epigenetic biomarkers, epigenetic therapy, numerical modelling, synthetic biology, translational research
adult stem cells, cancer cell lines, numerical models
Analysis of chromatin transcriptional layout at gene promoters of interest [CpG methylation (Methylation-Specific Polymerase Chain Reaction - MSP, Bisulfite Sequencing – BS)], [Global/local histone marks (western blotting - WB, Chromatin ImmunoPrecipitation - ChIP)]; Evaluation of the expression of genes of interest [mRNA level (quantitative RT-PCR, immunofluorescence microscopy - IF), protein level (western blotting - WB, immunofluorescence microscopy - IF, immunoassays - ELISA, enzymatic assays)]; Molecular cloning and heterologous expression [Standard iGEM assembly and numerical modeling of associated transcriptional/translational program(s)]; Functional assays [cell viability/proliferation, cell death/apoptosis, cell migration/invasion].
The Lab ICM|BioEngLab is a multi-disciplinary platform, where biologists, chemists, engineers, physicians, physicists and surgeons @UniBO interact at the convergence of life sciences and bioengineering. Research activity is based on a mix of theoretical and experimental approaches. Translational research in oncology (e.g. discovery of diagnostic/prognostic markers, identification of novel molecules/targets for therapy, design of new molecular diagnostic tools) is presently carried out also through a joint research program with IRCCS-IRST [http://www.irst.emr.it/].
The study of epigenetic regulation of phenotypic transitions in either physiology (differentiation) and disease (cancer) is the main focus of the group through (a) adult stem cell and (b) cancer (stem) cell (de)differentiation analysis/induction. In this regard we are: (1) exploring new diagnostic markers for early epigenetic detection of neoplastic disease; (2) studying novel HDACi to target chromatin to up- or downregulate specific genes; (3) using an integrated in-silico and in-vitro approach to study the multilayer regulation (including biological noise) of gene expression; (4) design of synthetic targets to evaluate epigenetic-regulated changes in gene expression.