Pia Cosma

Pia Cosma

Centre de Regulació Genòmica

Life & Medical Sciences

ICREA Research Professor and Senior Scientist at Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), since Sep. 2010. From 2009-2015 Honorary Associate Investigator at CNR. 2003-2010 Associate Investigator at TIGEM, Naples. 2004-2010 Lecturer at European School of Molecular Medicine. 1997-2000 Marie Curie Postdoc at IMP, Vienna. PhD in Cellular and Molecular Genetics, Univ. Federico II of Naples, 2000. Visiting Scientist in many Universities in USA. Talks given at major international conferences and Research Institutes. Awarded several prizes including: EMBO Young Investigator (YIP), 2003; Marie Curie Excellence Award, 2005; "Vanguardia de la Ciència" prize, 2014; City of Barcelona prize, 2015. She is Order of Merit of the Italian Republic: Knight, 2007. ERC Starting Grant awardee, 2009 and HFSP Grant awardee, 2010. EMBO Member since 2010. She is coordinator of H2020 FET-Open since 2016 and associated FET Launchpad. La Caixa Health Reacher Award in 2018.

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 pathway. Furthermore, by using super resolution microscopy we are investigating on the remodelling and looping of the chromatin fiber during the reprograming process. The activation of Wnt pathway controls regeneration in response to damage in lower and higher vertebrates. We found that the Wnt/ß-catenin signalling is also key to control 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 is a mechanism for tissue regeneration.

Selected publications

– Theka I, Sottile F, Cammisa M, Bonnin S, Sanchez-Delgado M, Di Vicino U, Neguembor MV, Arumugam K, Aulicino F, Monk D, Riccio A & Cosma MP 2019, ‘Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway safeguards epigenetic stability and homeostasis of mouse embryonic stem cells’, Scientific Reports, 9, 948.

– Pedone E, Postiglione L, Aulicino F, Rocca DL…. di Bernardo D, Cosma MP & Marucci L 2019, ‘A tunable dual-input system for on-demand dynamic gene expression regulation’, Nature Communications, 10, 4481.

– Otterstrom J, Castells-Garcia A, Vicario C, Gomez-Garcia PA & *Cosma MP & *Lakadamyali M 2019, ‘Super-resolution microscopy reveals how histone tail acetylation affects DNA compaction within nucleosomes in vivo’, Nucleic Acids Research, 47, 16, 8470 – 8484. * co-last and co-corresponding authors

– Frade Joao, Nakagawa Shoma, Cortes Paola, di Vicino Umberto, Romo Neus, Lluis, Frederic and Cosma Maria Pia 2019, ‘ Controlled ploidy reduction of pluripotent 4n cells generates 2n cells during mouse embryo development’Science Advances, Vol. 5, no. 10.

– Sottile, Francesco; Pesaresi, Martina; Simonte, Giacoma and  Cosma, Maria Pia 2019,  ‘Cell therapy for degenerative retinal disease: Special focus on cell fusion mediated regeneration’Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, book series (STEMCELL), Springer

– Pesaresi M, Sebastian-Perez R & Cosma MP 2019, ‘Dedifferentiation, transdifferentiation and cell fusion: in vivo reprogramming strategies for regenerative medicine’, Febs Journal, 286, 6, 1074 – 1093.

Selected research activities

Invited Talks:

  • Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Genome Architecture, Hong Kong, 4-9 August 2019
  • Single Cell Omics Symposium in the Greater Bay Area, Shenzen, China, 27 August 2019
  • La Sapienza University, Rome, 24 May 2019
  • Transcribing the genome in 4D, Paris, 18-23 February 2019