Gaia Colasante, PhD – IRCCF Ospendale San Raffaele
Dr. Gaia Colasante earned her degree in Biotechnology at University of Milan and her PhD in Neuroscience and Molecular Medicine at University Vita-Salute San Raffaele working in the lab of Dr. Vania Broccoli. She was interested in forebrain development, and in particular, she dissected the contribution of the transcription factor Arx in those processes. This interest brought her to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Golden, where she continued to study the role of Arx transcription factor in GABAergic interneuron migration exploiting time-lapse imaging technique. When back to San Raffaele Hospital, she turned to cell reprogramming, defining a cocktail of transcription factors able to convert fibroblasts and pluripotent stem cells into GABAergic interneurons as a source of cells for cell-replacement therapies in epilepsy. More recently, she exploited activatory CRISPR/dCas9 strategy to up-regulate therapeutic genes in genetic and non-genetic forms of epilepsy. She is now project leader at San Raffaele Hospital and she manages a small team committed to the development of gene therapy for the treatment of Dravet syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders.