- Lignani Lab, Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology , London, United Kingdom
- Electrophysiology, Interneurons, Systems/Circuit Neuroscience, Plasticity, Synapse, Synaptic network
Areas of expertise
I am a Senior Research Fellow funded by Epilepsy Research UK and MRC working at the UCL Institute of Neurology. I received my PhD in Experimental Neuroscience from the University of Genoa in 2012, where I studied the pathophysiology of synaptic protein mutations in epilepsy and autism. My first postdoc, at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa, comprised several projects aimed at uncovering the mechanisms of homeostatic synaptic and intrinsic plasticity induced by network hyper-excitability. I moved to the UK for my second postdoc in 2014, in the Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy at the UCL Institute of Neurology. There I studied the role of sodium channel splice variants in epilepsy, and I was awarded a Marie-Curie individual fellowship to develop new CRISPR-based gene editing tools to treat acquired and genetic forms of the disease. In 2018 I began my independent career as Epilepsy Research UK fellow to further develop novel gene therapies for focal epilepsies. I have also been awarded an MRC New Investigator Research grant that supports the innovative use of gene therapy for Dravet Syndrome. During my career, I have been involved in several national and international collaborations, as well as multiple side projects developing innovative technologies. The main focus of my lab is finding novel gene therapy approaches for intractable neurological diseases, with rapid potential for translation. We start by investigating the pathophysiological mechanisms of disease and then use novel insights to develop and improve therapeutic tools to cure them.