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Cell and Developmental Biology Unit

Members of the research group:

  • Prof. Robert Vignali
  • Prof. Massimiliano Andreazzoli
  • Prof. Giuseppina Barsacchi
  • Prof. Luciana Dente
  • Dr Federico Cremisi
  • Lei Lan, PhD
  • Martina Giannaccini, PhD student
  • Simone Macrì, Fellow
  • Sara Mariotti, Fellow


  • Molecular embryology: misexpression and knockdown assays by microinjections/lipofection of mRNA and/or morpholino in developing Xenopus embryos; immunostaining and in situ hybridization
  • Cell culture and molecular biology techniques: transfection and gene expression analysis (cell transfection, RT-PCR, immunostaining and fluorescence analysis, confocal microscopy)

Scientific Cooperations

  • Cooperation 1:
    Prof William Harris, Physiology Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, U.K.
  • Cooperation 2:
    Dr Jochen Wittbrodt, EMBL, Heidelberg
  • Cooperation 3:
    Dr Simona Casarosa, Centre for Integrative Biology, Università di Trento, Italy
  • Cooperation 4:
    Prof Rongqiao He, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing
  • Cooperation 5:
    Dr Vania Broccoli, DIBIT, HS Raffaele, Milan, Italy

Group Leader

Robert Vignali
[more information]


University of Pisa

Dipartimento di Biologia
via Luca Ghini 5
56126 Pisa

Via G. Carducci 13

Phone: 0039-050-2211497
Fax: 0039-050-2211495



Current Research Projects

  • Project 1:
    How to drive embryonic stem cells toward a retinal fate: role of eye specific transcription factors
  • Project 2:
    Molecular mechanisms of action of homeobox transcription factors in retinal development and cell commitment
  • Project 3:
    Role of micro RNA in retinal cell commitment
  • Project 4:
    Cell cycle dependent regulation of cell polarity and homeobox factors in the retina
  • Project 5:
    Multipotency of retinal stem cells: role of RX1 transcription factor and its target genes

Research Groups