Philip Avner

Philip Avner
Head of EMBL Monterotondo

Our research is focused on the study of critical mammalian physiological phenomena from a molecular perspective in the context of the whole organism.

The Unit is composed of independent research groups whose work is bound together by the study of the mouse in vivo as the principle experimental organism and the application of state-of-the-art methods for genetic and epigenetic perturbation of cellular and physiological function. Recent advances in gene delivery and modification technology have dramatically increased the ease and rapidity with which genetic and epigenetic perturbations can be introduced into the mouse genome allowing increasingly sophisticated causal experimental approaches in this organism.

Currently research groups at EMBL Monterotondo are investigating the epigenetic control of early development, blood cell development and differentiation, neural circuits and behavior, neural computation, and somatosensation. A major and continuing effort is underway to increasingly centre research activities at the Unit around neurobiology and epigenetics.

Overview on Research at EMBL Monterotondo

Asari Group Visual systems neuroscience
Avner Group Dynamics of epigenetic regulation
Gross Group Neural control of instinctive behaviour
Hackett Group Epigenetic reprogramming and inheritance
Heppenstall Group Molecular physiology of somatosensation
Lancrin Group Generation of hematopoietic progenitor and stem cells during development

Affiliated groups

Prevedel Group
(Cell Biology & Biophysics Unit)
Advanced optical techniques for deep tissue microscopy

A state-of-the-art animal facility provides access to a full range of mouse transgenic and genetic engineering technologies, and researchers are further supported by on site facilities for histology, flow cytometry, and microscopy. Additional support is provided by EMBL Core Facilities at the Heidelberg site (Genomics, Electron Microscopy, Metabolomics, Protein Expression, Advanced Light Microscopy, and Proteomics). Efficient and flexible administrative and generous financial support provides an environment where EMBL researchers can focus their undivided attention on the pursuit of ambitious research questions. Researchers at EMBL take advantage of close links with Units at EMBL sites in Hinxton (Bioinformatics), Heidelberg (Developmental Biology, Genome Biology, Cell Biology & Biophysics, Structural & Computational Biology), and Hamburg and Grenoble (Structural Biology). Interdisciplinary collaborations between EMBL groups and non-EMBL researchers are facilitated by the EI3POD competitive postdoctoral funding mechanism. The Mouse Biology Unit is particularly committed to continuing to foster collaborations and strengthening links with other major Italian research centres.

Philip Avner
Head of EMBL Monterotondo