of neural cell populations", 41st annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, 2011, Invited Speaker

"Basi biologiche della neuroriparazione: il ruolo degli astrociti" Congresso della Società Italiana di Neurologia, Workshop su

"Basi Biologiche della Neuroriparazione"2012. Invited Speaker (organizers: Prof. Antonio Uccelli, University of Genova, Dott. Dario Centonze, Università di Roma Tor Vergata)

"Plasticity of the germinal niche: roles of Nogo-A and Nogo Receptor 1 in the homeostatic regulation of adult neurogenesis" Symposium Beyond cell replacement: functional plasticity and homeostatic activities of adult stem and progenitor cells Congresso della Società Italiana di Neuroscienze, Rome, 2013, Speaker and organizer

Main invited seminars and lectures:
-"Meccanismi di regolazione della crescita assonale nei neuroni di Purkinje", Dipartimento di Psicologia, Sezione di Neuroscienze, Università La Sapienza, Roma, Italy, 2009, Invited Seminar (Host: Prof. Maria Teresa Fiorenza)
-"Glial diversity – lineage and reparative responses", Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, 2009, Invited Seminar (Hosts: Prof. Marjo van der Knaap and Dr. Elly Hol, team leaders)
-"Origin, progeny and reparative potential of glial progenitor cells", PhD Course in Neuroregeneration, International PhD Program in Molecular Medicine, Sections of Neuroscience, Neuroscience Technology and Experimental Neurology at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy, 2009, Invited Lecturer
-"Nogo-A/Nogo receptor functions in the homeostasis of the adult SVZ", Brain Research Institute, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, 2012, Invited Seminar (Host: Prof. Martin E. Schwab, Director)

Major ongoing scientific collaborations:
Prof. M.E. Schwab, Brain Research Institute, University of Zurich: Nogo/NgR1 signalling in axon growth and astroglial functions;

Prof. Magdalena Goetz and dr leda Dimou Ludwig Maximilians University, Muenchen: mechanisms of gliotic reaction and promotion of neurogenesis;

Prof. Ferdinando Rossi, University of Turin: interplay between neuronal intrinsic determinants and extrinsic signals in axon growth control;

Prof. Maria Pia Abbracchio, University of Milano: Purinergic signalling in glial cells;

Prof. Patrizia Rosa, CNR, Milan

>   Curriculum Vitae





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Allele-specific silencing as treatment for gene duplication disorders: proof-of-principle in autosomal dominant leukodystrophy.

Brain , 29 May 2019
Giorgio E, Lorenzati M, Rivetti di Val Cervo P, Brussino A, Cernigoj M, Della Sala E, Bartoletti Stella A, Ferrero M, Caiazzo M, Capellari S, Cortelli P, Conti L, Cattaneo E, Buffo A, Brusco A.

25 June 2019

Multiple origins and modularity in the spatiotemporal emergence of cerebellar astrocyte heterogeneity

Plos Biology , 27 September 2018
V Cerrato, E Parmigiani, M Figueres-Oñate, M Betizeau, J Aprato, I Nanavaty, P Berchialla, F Luzzati, C de’Sperati, L Lopez-Mascaraque, A Buffo

11 October 2018

Control of Cell Shape, Neurite Outgrowth, and Migration by a Nogo-A/HSPG Interaction

Developmental Cell , September 2017
Anissa Kempf, Enrica Boda, Jessica C.F. Kwok, Rafael Fritz, Valentina Grande, Andrea M. Kaelin, Zorica Ristic, Andre Schmandke, Antonio Schmandke, Bjoern Tews, James W. Fawcett, Olivier Pertz, Annalisa Buffo and Martin E. Schwab

10 October 2017

Preventive motor training but not progenitor grafting ameliorates cerebellar ataxia and deregulated autophagy in tambaleante mice.

Neurobiology of Disease , February 2017
Fucà E, Guglielmotto M, Boda E, Rossi F †, Leto K, Buffo A

10 March 2017

Transferrin Receptor 2 Dependent Alterations of Brain Iron Metabolism Affect Anxiety Circuits in the Mouse.

Scientific Reports
 Pellegrino RM, Boda E, Montarolo F, Boero M, Mezzanotte M, Saglio G, Buffo A, Roetto A

22 August 2016