Pia Cosma

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

- Neguembor MV, Arcon JP, Buitrago D, Lema R, Walther J, Garate X, Martin L, Romero P, AlHaj Abed J, Gut M, Blanc J, Lakadamyali M, Wu CT, Brun Heath I, Orozco M, Dans PD & Cosma MP 2022, 'MiOS, an integrated imaging and computational strategy to model gene folding with nucleosome resolution', Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 29(10), 1011-1023.

- Bonilla-Pons SA, Nakagawa S, Garreta Bahima E, Fernandez-Blanco A, Pesaresi M, D’Antin JC, Sebastian-Perez R, Greco D, Dominiguez-Sala E, Gomez-Riera R, Barraquer Compte RI, Dierssen M, Nonsterrat Pulido NCosma MP 2022, 'Müller glia fused with adult stem cells undergo neural differentiation in human retinal models'. EBioMedicine, 77:103914.

- Castells-Garcia A, Ed-daoui I, González-Almela E, Vicario C, Ottestrom J,  Lakadamyali M, Neguembor MV & Cosma MP 2022. 'Super resolution microscopy reveals how elongating RNApolymerase II and nascent RNA interact with nucleosome clutches'. NAR, 50, 1, 175 - 190.

Selected research activities

Invited talks:

Department of Biology, University of Minho, Portugal, 4th April 2022

Center for Engineering Mechanobiology, University of Pennsylvania, USA, 10th March 2022


Dissemination Activities:

Debate CaixaResearch - Curar la ceguera: tratar la retina para restaurar la visión, 25th May 2022

Reprogramming and Regeneration, Italian Consulate in China, 20th May 2022