ESR2  - Alessandra Pellerito


Hosted at LIN

I am a Biologist graduated at the University of Bologna, Italy. I studied Biology (Bachelor Degree) in Palermo and obtained my Master Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology in 2013 in Bologna with the mark 110/100 cum laude. After a short period spent in the UK, I moved to Germany (Magdeburg), where I have worked for two years at the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology.

Currently, I am working as Food Consultant.


In the mature brain, cells are enwrapped into a specialized form of the extracellular matrix (ECM), the so-called perineuronal nets (PNN). They are formed during late postnatal development and are mainly found around parvalbumin positive inhibitory neurons. They are made of a meshwork of proteoglycans and glycoproteins of neuronal and glial origin. This specialized structure has been found to function in synapse stabilization and affect onset and development of Epilepsy disease. Many of the components of the ECM are proteolytically processed by the large protein family of matrix metalloproteases (MMPs). Interestingly, strong neuronal activity as observed during epileptiform discharges leads to altered ECM composition and the release and activation of ECM processing proteases. Therefore, we will study the threshold, onset and frequency of seizures using a post-SE mouse model in wild types and KO of the ECM molecules brevican, neurocan, tenascin-R and aggrecan, as well as of ADAMTS-4, the major ECM degrading enzyme.


· To quantify the expression level of extracellular matrix molecules such as brevican, neurocan, tenascin-R and aggrecan, as well as their proteolyitic fragments in WT and Bassoon Ko mice by western blotting and immunohistochemistry

· To investigate the role of ECM and ECM remodeling during homeostatic plasticity.


Molecular Biology: In my project I will need various constructs to express or alternatively silence particular genes. For this reasons I am receiving training in molecular biology, cloning and learn to produce adeno associated virus (AAV). Imaging: I am learning to SP8 confocal microscope as well as a two colour STED microscope. Further I am trained to use epifluorescence microscope for fixed specimen as well as live imaging e.g. Ca2+- imaging.


As a member of the Nplast consortium, I have the best opportunity to collaborate with all these laboratories. Further, conferences will give me the opportunity to know and start collaboration with other people within my scientific field of interest. Within the NPlast network I am already collaborating with Prof Alexander Dityatev from the “Deutsches Zentrum fur Neurodegenerative Erkrakungen (DZNE).

Page last modified on 07 apr 17 16:47