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Novarino Group

Genetic and Molecular Basis of Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Gaia Novarino’s research aims to study genes underlying inherited forms of neurodevelopmental disorders such as epilepsy, intellectual disability, and autism. Neurodevelopmental disorders affect millions of people and are often refractory to treatments. Her group employs many different techniques, from molecular biology to behavior, to identify common pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this group of disorders.

Neurodevelopmental disorders are caused by mutations in a plethora of genes, whose role in the brain is mostly unknown. Identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying these genetic forms of seizure, autism syndromes, and intellectual disability may retain the key to develop therapeutic strategies for this group of conditions. The Novarino group studies the function of epilepsy, intellectual disability, and autism-causing genes at the system, cellular, and molecular levels with the goal of providing a framework for the development of effective pharmacological therapies and the background for the identification of new pathological genetic variants. Their work in understanding the underlying mechanisms will moreover advance the overall understanding of the human brain.


On this site:


Team

Image of Bernadette Basilico

Bernadette Basilico

Postdoc

Image of Barbara de Sousa Oliveira

Barbara de Sousa Oliveira

Postdoc

Image of Christoph Dotter

Christoph Dotter

PhD Student


Image of Farnaz Freeman

Farnaz Freeman

Research Technician

+43 2243 9000 2139

Image of Luis Garcia Rabaneda

Luis Garcia Rabaneda

Postdoc

Image of Romina Gisonno

Romina Gisonno

Postdoc


Image of Sarah Gorkiewicz

Sarah Gorkiewicz

PhD Student

Image of Jessica Kirchner

Jessica Kirchner

PhD Student

Image of Lisa Knaus

Lisa Knaus

PhD Student


Image of Franco Lombino

Franco Lombino

Postdoc

Image of Edina Novak

Edina Novak

Research Technician

Image of Lena Schwarz

Lena Schwarz

PhD Student


Image of Gintarė Sendžikaitė

Gintarė Sendžikaitė

Postdoc

Image of Julia Senkiv

Julia Senkiv

Research Technician

Image of Margit Szigeti

Margit Szigeti

Postdoc


Image of Viktor Voronin

Viktor Voronin

Research Technician

+43 2243 9000 2139


Current Projects

Molecular mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorders | SETD5 gene in intellectual disability | Modeling epileptic encephalopathies and autism spectrum disorders in human brain organoids | Role of the autism-associated gene CHD8 in cortical development | The role of branched amino acid-dependent pathways in neurodevelopmental disorders


Publications

Deliu E, Arecco N, Morandell J, Dotter C, Contreras X, Girardot C, Käsper E, Kozlova A, Kishi K, Chiaradia I, Noh K, Novarino G. 2018. Haploinsufficiency of the intellectual disability gene SETD5 disturbs developmental gene expression and cognition. Nature Neuroscience. 21(12), 1717–1727. View

Tarlungeanu D-C, Deliu E, Dotter C, Kara M, Janiesch P, Scalise M, Galluccio M, Tesulov M, Morelli E, Sönmez F, Bilgüvar K, Ohgaki R, Kanai Y, Johansen A, Esharif S, Ben Omran T, Topcu M, Schlessinger A, Indiveri C, Duncan K, Caglayan A, Günel M, Gleeson J, Novarino G. 2016. Impaired amino acid transport at the blood brain barrier is a cause of autism spectrum disorder. Cell. 167(6), 1481–1494. View

Novarino G, Fenstermaker A, Zaki M, Hofree M, Silhavy J, Heiberg A, Abdellateef M, Rosti B, Scott E, Mansour L, Masri A, Kayserili H, Al Aama J, Abdel Salam G, Karminejad A, Kara M, Kara B, Bozorgmehri B, Ben Omran T, Mojahedi F, Mahmoud I, Bouslam N, Bouhouche A, Benomar A, Hanein S, Raymond L, Forlani S, Mascaro M, Selim L, Shehata N, Al Allawi N, Bindu P, Azam M, Günel M, Caglayan A, Bilgüvar K, Tolun A, Issa M, Schroth J, Spencer E, Rosti R, Akizu N, Vaux K, Johansen A, Koh A, Megahed H, Dürr A, Brice A, Stévanin G, Gabriel S, Ideker T, Gleeson J. 2014. Exome sequencing links corticospinal motor neuron disease to common neurodegenerative disorders. Science. 343(6170), 506–511. View

View All Publications

ReX-Link: Gaia Novarino


Career

since 2019 Professor, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA)
2014 – 2019 Assistant Professor, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA)
2010 – 2013 Postdoc, UCSD (Joseph Gleeson Lab), La Jolla, USA
2006 – 2010 Postdoc, Center for Molecular Neurobiology, Hamburg, Germany and MDC/FMP (Thomas Jentsch Lab) Berlin, Germany
2006 PhD, University “La Sapienza“, Rome, Italy


Selected Distinctions

2020-2024 FWF Special Research Programmes (SFB) grant “Stem Cell Modulation in Neural Development and Regeneration”
2020-2024 Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) grant
2017 Knight Grand Cross, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
2016 Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) Investigator
2016 ERC Starting Grant
2016 FENS-Kavli Scholar
2015 Boehringer Ingelheim FENS Research Award 2016
2014 Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) Taking Flight Award
2012 Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) Young Investigator Travel Award
2011 DFG 2-year Fellowship


Additional Information

Open Novarino group website



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