The Department CIBIO – at the University of Trento pursues the task of creating a suitable environment for merging classical cellular and molecular biology approaches with the new powerful tools of systems and synthetic biology, and with the contribution of chemistry, physics, informatics, mathematics, and engineering in an integrative view of basic biological processes and of their derangement in disease.
Research at CIBIO covers a number of topics all emphasizing experimental analysis at various levels of biological organization, and are roughly focused on four major research programs: Cancer Biology & Genomics, Cell & Molecular Biology, Microbiology & Synthetic Biology, Neurobiology & Development.
The program Cancer Biology & Genomics is characterized by a strong focus on fundamental studies directed to molecular determinants of gene expression control conducted also with a network-oriented approach. The applicative goals of this research are the description of pathways involved in cancer onset and progression, the mechanistic understanding of constitutive or acquired aggressiveness, and the identification of bioactive molecules in a drug screening setting.
The program Cell & Molecular Biology addresses research topics such as intracellular trafficking, host-virus interaction, RNA and protein homeostasis, and molecular mechanisms controlling the turn-over of nucleic acids and proteins.
The program Microbiology & Synthetic Biology aims to study fundamental microbial processes, with a focus on the relationships of microorganisms with the (host) environment, at the level of single cells, populations, or microbial communities. The applicative goals include the development of new diagnostic, therapeutic and prevention approaches against infective diseases, also by means of new synthetic or semi-synthetic microbial systems.
The Neurobiology & Development program aims to identify and characterize genetic determinants of CNS development contributing to the onset of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders including autism, schizophrenia, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, retinal and neuromuscular disorders. Our studies aim to provide mechanistic explanations for the onset and progression of CNS pathologies, with the ultimate goal to identify novel therapeutic strategies.