Simona Lodato

Researcher
Histology

Neurodevelopmental Biology Lab Head/Group Leader (Unit Neuroscience) at Humanitas Research Center

Harvard University – Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Department
Allen Brain Institute – Next Generation Leader Council Advisor

Email simona.lodato@hunimed.eu 

Education and Academic Background

Simona Lodato obtained her Ph.D. in 2011 from the European School of Molecular Medicine (SEMM) and the University “Federico II”, in Naples (Italy) under the supervision of Prof. Michéle Studer at the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM). During her Ph.D. training she investigated the intrinsic molecular mechanisms controlling the generation of distinct classes of inhibitory interneurons (IN) of the developing mammalian cerebral cortex.

She then joined the group of Prof. Paola Arlotta at Harvard University in Cambridge (USA) where she shed light on fundamental aspects of the molecular principles that govern the acquisition of distinct subtype-specific projection neuron (PN) identity, focusing in particular on corticospinal motor neurons – CSMN – that degenerate in ALS and in other motor disorders.

She also discovered that the PN identity influences the migration of INs in the developing cortex, controlling the assembly of functional networks in the adult brain.

Since December 2016, she is member of the Next Generation Leader Advisory Council, a group of eighteen esteemed early-career scientists who act as scientific advisors for the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

Scientific and Research Interests

Complex brain functions and critical behaviors such as language, learning, movement, and emotions are executed by highly sophisticated and stereotyped neural networks, which are composed by an outstanding array of distinct neuronal subtypes that populate the cerebral cortex.

In our lab, we aim at understanding:

  1. How distinct classes of excitatory projection neurons (PN) and inhibitory interneurons (IN) are generated during development from a defined pool of multi-potent stem cells/progenitors;
  2. How PN and IN subtypes coordinate their migratory routes and populate the different layers and areas of the cerebral cortex;
  3. How their subtype-specific identity influences their assembly into specific functional microcircuits, which are often targets of numerous neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, like epilepsy and Autism Disorders.

SCOPUS Author ID: 36021173000

 

Selected publications

  1. Lodato S# and Arlotta P# (# corresponding author) – Generating neuronal diversity in the mammalian cerebral cortex. Annual Review of Cellular and Developmental Biology  2015, 31, 699-720 Impact Factor: 17.96
  2. Lodato S, Shetty AS, Arlotta P – Cerebral cortex assembly: generating and reprogramming neuron diversity. Trends in Neurosciences 2015, 38, 117-125 Impact Factor: 12.504
  3. Lodato S, Molyneaux BJ, Zuccaro E, Goff LA, Chen HH, Yaun W, Meleski AM, Takahashi E, Mahony S, Rinn JL, Gifford D, Arlotta P – Gene co-regulation by Fezf2 selects neurotransmitter identity and connectivity of corticospinal neurons. Nature Neuroscience 2014, 17, 1046-1054 With “News and Views” article and highlighted by Faculty of 1000. Impact Factor: 16.724
  4. Sauvageau M#, Goff LA#, Lodato S#, Bonev B, Groff AF, Gerhardinger C, Sanchez-Gomez DB, Hacisuleyman E, Li E, Spence M, Liapis SC, Mallard W, Morse M, Swerdel MR, D’Ecclessis MF, Moore JC, Lai V, Gong G, Yancopoulos GD, Frendewey D, Kellis M, Hart RP, Valenzuela DM, Arlotta P, Rinn JL (# equal contribution) – Multiple knockout mouse models reveal lincRNAs are required for life and brain development. eLife 2013, 2, e01749 Impact Factor: 8.303
  5. Lodato S, Rouaux C, Quast K, Jantrachotechatchawan C, Hensch T and Arlotta P – Excitatory projection neuron subtypes control the distribution of local inhibitory interneurons in the cerebral cortex. Neuron 2011, 69, 763-779 With “Preview” article and highlighted by Faculty of 1000.
  6. Lodato S#, Srubek Tomassy G#, De Leonibus E#, Armentano M, Andolfi G, Uzcategui YG, Gaztelu JM, Arlotta P, Menendez de la Prida L, Studer M (# equal contribution) – Loss of COUP-TFI alters the balance between caudal ganglionic eminence-and     medial ganglionic eminence-derived cortical interneurons and results in resistance to epilepsy. Journal of Neuroscience 2011, 31, 4650-4662 Impact Factor: 5.924
  7. Zhang F#, Cong L#, Lodato S, Kosuri S, Church G, Arlotta P (# equal contribution) – Programmable Sequence-Specific Transcriptional Regulation of Mammalian Genome Using Designer TAL Effector. Nature Biotechnology 2011, 29, 149-153 Impact Factor: 43.113

