MEET THE DIBIO SCIENTIST SERIES : Gianluca Occhi
Pubblicato il: 10.12.2019 11:54
Gianluca is a tenure-track researcher (RTDb) at DiBio
Can you summarize in few words your research?
I’m involved in molecular and cellular studies that aim at clarifying the pathogenic mechanisms involved in the inherited endocrine disorders with particular attention on syndrome involving the pituitary gland, the adrenal and, more recently, the thyroid gland. Currently, I’m working on a molecular pathway whose improper activation after food ingestion, is related to inappropriate hormone secretion.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your work?
All the big and small discoveries in the daily lives of the laboratory make this job fine and exciting. Being conscious to make a contribution, even small, to understand human diseases is something that makes me feeling good.
Tell us your story: what brings you to DiBio?
I graduated in the Human Genetic Lab at DiBio where I also obtained my PhD in “Genetics and Molecular Biology of the Development” working on the discovery of genes involved in the arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy, an inherited heart disease. As post-doc I moved to the Department of Medicine at the University of Padova where I started working on endocrine tumors with particular attention to secreting Pituitary adenomas. After almost ten years of work in a highly proficient group, I had the fantastic opportunity of moving back to the lab I started from and becoming part of a Department that thanks to the contribution of highly skilled researchers have continuously grown over the years.
What’s your favourite “toy” for research – and what can it do?
I’m fascinated by genetic engineering-related techniques that allow us by “simple” cut-and-paste approaches to study the function of genes/pathways and even entire organisms in both physiological and pathological conditions.
What are your interests outside science?
I love sports, wood-working and make (and eat!) good food with good friends and my family.