Pia Cosma

Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CRG)

Life & Medical Sciences

ICREA Research Professor and Senior Scientist at Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Barcelona, Spain since Sep. 2010. From 2009-2015 Honorary Associate Investigator at CNR . From 2003-2010 Associate Investigator at TIGEM, Naples. From 2004-2010 Lecturer at the European School of Molecular Medicine. From 1997-2000 Marie Curie Post-doctoral fellow at IMP, Vienna. PhD in Cellular and Molecular Genetics, Univ. Federico II of Naples, 2000. Visiting Scientist in many Universities in USA. She has given many invited talks at major international conferences and Research Institutes. She has been awarded several prizes including: EMBO Young Investigator (YIP) in 2003, Marie Curie Excellence Award in 2005, "Vanguardia de la Ciencia" prize in 2014 and City of Barcelona prize in 2015. She is Order of Merit of the Italian Republic; grade: Knight in 2007. She is ERC Starting Grant awardee, 2009 and HFSP Grant awardee, 2010. She was elected EMBO Member in 2010.

Research interests

Main interests of Cosma’s group are to dissect mechanisms and factors controlling somatic cell reprogramming and tissue regeneration in mammalians. We showed that activation of the Wnt/ß-catenin signalling pathway enhances reprogramming of somatic cells after their fusion with embryonic stem cells. We are dissecting gene networks and reprogramming factors controlled by the activation of Wnt/ß-catenin signalling pathway. Furthermore, by using super resolution microscopy we are investigating on the remodelling of the chromatin fiber during the reprograming process. Remarkably, the activation of Wnt pathway also controls regeneration in response to damage in lower and higher vertebrates. Our goal is to determine whether activation of Wnt/ß-catenin signalling controls cell-fusion-mediated regeneration in mammals. We recently showed that in vivo reprogramming of neurons and hepatocytes after fusion with hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) is a mechanism for tissue regeneration.

Selected publications

– Altarche-Xifro W, di Vicino U, Munoz-Martin I, Bortolozzi M, Bove A, Vila JM & Cosma MP 2016, ‘Functional Rescue of Dopaminergic Neuron Loss in Parkinson’s Disease Mice After Transplantation of Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells’, Ebiomedicine, 8, 83 – 95.

– Sanges D, Simonte G, Di Vicino U, Romo N, Pinilla I, Nicolas M & Cosma MP 2016, ‘Reprogramming Muller glia via in vivo cell fusion regenerates murine photoreceptors’, Journal Of Clinical Investigation, 126, 8, 3104 – 3116.

– Sottile F, Aulicino F, Theka I & Cosma MP 2016, ‘Mesenchymal stem cells generate distinct functional hybrids in vitro via cell fusion or entosis’, Scientific Reports, 6, 36863.

Selected research activities

* Invited talks:

– Summit of Stem Cell Therapy for Eye diseases in Chonqquing, China

– Blueprint meeting in Brussels, Belgium

– EMBL conference Perspectives in Translational Medicine, Heidelberg, Germany

– Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health and Hong Kong University, China

– B-debate, Barcelona

* Invited at discussion panel NEI AGI Workshop, NIH, USA

* Organizer BioNanoVision ICREA Symposium