Luca Braga

Group Leader, Functional Cell Biology

International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
Padriciano 99
34149 Trieste, Italy
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: +39-040-3757323

Education

ICGEB, Open University UK, PhD in Biological Sciences, 2017
University of Trieste, Italy, MSc in Functional Genomics, 2012
University of Milan, Italy, BSc in Medical Biotechnologies, 2010

Career History

Since 2021, Group Leader, Functional Cell Biology, ICGEB, Trieste, Italy
2019-2021, Research Associate and Scientific Coordinator of the High Throughput Screening (HTS) facility, School of Cardiovascular Medicine & Sciences, King’s College London, UK
2016-2019, Scientific Coordinator of the High Throughput Screening (HTS) facility, ICGEB, Trieste, Italy

Scientific Activity

The Scientific activity carried by the Functional Cell Biology  Group is focused on the systematic use of innovative High Throughput Screening (HTS) based approaches to dissect complex biological processes, both in normal and pathological conditions.

We like to define as the “Functional” approach the idea of testing the effect of random factors (i.e. non-coding RNAs, Small small molecules, recombinant proteins) looking for those that significantly perturbate, either by blunting or stimulating, a given phenotype. This allows scientists to really dig into the molecular mechanism driving the phenotypic change of interest in an unbiased manner and without being limited by a premise-driven research approach by which hypotheses are formulated on the basis of current knowledge.  In 2020, image-based HTS represents the latest evolution of the “Functional” approach. This technology allows researchers to screen arrayed libraries of thousands of molecules in a single experiment and immediately point out the most effective hits in perturbating the phenotype of interest.

Selected Publications

Buratti, E. et al. Deferoxamine mesylate improves splicing and GAA activity of the common c.-32-13T>G allele in late-onset PD patient fibroblasts. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 20, 227-236, doi:10.1016/j.omtm.2020.11.011 (2021).

Bussani, R. et al. Persistence of viral RNA, pneumocyte syncytia and thrombosis are hallmarks of advanced COVID-19 pathology. EBioMedicine 61, 103104, doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.103104 (2020).

Papa, G. et al. CRISPR-Csy4-Mediated Editing of Rotavirus Double-Stranded RNA Genome. Cell Rep 32, 108205, doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108205 (2020).

Braga, L. et al. Non-coding RNA therapeutics for cardiac regeneration. Cardiovasc Res, doi:10.1093/cvr/cvaa071 (2020).

Moimas, S. et al. miR-200 family members reduce senescence and restore idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis type II alveolar epithelial cell transdifferentiation. ERJ Open Res 5, doi:10.1183/23120541.00138-2019 (2019).

Rehman, M. et al. High-throughput screening discovers antifibrotic properties of haloperidol by hindering myofibroblast activation. JCI Insight 4, doi:10.1172/jci.insight.123987 (2019).

Gabisonia, K. et al. MicroRNA therapy stimulates uncontrolled cardiac repair after myocardial infarction in pigs. Nature 569, 418-422, doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1191-6 (2019).

Torrini, C. et al. Common Regulatory Pathways Mediate Activity of MicroRNAs Inducing Cardiomyocyte Proliferation. Cell Rep 27, 2759-2771 e2755doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2019.05.005 (2019).

Torrini, C. et al. Common Regulatory Pathways Mediate Activity of MicroRNAs Inducing Cardiomyocyte Proliferation. Cell Rep 27, 2759-2771 e2755, doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2019.05.005 (2019).

Ali, H. et al. Cellular TRIM33 restrains HIV-1 infection by targeting viral integrase for proteasomal degradation. Nat Commun 10, 926, doi:10.1038/s41467-019-08810-0 (2019).