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CNR Rome and Naples

CNR, Institute of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, Rome.

The Institute of Cell Biology and Neurobiology of CNR, based in Rome, was born in December 2010 by the union of the research groups of the INMM (Institute of Neurobiology and Molecular Medicine), IBC (Institute of Cell Biology) – both founded by Nobel Prize winner Rita Levi Montalcini – and the Institute of Neurosciences, with the aim to overcome the traditional disciplinary boundaries and develop an innovative system of exchange between researchers from different scientific backgrounds.

The Institute’s activities are focused on basic research in the biological and medical sciences and include neurobiology, behavioral studies, immunology, genetics and oncology, the study of the molecular mechanisms that regulate cell functions (proliferation, differentiation and cell death). Particular attention is devoted to the study of cell growth factors from membrane receptors to signal transduction pathways, with research on diseases of the development and differentiation of the nervous and muscular systems.

The Institute is home to the Italian section of a European EMMA (European Mouse Mutant Archive) for the production, preservation, and international distribution of mutant mouse strains such as in vivo models of human genetic diseases and multifactorial (www.emmanet.org - www.emma . cnr.it).

The Institute has an extensive and proven experience in the field of cell culture, especially muscle and nerve cells, and in the study of differentiation and regulation of gene expression. More recently, the IBCN has developed expertise in the study of stem cells and iPS cells. From the technological point of view, IBCN laboratories are perfectly fitted for the high throughput analysis of nucleic acids (quantitative PCR and microarrays), for flow cytometry and confocal microscopy.

In IBCN the project will be in collaboration with the CNR Institute of Genetics and Biophysics “Adriano Buzzati Traverso” in Naples. The IGB was founded in 1963 by Adriano Buzzati-Traverso, known geneticist and an Italian scientist. The mission of IGB is the genetic research of biological macromolecules, in prokaryotic and eukaryotic model organisms through an integrated multidisciplinary approach to study morphological and molecular, structural and functional. In particular, the interest of the institute focuses on three research areas: i. the pathogenic mechanisms of diseases and human genetics, ii. developmental biology and stem cells, and iii. molecular and genetic approaches to basic biology. Of particular relevance to this project is the commitment to study the biology of stem cells and progenitor cells with attention to the potential applications in regenerative medicine.

Among the advanced technology platforms hosted at the IGB, is comprised of the Stem Cell Fate Lab (www.igb.cnr.it/scfl/). The SCF is equipped with a robotic platform for “high throughput screening” HTS Cellomics (Hamilton), a unit of innovative automation assembled in-house called Cell-Maker. This allows the standardization of time consuming tasks as microplate coating, planting, cleaning and changing means of cell culture; also is equipped with a multi-signal (fluorescence, chemiluminescence, and absorbance). Its configuration, including hardware (pipetting unit and integrated instrumentation) and software components, has been adapted to handle correctly the ES cells and driving their differentiation. The screening platform is able to process collections of compounds, such as chemical libraries (individual compounds or mixtures combinatorial) simultaneously.

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