Prof ANTONIO SIMEONE Direttore
Phone number: +39 081 6132 242
Antonio Simeone is a molecular geneticist with a broad experience in developmental, molecular and cellular biology. In 1979, Antonio Simeone was selected as a graduate student in the laboratory directed by Prof. Edoardo Boncinelli at the International Institute of Genetics and Biophysics. During his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Genetics, he developed a special interest in Developmental Biology strongly influenced by the intense interaction with Edoardo. During his PhD, Simeone identified several human Hox genes and discovered temporal colinearity of Hox genes in human Teratocarcinoma cells. At the end of 1990, following his intuition (not shared by many colleagues), Simeone identifies in mammals 4 transcription factors (Emx1, Emx2, Otx1 and Otx2) crucial for the development of the brain in vertebrates and invertebrates. Simeone decided to invest on the study of Otx genes through mouse modelling. In this decision Dario Acampora will have a crucial impact and role and together sharing joys and sorrows. Between 1993 and 2000, Simeone's Lab will prove that Otx2 is the only known gene required alone for the specification of the mammalian brain; that the loss of Otx1 generates relevant abnormalities in corticogenesis and causes severe epilepsy; and that Otx functions required for mammalian brain morphogenesis, have been established in invertebrates, functionally conserved for many millions of years and recruited to specify the vertebrate brain. These main discoveries will be acknowledged with several awards including the prestigious Liliane Bettencourt Life Science award (Nature vol.408, issue 6815, 2000). In 2000 Simeone received the chair of Developmental Biology at the King's College London and moved to the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Developmental Neurobiology. In London, his lab focussed on the study of the molecular basis that controls whole brain regionalization as well as neurogenesis and functioning of mesencephalic-diencephalic Dopaminergic neurons. These studies will be pursued at the CEINGE Biotecnologie Avanzate in Naples where Simeone moved in 2006. In 2012, he returns at the Institute of Genetics and Biophysics "Adriano Buzzati-Traverso" where he actually serves as Director.
Since 2012, Simeone's lab has manifested a relevant interest in the study of the transcription factors control which determines the cellular state and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells (ESCs and EpiLCs) and unipotent primordial germ cells (PGCs) in vitro and in vivo.
During his career, Simeone has always considered the research activity as an irreplaceable love to which a scientist gives himself without conditions.