About me

During the initial year funded by the KI STIPEND, I will expand my background in genome editing tools. I have experience on the development of new strategies to generate transgenic bovine and porcine embryos for biotechnological applications by nuclear transfer (NT), Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The current project is oriented towards embryology in human, mouse and bovine models. I will have the opportunity to develop genomics skills (single cell RNA sequencing) as well as fluorescence microscopy. I am also expected to take on training others in the methodologies to carry out at least the basic aspects of embryonic gene editing research.

Prof. Lanner, his group and the facility scientists at the Chair will provide me the training in both the experimental procedures and the state of the art data analysis. This will enable me to successfully develop my project and generate improved bovine models with a series of genetic modifications to elucidate X-chromosome inactivation as well as how lineage specification and pluripotency is controlled in the early embryo.

Research description

The Lanner’s laboratory has presented a comprehensive single cell transcriptional road-map of the early human embryo development and are now initiating functional gene studies using CRISPR genome editing in the early embryo. Cells undergo an intermediate state of co-expression of lineage-specific genes, followed by a concurrent establishment of the trophectoderm, epiblast, and primitive endoderm lineages, which coincide with blastocyst formation. Another elusive facet of early human development is X chromosome dosage compensation. In mouse, imprinted inactivation of the paternal X chromosome initiates around the 4-cell stage and is mediated by cis coating of the silenced X chromosome with the long non-coding RNA Xist. Female cells of all three lineages achieve dosage compensation of X chromosome RNA levels prior to implantation. However, in human, XIST is transcribed from both alleles throughout the progression of this expression dampening, and X chromosome genes maintain biallelic expression while dosage compensation proceeds. Similar insights into the early bovine development are severely limited.

The combination of recent discoveries in genetic engineering, particularly gene editing and the latest improvement in bovine reproduction technologies (e.g. in vitro embryo culture) allows for genome editing directly in fertilised oocytes using synthetic highly specific endonucleases. RNA-guided endonucleases:clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats associated Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas9) are a new tool, further increasing the range of methods available. In particular CRISPR/Cas9 engineered endonucleases allows the use of multiple guide RNAs for simultaneous Knockouts (KO) in one step by cytoplasmic direct injection (CDI) on mammalian zygotes. We will initiate genome editing in bovine embryos to elucidate how lineage specification and pluripotency is controlled in the early embryo, and how does X chromosome dosage compensation occurs.

Teaching portfolio

2015 Head Lab Assistant Professor in Animal Biotechnology for Bs in Biotechnology at

Universidad Nacional de San Martin (UNSAM), Argentina.

2013, 2014 Teaching Assistant in Animal Biotechnology for Bs in Biotechnology at

Universidad Nacional de San Martin (UNSAM), Argentina.

2013 Teaching Assistant in Cell Culture Techniques Theoric and Pactical Training

Course at Universidad Nacional de San Martin (UNSAM), Argentina.

2012 Internship at Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Fertility Lab ( August-September).

2010 - 2012. Teaching Assistant in Animal Phisiology at Universidad Nacional de Rio

Cuarto (UNRC), Argentina.

2010 University Award for one of the best average marks in the Molecular Biology

career. Total career average marks: 9.40 (1-10 Scale). - Universidad Nacional de San

Luis (UNSL), Argentina.

Research assistant in Immunology. “Interaction Chemokines - Cytokines in intestinal

mucosa of mice infected with Yersinia enterocolitica O: 3" Under the leadership of Dr.

Maria Silvia Di Genaro.

2009 National Flag Escort, honor for the student marks in Molecular Biology,

Facultad de Química, Bioquímica y Farmacia - Universidad Nacional de San Luis

(UNSL), Argentina.

Honors: Highest mark obtained in a competition to pursue the position of “Teaching

Assistant in Genetics Training”, UNSL, Argentina.

2008-2010 Teaching Assistant in Genetics Training, Molecular Biology area,

Department of Biochemistry and Biological Sciences. Facultad de Química, Bioquímica y

Farmacia - Universidad Nacional de San Luis (UNSL), San Luis, ARG.

2008 Student research assistant in General Microbiology Area. (2008).


2010 - 2015 PhD in Biological Sciences (cum laude) Universidad Nacional de Rio Cuarto (Argentina) ▪Understanding of all aspects of reproductive physiology and embryology. Proficient in micromanipulation, in vitro fertilization to include blastocyst culture, cryopreservation. Experience in Molecular Biology. Genome Editing.

2005 - 2010 B.S in Molecular Biology (obtained with an Honors Diploma)

Universidad Nacional de San Luis (Argentina) ▪Equivalent to a Master in Science Degree. Qualification (9.40/10)

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