Research topics

Adaptations of the immune system of the aquatic vertebrates.
1) transcriptomics and epigenomics of marine mammals: application of cellular and molecular methods to assess the effects of environmental stressors on the marine ecosystem. The main goal of the project is the establishment of the risks posed to apex predators in the Mediterranean (marine mammals in particular), but also to the inhabitants of the coastal areas, which are exposed, to a less degree, to the same contaminants. Transcriptomic and epigenome analysis of selected tissues are employed to develop gene biomarkers of exposure to selected contaminants whilst assessing the health status of the marine organisms studied. 2) immunobiology of immune system of polar vertebrates. The main goal of the project is a better knowledge of the adaptations of the immune system of teleosts cold-adapted, through molecular and cellular approaches, with a focus on the adaptive immune response and on the components of the mucosal immunity of the polar teleosts.