Researcher - CR CNRS
Throughout my whole scientific career, I have worked on the insect model Drosophila melanogaster. In 1987, after graduating in Biology at the University of Bologna (Italy) with a thesis on population genetics, I joined the laboratory of Vincenzo Pirrotta at the Dept. of Cell Biology of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston (Texas, USA), where I became interested in developmental biology. I developed projects on the regulation the Hox gene Ultrabithorax (Qian et al., 1991 and 1993) and on the molecular functions of the gap gene giant (Capovilla et al., 1992). In 1992, I moved to the laboratory of Juan Botas at the Dept. of Molecular and Human Genetics of Baylor College of Medicine. Here I showed that decapentaplegic is a direct target of the Hox genes Ultrabithorax (Capovilla et al., 1994) and abdominal-A (Capovilla and Botas, 1998) and in collaboration with Richard Mann’s group that extradenticle is a co-factor of Hox proteins (Chan et al., 1994). In 1995, I obtained my Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Ferrara (Italy). At the end of my postdoc in Juan Botas’ lab I initiated a project to use Drosophila to study human ataxin-1-induced neurodegeneration that led to a very successful genetic screen (Fernandez-Funez et al., 2000). In 1997, I obtained my Chargé de Recherche de 1ère Classe position from CNRS and in January 1998 I moved to the UPR9022 directed by Jules Hoffmann at the Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire in Strasbourg (France). After concluding a project showing that an apterous enhancer is a direct target of the Hox gene Antennapedia (Capovilla et al., 2001), I started collaborating with different local groups on Drosophila innate immunity (Lagueux et al., 2000; Tzou et al., 2000; Tauszig-Delamasure, 2002; Munier et al., 2004). With the Ph.D. student Zakaria Kambris, I described the expression profiles of the Toll receptors in Drosophila embryos (Kambris et al., 2002) and demonstrated that DmMyD88 controls dorsal-ventral polarity in Drosophila embryos (Kambris et al., 2003).
In 2003, I obtained an Assistant Telethon Scientist position from the Italian Fondazione Telethon and in August 2004 I went on leave of absence from CNRS and set up my group at the Dept. of Internal Medicine, Cardioangiology and Hepatology of the S. Orsola Malpighi Hospital in Bologna (Italy). Here I started working on the search for the direct targets of abdominal-A in the Drosophila heart in collaboration with the group of Michel Sémeriva (IBDML, Marseille, France) (Monier et al., 2007). In 2006, I moved to the Dept. of Biology and Evolution of the University of Ferrara (Ferrara, Italy) where I also worked on using Drosophila to study the transcriptional properties of human transcription factors responsible of Congenital Heart Diseases (Amodio et al., 2012).
Since August 2011, I rejoined CNRS at the UMR7254 of the Institut Sophia Agrobiotech in Sophia Antipolis in Alain Robichon’s group. We showed that alleles of for encoding different cGMP-dependent kinase isoforms influence the oxidation of aldehyde groups of aromatic molecules emitted by plants via Aldh-III and a phosphorylatable adaptor (Arthaud et al., 2011). We also reported the capture of light energy and an archaic photosynthesis by carotene in aphids (Valmalette et al., submitted) and the complete methylome and transcriptome of two environmentally selected clonal aphid variants originated from the same founder mother (Dombrovsky et al., submitted). Currently, we are setting up our project aiming to unravel adaptive evolutionarily conserved non-mendelian genetic mechanisms using two models, one endowed with powerful genetics (Drosophila) and the other with polyphenism and a repertoire of variants obtained by clonality (aphids).
Creation date: 27 February 2012
Update: 15 February 2013