Dario Bonanomi, 2015

Career Development Award Project Title

“Development and Homeostasis of Spinal Motor Neuron Connectivity”, 2015

Who he is

Milan, London, San Diego, and back to Milan again: the career path of molecular biologist Dario Bonanomi continues where it began, at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute. Here he has become Group Leader of the new Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, funded by the Armenise-Harvard Foundation. Bonanomi is the 2015 winner of the Career Development Award, and returned to Italy from the United States in December of that year.

What he does

Bonanomi’s main research activity focuses on the molecular mechanisms that regulate formation of complex neural networks in our brain. During his PhD at the Open University in London, he worked in particular on membrane traffic in developing neurons and in synaptic terminals.

He left for the United States in 2006, and joined the Gene Expression Laboratory at the Salk Institute in San Diego, led by Samuel Pfaff, where he became interested in the oriented growth of axons, a fundamental biological process for the formation of neural circuits.

News from the Lab

The Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology that Bonanomi set up at the San Raffaele aims to identify genetic and molecular factors that allow spinal motor neurons to establish and maintain long distance contact with muscles. The lab is also interested in the interplay between neurons and blood vessels. Studying these mechanisms may help to understand how motor neurons are damaged in degenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Bonanomi’s research is supported by the Armenise Harvard Foundation and the European Research Council Starting Grant