Angelo Iulianella   

Angelo Iulianella, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Medical Neuroscience
Dalhousie University


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Tel: (902) 494-7738

Research

Neuron birth and spinal cord development

As a developmental neurobiologist, Dr. Angelo Iulianella is uncovering the complex chain of events that unfolds as the embryonic nervous system develops. In particular, he wants to understand how neurons are born in the developing spinal cord and what factors govern the relative timing of their birth and transformation into different types of functional neurons. This knowledge has the potential to unlock ways of regenerating neurons to repair spinal cord injuries and reverse degenerative diseases of the nervous system.

Dr. Iulianella holds more than $1.2 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada Foundation for Innovation, NSERC, Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, and Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation to investigate:

  • how motor neurons, sensory neurons and interneurons arise, proliferate and integrate in the spinal cord in the precise manner that allows coordinated movement and sensation
  • proteins and mechanisms that play important roles in the genesis of neurons in embryonic and adult brains, the development of the spinal cord, and the patterning of the nervous system.

He works extensively with Drs. Rob Brownstone, Vic Rafuse, Jim Fawcett, Ying Zhang and Turgay Akay. These researchers form the laboratory-based nucleus of the Mobility Project.

Academic background

Angelo Iulianella embarked on his academic career in Montreal, obtaining a B.Sc. in biology from McGill University and a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Montreal. He then travelled to Kansas City, Missouri, for postdoctoral training in developmental neurobiology at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, with fellowship funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. After his fellowship, Dr. Iulianella worked as a research associate at Stowers for several years before returning to Canada, where he accepted a faculty position in the Department of Medical Neuroscience in Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine.

Selected Publications

Dennis J.F., Kurosaka H., Iulianella A., Pace J., Thomas N., Beckham S., Williams T., Trainor P.A. (2012). Mutations in hedgehog acyltransferase (hhat) perturb hedgehog signaling, resulting in severe acrania-holoprosencephaly-agnathia craniofacial defects. PLoS Genet. 2012 Oct;8(10):e1002927. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002927.

Remboustsika, E., Elkouris, M., Iulianella, A., Andoniadou, C.L., Poulou, P.A., Trainor, P, and Lovell-Badge. (2011). Flexibility of neural stem cells. Front. Physio. 2:16. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2011.00016.

Sandell, L.L., Iulianella, A., Melton, K.R., Lynn, M., Walker, M., Inman, K., Bhatt, S., Leroux-Berger, M., Crawford, M., Jones, N., Dennis, J., and Trainor, P.A. (2011) Phenotype driven ENU mutagenesis screen identifies novel alleles with functional roles in early mouse craniofacial development. Genesis. 49(4): 342-59. Feb. 8. DOI: 10.1002/dvg.20727. P.I. grant NSERC funded.

Iulianella, A., Sharma, M., Vanden Heuvel, G.B., and Trainor, P.A. (2009). Cux2 (Cutl2) Functions downstream of Notch Signaling to regulate dorsal interneuron formation in the spinal cord. Development.136: 2329-34.

Iulianella, A., Sharma, M, Durnin, M, Vanden Heuvel, G.B., and Trainor, P.A. (2008). Cux2 (Cutl2) integrates neural progenitor development with the cell cycle progression during spinal cord neurogenesis. Development. 135: 729-741. (Highlighted as a notable article in the journal).

Iulianella, A. and Trainor, P.A. (2006). Anterior-posterior patterning of the hindbrain: integrating boundaries and cell segregation with segment formation. In “Cell Signaling and Growth Factors in Development.” Ed. by Unsicker, K., and Krieglstein, K. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Pp 189-228.

Utting, O., Sedgmen, B.J., Watts, T.H., Shi, X., Rottapel, R., Iulianella, A., Lohnes, D., and Veillet, A. (2004). Immune functions in mice lacking Clnk, a SLP-76-related adaptor expressed in a subset of immune cells. Molecular and Cellular Biology. 24: 6067-6075.

Melton, K.R., Iulianella, A., and Trainor, P.A. (2004). Gene expression and regulation of hindbrain and spinal cord development. Frontiers in Bioscience 9: 117-138.

Iulianella, A., Melton, K.R., and Trainor, P.A. (2003). Somitogenesis: breaking new boundaries. Neuron 40: 11-14.

Iulianella, A., Vanden Heuvel, G., and Trainor, P. (2003). Dynamic expression of murine Cux2 in craniofacial, limb, urogenital and neuronal primordia. MODGEP 3: 571-577.

Iulianella, A., and Trainor, P. (2003). Hox gene control of neural crest cell, pharyngeal arch and craniofacial patterning. In “Murine homeobox gene control of embryonic patterning and organogenesis”, Ed. bLufkin, T. Advances in Developmental Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 13. 155-206.

Iulianella, A., and Lohnes, D. (2002). Chimeric analysis of retinoic acid receptor function during cardiac looping. Developmental Biology 247: 62-75.

Houle, M., Prinos, P., Iulianella, A., Bouchard, N., and Lohnes, D. (2000) Retinoic acid regulation Cdx-1: an indirect mechanism for retinoids and vertebral specification. Molecular and Cellular Biology 206579-6586.

Iulianella, A., Beckett, B.R., Petkovich, M. D., and Lohnes, D. (1999). A molecular basis for retino-induced axial truncations. Developmental Biology 205: 33-48.

Iulianella, A., and Lohnes, D. (1997). Contribution of retinoic acid receptor gamma to retinoid-induced craniofacial and axial defects. Developmental Dynamics 209: 92-104.

Last Updated (Friday, 04 July 2014 12:34)