Area(s) of Expertise
Our growing society faces new and dynamic challenges such as global climate change, the scarcity of arable land and the need for sustainable energy. Maximizing the utility of plants in each of these areas is key to meeting these challenges. Overall growth rate and biomass is largely regulated by the temporal and spatial control of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation of their progeny. When a stem cell divides it produces a copy of itself, and it produces a daughter cell that can develop into different types of cells. The means and mechanisms by which this occurs are poorly understood.
The Sozzani Lab research focuses on understanding how stem cells are organized and maintained in the root of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our goal is to gain a coherent qualitative and quantitative understanding of stem cell maintenance at the systems-level. Our research leverages techniques derived from molecular, developmental and cell biology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science and engineering. In plant systems, stem cell regulation has clear implications for increasing the production of crops used for food, fiber and fuel. Our research will reveal a specific molecular pathway of plant stem cells, and provide broader insights into the fundamental properties of stem cells across the plant and animal kingdoms.
- Computational prediction of gene regulatory networks in plant growth and development, Current Opinion in Plant Biology (2019)
- Mobile PEAR transcription factors integrate hormone and miRNA cues to prime cambial growth, Nature (2019)
- Exposure to heavy metal stress triggers changes in plasmodesmatal permeability via deposition and breakdown of callose, Journal of Experimental Botany (2018)
- GTL1 and DF1 regulate root hair growth through transcriptional repression of ROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE 6-LIKE 4 in Arabidopsis, Development (2018)
- Identifying Differentially Expressed Genes Using Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) and RNA Sequencing from Low Input Samples, Computational Cell Biology (2018)
- Tracking Gene Expression via Light Sheet Microscopy and Computer Vision in Living Organisms, 2018 40th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) (2018)
- Auxin minimum triggers the developmental switch from cell division to cell differentiation in the Arabidopsis root, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2017)
- Dose-duration reciprocity for G protein activation: Modulation of kinase to substrate ratio alters cell signaling, PLoS One (2017)
- Framework for gradual progression of cell ontogeny in the Arabidopsis root meristem, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2017)
- Genetic architecture and molecular networks underlying leaf thickness in desert-adapted tomato Solanum pennellii, Plant Physiology (2017)
Ph.D., Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of Pavia, Italy (2006)
M.S., Biological Science, University of Pavia, Italy (2002)
B.S., Biological Science, University of Pavia, Italy (2000)