Assunta Merolla

PhD Student
PhD Student


Center for Synaptic Neuroscience (NSYN) Largo Rosanna Benzi 1,Torre D1, 16132, Genova


I obtained a Bachelor Degree in Biology in 2013 at the University of Naples "Federico II". Then in 2016 I obtained a Master Degree summa cum laude in Molecular Biology at the University of Naples "Federico II". During my Master Degree thesis I worked at TIGEM (Telethon Institute of Genethics and Medicine) in Roman Polishchuck's laboratory where I started to study the lysosomal/autophagic system in a Wilson Disease cell model. In 2016 I started my PhD in "Neuroscience and Brain Technologies" in Fabio Benfenati's laboratory at the IIT @NSYN. 


My PhD project concerns the engineering and testing of novel fluorescence-and chemoluminescence-based optogenetic probes, to be employed in primary neurons and in vivo under pathological (epileptic-like) conditions.

Selected Publications

1. Activation of autophagy, observed in liver tissues from patients with Wilson disease and from Atp7b-deficient animals, protects hepatocytes from copper-induced apoptosis.

Polishchuk EV, Merolla A , Lichtmannegger J ,Romano A, Indrieri A, Ilyechova EY, Concilli M, De Cegli R, Crispino R, Mariniello M, Petruzzelli R, Ranucci G, Iorio R, Pietrocola F, Einer C, Borchard S, Zibert A, Schmidt HH, Di Schiavi E, Puchkova LV, Franco B ,Kroemer G, Zischka H, Polishchuk RS. Gastroenterology. 2018 Nov 16.