Legnini Group

The Legnini Group at Human Technopole combines molecular and systems biology approaches to study gene regulation.

We use synthetic biology and optogenetics to engineer cells and organoids with the aim of reproducing complex regulatory cascades, then apply integrative transcriptomic readouts to understand the principles of gene regulation, with a particular focus on post-transcriptional regulation of RNA.

For example, we apply single-cell and spatial transcriptomics to organoid models of neurodevelopment, where we perturb gene expression with spatio-temporal resolution using optogenetics and study the spatial patterning of gene expression in a complex cellular environment.

At the same time, we look into the molecular detail of RNA regulation, from processing to degradation, by using and developing high-throughput and high-resolution transcriptomic technologies and quantitative models of RNA metabolism. In this regard, we for example use long-read sequencing methods to study how the same gene produces different mRNAs, and how regulatory elements in mRNAs such as 3’UTRs and poly(A) tails impact on RNA abundance and function.

Group members