 

Academic honors, awards and prizes

  • 2017 Recipient of the “Fondazione Atena Onlus” Fellowship in Neuroscience Research
  • 2016 – 2018 Elected member of Next Generation Leaders Advisory Council of the Allen Institute for Brain Science
  • 2015 Recipient of the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching
  • 2013 Recipient of the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching
  • 2012 Recipient of the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching         
  • 2011 Recipient of the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching         
  • 2010 Recipient of the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching
  • 2007 – 2011 Recipient of the Doctoral Fellowship from the European School of Molecular Medicine (SEMM) (First ranked and fully founded)
  • 2002 – 2003 Final candidate at the SUCCESS Student Contest 2002, a competition organized by the European Space Agency (ESA) for European university students from all disciplines to propose an experiment that could fly on board the International Space Station (ISS).
Why
Humanitas
University?
An Established Institution

An Established Institution
Humanitas is a renowned healthcare institution that has offered Medical Degrees for well over a decade as a partner of the University of Milan.

An International Career

An International Career
Join our international medical community where classes are taught in English by experienced professors and medical doctors from around the world. Your degree will allow you to work as a MD in the EU and abroad.

Clinical Experience

Clinical Experience
Direct clinical experience is supported by a solid tutoring system and starts in your third year, which gives you considerable practical experience.

Innovative and Active Teaching

Innovative and Active Teaching
Humanitas curriculum is enhanced by a wide variety of active learning methods based on a student-centred approach (Problem-Based Learning, Case method, Concept maps, Simulated patients).

Milano and Italy

Milano and Italy
Enjoy the style, culture, gastronomy and entertainment of one of Europe's most exciting cities. Venture further to experience the delights of Italy or use the opportunity to learn Italian.

Advanced Research and Technology

Advanced Research and Technology
Humanitas can count on state-of-the-art technologies and research experience. A new simulation centre of 1000 sm, designed according to the highest technological standards, will be ready for autumn 2017.

Contact Us

Contact
Humanitas University
Via Rita Levi Montalcini 4,
Pieve Emanuele 20090 Milan, Italy

To receive our updates subscribe here: Newsletter.

How to Reach Us
From Malpensa Airport

Take the A8 highway, following the signs for Milan. Get on the Tangenziale Ovest (western ring road), exit at Quinto de’ Stampi/Via dei Missaglia (7 bis). Follow the route described in the highway section.

From Linate Airport

Take the A8 highway, following the signs for Milan. Get on the Tangenziale Ovest (western ring road), exit at Quinto de’ Stampi/Via dei Missaglia (7 bis). Follow the route described in the highway section.

From Central station

Take the A8 highway, following the signs for Milan. Get on the Tangenziale Ovest (western ring road), exit at Quinto de’ Stampi/Via dei Missaglia (7 bis). Follow the route described in the highway section.

From the city center

Go straight on from Porta Ticinese, to Corso San Gottardo, to via Meda, via Montegani, and via dei Missaglia, then follow the signs for Istituto Clinico Humanitas, or Basiglio Milano 3.

From the highway

Go straight on from Porta Ticinese, to Corso San Gottardo, to via Meda, via Montegani, and via dei Missaglia, then follow the signs for Istituto Clinico Humanitas, or Basiglio Milano 3.

By public transport

Go straight on from Porta Ticinese, to Corso San Gottardo, to via Meda, via Montegani, and via dei Missaglia, then follow the signs for Istituto Clinico Humanitas, or Basiglio Milano 3.