Lucia Poggi

Via Sommarive, 9 - 38123 Povo
tel. 0461 283931
lucia.poggi[at]unitn [dot] it
Area CUN: Scienze biologiche (05)
Settore scientifico disciplinare: BIOLOGIA APPLICATA (BIO/13)

  • 04 Nov 2002   PhD Molecular Cell Biology, University of Pisa, Italy 
  • 2001 – 2002    PhD studies in the laboratory of Jochen Wittbrodt, EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1998 – 2001    PhD studies in the laboratory of Giuseppina Barsacchi, University of Pisa, Italy
  • 05 Nov 1997    Diploma Biology (MSc), University of Pisa, Italy
Carriera accademica ed attività didattica
  • Oct 2017 –      Tenure track assistant professor (Ricercatore - RTDb), University of Trento, Italy
  • 2009 – 2017    Independent Research Group Leader, Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) and Department of   Ophthalmology, University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2009 – 2017    Lecturer (W1 Junior Professor level), Faculty of Biosciences, University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2002 – 2008    Postdoctoral Research Associate – Laboratory of William A. Harris, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, UK
Interessi di ricerca
  1. Implications of cell lineage-relationships and genetic signatures for retinal cell lineage reprogramming.
  2. The zebrafish embryonic retina as model paradigm to model neovascular disorders in the eye. The Poggi lab is set out to investigate the dynamics of neurovascular cross talk involving retinal ganglion cells and endothelial cells in vivo, during retinal development, with the following aims:
    • Understanding neurovascular interdependency in the normal and pathological embryonic retina
    • Developing a new drug screening platform to identify new drug-targets for modulating retinal vascularization


Attività di ricerca

Cell lineage-relationships and genetic signatures of retinal neurons with a common progenitor - implications for neuronal lineage reprogramming

Research in the Poggi lab has resolved the indispensable prerequisites for targeted replacemente of retinal ganglion cells, the output neurons of the retina, which is to understand the genesis of these cells and the underlying genetics. For the first time, they reported the developmental relationship of ganglion cells and other retinal nerve cells as they arise from common progenitor cells (the stem cells of the embryonic retina) in the Journal of Neuroscience (Jusuf et al., 2012). To understand this they have applied a method called single cell 3D time-lapse microscopy (Poggi et al., 2005; Jusuf et al., 2013; Jusuf et al., 2013; Dudczig et al., 2017) and observed that a single progenitor cell divides asymmetrically to produce one ganglion cell and one other type of nerve cell named amacrine cell (Jusuf et al., 2012). The fact that they arise from the same type of progenitor cell (that is: they are lineally related) suggests that amacrines and ganglion cells share crucial proteins (Schuhmacher et al., 2011) and other features of nerve cells (neuronal plasticity, neurotransmitter identity etc.). Therefore, the manipulation of only a small number of factors might be sufficient to convert such lineally closely related cells into the respective other cell type. The Poggi lab is currently investigating on the genetic signatures that characterize specification and maintenance of lineally related amacrines and ganglion nerve cells in the embryonic and mature retina. Building on data from this study they aim to set out to designing effective strategies for in vivo reprogramming of amacrines and ganglion nerve cells, to be tested in both normal and pathologic conditions.

Regulation of asymmetric self-renewal divisions in the generation of neuronal diversity during retina development

In the developing central nervous system (CNS), multipotent progenitor cells undergo repeated asymmetric divisions, sequentially generating the different neurons in a precise order. Dysregulation of the fine tuning of self-renewal and differentiation can lead to a depletion or aberrant proliferation of neural stem and progenitor cells, with consequent dysregulation of neurogenesis. With their in vivo studies of the asymmetric self-renewing divisions of retinal progenitor cells, the Poggi lab highlighted the importance of Anillin, an F-actin binding protein and cytokinesis regulator, in maintaining daughter cell self-renewal and restricting retinal ganglion cell genesis, perhaps through furrow positioning, apical polarity proteins and midbody inheritance (Paolini et al., 2015; Cepero-Malo et al., 2017).

Appartenenza a società e comitati scientifici
  • 2021               Scientific Committee member appointment - 3° Zebrafish Italian Meeting (ZFIM), Napoli
  • 2018 –            GEI - Gruppo Embriologico Italiano membership
  • 2014 - 2018    German Cell Biology membership
  • 2014 - 2016    EUFishBioMed Society membership
  • 2011 - 2017    Appointed member of the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences (IZN)
  • 2010 - 2017    Appointed member of the HBIGS faculty
Premi e riconoscimenti
  • 2013    Organizer of the EMBO practical course “Imaging of Neural Development in Zebrafish”, KIT Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (8-15 September 2013), EMBO European Molecular Biology Organization
  • 2013    Olympia Morata funding for the research “Neurogenesis in the Retina” (approx. 18.000) University of Heidelberg
  • 2010    Principal Investigator Grant: PO 1440/1-1 (approx. 230.000 Euro), DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)
  • 2009    # SFB 488 DFG Associate member Fellowship (approx. € 40.000), DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) 
  • 2001    EMBO short-term fellowship for collaborative research at EMBL, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
  • 1998    3 years-PhD fellowship (awarded in a national competition), University of Pisa


Convegni e conferenze

•    Selected talk - 64° Convegno GEI (11-14 June 2018, L’Aquila)
•    Selected talk - 2nd Italian Zebrafish Meeting (30 Jan - 01 Feb 2019, Pisa)
•    Selected talk - 5th European Zebrafish PI Meeting (20-23 Mar 2018, Trento)
•    Invited lecture - Dipartimento di Bioscienze, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy (15 Sep 2017) 
•    Invited speaker - The Royal Society meeting “Mechanisms of asymmetric cell division”, Chicheley Hall, UK (14-15 Nov 2016) 
•    Invited lecture - Department of Biology & Biochemistry, University of Bath, UK (May 2016) 
•    Invited speaker - Optic Nerve Conference “The Ageing Optic Nerve”, Obergurgl, Austria (8-10 Dec 2015) 
•    Invited speaker - The XVI Congress for the Italian Society for Neuroscience (SINS), Cagliari, Italy (8-11 Oct, 2015)
•    Invited lecture - Centre for Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento, Italy (Sep 2015) 
•    Invited lecture - Symposium Neuroentwicklungsgenetik, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (July 2015)
•    Invited speaker - 9th European Zebrafish Meeting (9thEZM), Oslo (June 28 – July 2, 2015)