Maria Pia Cosma

Maria Pia Cosma

Centre de Regulació Genòmica

Life & Medical Sciences

ICREA Research Professor and Senior Scientist at Centre for Genomic Regulation 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. Awarded several prizes as: EMBO Young Investigator (YIP), 2003; Marie Curie Excellence Award, 2005; "Vanguardia de la Ciència" prize, 2014; City of Barcelona prize, 2015; EIC Women Leadership 2022.  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. Coordinator of H2020 FET-Open, Cellviewer, since 2016 and Launchpad. La Caixa Health Reacher Award in 2018. Coordinator of H2020 FET-Open, EcaBox, 2022. 

Research interests

Main interests of Cosma's group are to dissect mechanisms and factors controlling somatic cell reprogramming and tissue regeneration in mammals. We are investigating gene networks and reprogramming factors controlled by the activation of Wnt/ß-catenin pathway. Furthermore, by using super resolution microscopy we made discoveries 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 human Muller glia cells can fuse with mesenchymal stem cells. The resulting hybrids can differentiate in retinal neurons in human retinal organoids. Moreover we identified the interactions between the chemokine receptors and specific chemokines able to enhance migration and integration of transplanted cells into the retina.

Selected publications

- Cosma MP & Neguembor MV 2023, 'The magic of unraveling genome architecture and function', Cell Reports, 42, 4, 112361.
- Martin L, Neguembor MV & Cosma MP 2023, 'Women's contribution in understanding how topoisomerases, supercoiling, and transcription control genome organization', Frontiers In Molecular Biosciences, 10, 1155825.
- Generoso SF, Neguembor MV, Hershberg EA, et al.2023, 'Cohesin controls X-chromosome structure remodeling and X reactivation during mouse iPSC-reprogramming'. PNAS, 120 (4) e2213810120.
- Martin L, Castells-García A, Cosma MP & Neguembor MV 2023, 'STORM microscopy and cluster analysis for PcG studies', Methods and Protocols, 2655, 171-181.
- Sebastian-Perez R, Aranda S, Nakagawa S, Pesaresi M, Gomez-Garcia PA, Alcoverro-Bertran M, Gomez-Vazquez JL, Carnevali D, Borràs E, Sabidó E, Nissim-Rafinia M, Meshorer E, Di Croce L & Cosma, MP 2023, 'SMARCAD1 contributes to heterochromatin establishment at the 5transition from the 2C-like to the pluripotent state', eLife, 

Selected research activities

Invited Talks:
Wnt Signaling Gordon Conference GRC, Barcelona, Spain 30th July to 3rd August 2023; 
EMBO Workshop on DNA topology Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland, 3rd – 7th September 2023;
Louis-Jeantet Symposium, Geneva, Switzerland, 10th October 2023;
IGBMC, Strasburg, Belgium, 28th April, 2023; 
LBI for Hematology and Oncology, Vienna, Austria, 12th May 2023; 
Shenzhen Bay Laboratory, Shenzhen, China, 18th October, 2023;
University of Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain, 4th December 2023