Gianfranco Matrone obtained his BS in Biological Science at the University of Naples Federico II, where he worked on cardiomyocyte contractility and exercise-induced neoangiogenic mechanisms in aging rat. Then, he moved to the Cardiovascular Research Centre, INSERM U689 in Paris, France, where he focused on pro-angiogenic cell therapy and neoangiogenic mechanisms in ischemic diseases. He continued to study neoangiogenesis at the Bristol Heart Institute, in England, where he focused on the role of hypoxia and Notch pathway in endothelial progenitor cells and neonatal cardiomyocytes. To further his education, he enrolled at the University of Edinburgh for his PhD where he studied the role of the CDK9 in cardiomyocyte proliferation in the zebrafish following cardiac laser-induced injury. He had a very exciting time in Edinburgh, where he was also involved in several science communication events, including being a performer at the Bright Club Comedy at the Edinburgh International Science Festivals in 2012. You can still watch his performance on zebrafish on the YouTube!
In Dr. Cooke’s lab, Gianfranco is now focused on endothelial cell development and lineage specification. By using genetic, cellular and physiological tools he is investigating the sequence of genes that are up and down regulated and changes in cell function during the reprogramming of Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. By using the Zebrafish as a model, he wants to decipher the role of candidate genes in cardiovascular development and regeneration. He is also particularly interested in understanding the role of the innate immune system in the zebrafish cardiovascular regenerative mechanisms.