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Ilaria Tonazzini

Post-doc researcher

tel. +39 050 509434

ilaria.tonazzinisns .it


NEST, Istituto Nanoscienze CNR
Piazza San Silvestro 12
56127 Pisa, Italy

Running projects

I am interested in the study of neuronal environmental sensing in patho-physiological conditions. To study cell environmental sensing, one promising approach exploits nano/micro-structured systems, which allow us to finely control the properties of the extracellular environment in vitro (e.g. mimicking ECM topographical instructions). As a pathological model, I am interested in neurodevelopmental autistic disorders, in particular those related to the ubiquitin protein ligase E3a (Ube3a).

Research interests

My main research interest focuses on nanobiotechnology and its application in neuroscience, working in the borderlands between different disciplines (biochemistry, material sciences, regenerative medicine). I am interested in studying the processes that regulate the adhesion, growth and differentiation of neural cells by means of nano/micro-structured substrates and microfluidic devices. The research activity aims to explore the cell-environment interactions and cytoskeleton dynamics, in order to shed light on the extracellular sensing mechanisms in neuronal cells, both in physiological and pathological conditions.

Biographical sketch

2015-present: Fellow of Fondazione Umberto Veronesi, at NEST Istituto Nanoscienze-CNR, Pisa. Responsible (preposto) for Tissue Culture facilities.
2010-2014: Post-doc position at NEST, Scuola Normale Superiore and Istituto Nanoscienze-CNR, Pisa. Topic: Study of cell/neuronal mechanotransduction by nanostructured substrates, with Dr. M. Cecchini. Responsible for Tissue Culture facilities.
2011: EMBO Short-term fellowship at Dept. Neuroscience, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam (NL), host Prof. Y. Elgersma.
2007-2009: Post-doc position at ISMN-CNR, Bologna, with Prof. F. Biscarini. Topic: organic bio-transistors.
2005-2006: Marie Curie PhD fellowship at the Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience (CMBN), Univ. of Oslo (Norway), with Prof. J. Storm-Mathisen and Dr. L.H. Bergersen.
2005: PhD visiting student at Karolinska Institutet, Dept. Physiology and Pharmacology, Stockholm (Sweden), with Prof. B. Fredholm.
2004-2007: PhD programme in Drug' Science (curriculum Design, development and biological activity of new drugs), Lab. of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Univ. of Pisa; tutor Prof. C. Martini.
1998-2003: University of Pisa, Specialistic Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology (CTF), with emphasis on Biochemistry and Pharmacology, 110/110 cum laude.

Selected publications

• Toxic effects of cobalt in primary cultures of mouse astrocytes. Similarities with hypoxia and role of HIF-1a. Karovic O, Tonazzini I, Rebola N, Edström E, Lövdahl C, Fredholm BB, Daré E. Biochemical Pharmacology, 2007, 73: 694-708.
• Co-localization and functional cross-talk between A1 and P2Y1 purine receptors in rat hippocampus. Tonazzini I, Trincavelli ML, Storm-Mathisen J, Martini C, Bergersen LH. European Journal of Neuroscience, 2007, 26: 890-902.
• Short-term TNF-alpha treatment induced A2B adenosine receptor desensitization in human astroglial cells. Trincavelli ML§, Tonazzini I§, Montali M, Abbracchio MP, Martini C. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 2008, 104: 150-161. § These authors contributed equally to the work.
• Regulation of A1 adenosine receptor functioning induced by P2Y1 purinergic receptor activation in human astroglial cells. Tonazzini I, Trincavelli ML, Montali M, Martini C. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 2008, 86: 2857-2866.
• Multiscale morphology of organic semiconductor thin films controls the adhesion and viability of human neural cells. Tonazzini I, Bystrenova E, Chelli B, Greco P, Stoliar P, Calò A, Lazar A, Borgatti F, D’Angelo P, Martini C, Biscarini F. Biophysical Journal, 2010, 98: 2804-12.
• Nanotopographic control of neuronal polarity. Ferrari A, Cecchini M, Dhawan A, Micera S, Tonazzini I, Stabile R, Pisignano D, Beltram F. Nano Letters, 2011, 11: 505-11.
• Neuronal differentiation on anisotropic nanotopographies: neurite contact guidance tolerance to topographical noise. Tonazzini I, Meucci S, Faraci P, Beltram F, Cecchini M. Biomaterials, 2013, 34: 6027.
• Interaction of SH-SY5Y cells with nanogratings during neuronal differentiation: comparison with primary neurons. Tonazzini I, Cecchini A, Elgersma Y, Cecchini M. Adv Healthcare Mat 2014, 3(4): 581.
• Interaction of leech neurons with topographical gratings: comparison with rodent and human neuronal lines and primary cells. Tonazzini I, Pellegrini M, Pellegrino M, Cecchini M. Interface Focus 2014, 4: 20130047.
• Role of extracellular calcium and mitochondrial oxygen species in psychosine-induced oligodendrocyte cell death. Voccoli V, Tonazzini I, Signore G, Caleo M, Cecchini M. Cell Death & Disease 2014, 5: e1529.
• Human Neuronal SHSY5Y Cells on PVDF:PTrFE Copolymer Thin Films. Tonazzini I, Bystrenova E, Chelli B, Greco P, De Leeuw D, Biscarini F. Adv Eng Mat, 2014, DOI: 10.1002/adem.201400441
• Schwann Cell Contact Guidance versus Boundary Interaction in Functional Wound Healing along Nano and Microstructured Membranes. Tonazzini I, Jacchetti E, Meucci S, Beltram F, Cecchini M. Adv Healthcare Mat 2015, DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201500268
• Impaired neurite contact guidance in Ubiquitin ligase E3a (Ube3a)-deficient hippocampal neurons on nanostructured substrates. Tonazzini I*, Meucci S, Van Woerden GM, Elgersma Y, and Cecchini M. Adv Healthcare Mat 2015-2016, DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201500815

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