ZFIN ID: ZDB-PERS-191220-1
Villani, Ambra
Email: ambra.villani@uzh.ch
Affiliation: Peri Lab
Address: Department of Molecular Life Sciences University of Zurich Winterthurerstrasse 190 CH-8057 Zurich
Phone: +41 44 635 3188
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-4468-6353

Ambra was born in Milan, Italy. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biotechnology in Medicine from the University of Milano-Bicocca (Milan, Italy). During her Bachelor, she worked at the Istituto Auxologico Italiano (Milan, Italy) on Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) in the Molecular Biology Laboratory headed by Anna Maria Di Blasio. She completed her Master’s thesis at Yale University (New Haven, CT – USA) in the Laboratory of Mario Strazzabosco. Here, she studied how CFTR controls biliary epithelial inflammation and permeability by regulating Src tyrosine kinase activity. After graduating, she continued working as a Postgraduate Associate in the Strazzabosco’s lab, studying the molecular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of different genetic cholangiopaties. In 2015, she started her PhD at EMBL (Heidelberg, Germany) in Francesca Peri’s group, Developmental Biology Unit. Here, she analysed the clearance of apoptotic neurons by microglia in the developing Zebrafish brain. This allowed her to uncover the existence of the gastrosome, a new compartment in the phagocytic pathway.

In December 2018, she started her Post doc at UZH - IMLS (Zürich, Switzerland) in the Peri group, to continue studying the microglial response to neuronal cell death and injury. Using a combination of CRISPR-Cas9 technology, in vivo laser ablation and live imaging she aims to describe the role of purinergic signaling in mediating neuronal-microglial interactions.

In her free time, she enjoys cooking, hanging out with friends and travelling.

Villani, A., Benjaminsen, J., Moritz, C., Henke, K., Hartmann, J., Norlin, N., Richter, K., Schieber, N.L., Franke, T., Schwab, Y., Peri, F. (2019) Clearance by Microglia Depends on Packaging of Phagosomes into a Unique Cellular Compartment. Developmental Cell. 49(1):77-88.e7

Villani A, Peri F. (2018) Microglia: Picky Brain Eaters. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2018.12.013

Spirli C, Mariotti V, Villani A, Fabris L, Fiorotto R, Strazzabosco M. (2017) Adenylyl cyclase 5 links changes in calcium homeostasis to cAMP-dependent cyst growth in polycystic liver disease. Journal of Hepatology 66, 571–580

Fiorotto R, Villani A, Kourtidis A, Scirpo R, Ameduni M, Geibel PJ, Cadamuro M, Spirli C, Anastasiadis PZ, Strazzabosco M. (2016) The Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Controls Biliary Epithelial Inflammation and Permeability by Regulating Src Tyrosine Kinase Activity. Hepatology 64, 2118–2134

Spirli C, Villani A, Mariotti V, Fabris L, Fiorotto R, Strazzabosco M. (2015) Posttranslational regulation of polycystin-2 protein expression as a novel mechanism of cholangiocyte reaction and repair from biliary damage. Hepatology 62, 1828–1839

Scirpo R, Fiorotto R, Villani A, Ameduni M, Spirli C, Strazzabosco M. (2015) Stimulation of Nuclear Receptor Peroxisome Proliferator–Activated Receptor-g Limits NF-kB-Dependent Inflammation in Mouse Cystic Fibrosis Biliary Epithelium. Hepatology 62, 1551–1562