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Cells Webinar | Cell Calcium across the Phylogenetic Tree: From Physiological Signaling to Pathogenic Mechanisms

27 Apr 2022, 09:00 (CEST)

Calcium Signaling, Calcium Imaging, Echinoderms, Fertilization, Molluscs, Octopus, Muscle Contraction, Zebrafish, Brain Functions
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Welcome from the Chair

17th Webinar on Cells

Cell Calcium across the Phylogenetic Tree: From Physiological Signaling to Pathogenic Mechanisms

Calcium signaling is the most versatile and evolutionarily conserved means of controlling cellular functions from invertebrates to mammals. Investigation of calcium signaling mechanisms in different animals along the phylogenetic tree not only revealed important knowledge about animal physiology, but also helped to elucidate the pathogenic role of the deranged Ca2+-handling machinery in human pathology.

The Special Issue “Cell calcium across the phylogenetic tree: from physiological signaling to pathogenic mechanisms” welcomes original contributions related to the physiology and pathology of Ca2+ signals, components of the Ca2+ signaling toolkit, Ca2+regulated proteins and processes studied in the species populating the Earth.

In this webinar, I am pleased to welcome Drs. Luigia Santella, Letizia Zullo and Petronella Kettunen, with their bright examples of the investigation of Ca2+ signaling in three different animal phyla: echinoderms (starfish and sea urchin), mollusks (octopus) and chordate (zebrafish), respectively.

Date: 27 April 2022

Time: 9:00 am CEST | 3:00 am EDT | 3:00 pm CST Asia

Webinar ID: 840 4992 0519

Webinar Secretariat:


Department of Pharmaceutical Science, University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy

Dmitry Lim graduated from the Moscow State University (Russia) and obtained his Ph.D. from the Stazione Zoologica “A. Dohrn”. He then undertook his postdoctoral work in the lab of Prof. Ernesto Carafoli in Padua. He is currently Associate Professor of Physiology in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Università del Piemonte Orientale. He has always been interested in Calcium Signaling in Health and Disease, with particular emphasis on glial cells and neurodegenerative disorders. His research interests are calcium signaling; astrocytes; calcineurin; and Alzheimer’s disease.

Invited Speakers

Zoological Station of Naples "Anton Dohrn", Naples, Italy

Dr. Santella’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction linked to the physiological changes in oocytes and eggs during meiotic maturation and fertilization, as well as in early embryos. Over the past 20 years, her research has placed particular emphasis on the intracellular Ca2+ swings during these processes. Her work with starfish and sea-urchin model systems has established that the Ca2+ wave in fertilized eggs can be recapitulated by the combined effects of second messengers such as NAADP and InsP3, which play distinct roles in initiating and propagating the sperm-induced Ca2+ wave, while the other Ca2+-linked second messenger cADPr might instead have a modulatory role. She has also demonstrated that certain Ca2+ signals can originate and propagate in specific subcellular domains such as the nucleus and the subplasmalemmal regions. Her more recent work on starfish oocytes and eggs, which are optimally suited for microinjection and imaging analyses, has pioneered the new concept that the patterns of intracellular Ca2+ signaling and the Ca2+ ion channel activities are significantly modulated by the actin cytoskeleton. Dr. Santella actively promotes international collaboration and intellectual exchanges, as well as stimulating education in foreign universities. She has also been involved in the organization of highly successful international symposia. She is regularly invited as a speaker at symposia and congresses in numerous countries in Europe, the USA, and Asia. Since 1993, visited the Asamushi Research Center for Marine Biology, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, Japan to perform seasonal work on an annual basis, and has lectured in the EMBO and NSF-sponsored educational programs in Brazil and Uruguay.

Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genova, Italy

I graduated from Federico II University, Naples, Italy, with a degree in Biological Sciences in 2001, where I was working on the central and peripheral control of “patterning” of the cromatophores in Loligo vulgaris. I received my PhD in Applied Biology from the Federico II University, Naples, Italy in 2004, where I worked on the organization of the higher motor centers in Octopus vulgaris at the Stazione Zoologica A.Dohrn of Naples. From 2004 to 2007 I was a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Prof. Benjamin Hochner at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working on the electrophysiology of the Octopus CNS and arm. From 2007 to 2012 I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy. Currently I am working as a researcher at the Center of Micro-BioRobotics and the Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology (NSYN) at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. The aim of my research is to investigate the properties of the sensory-motor systems of octopus arms, and the muscle mechanics, structure and molecular determinant of muscle formation, with particular focus on their applications in the field of bio-robotics. I am conducting two main research lines aiming at (i) elucidating the mechanisms of arm sensory motor coordination, neural control and coordination of muscle cell ensembles, with particular attention to their implementation in a bio-robotic environment; (ii) deciphering the molecular determinant of muscle formation and regeneration relevant to regenerative medicine.

University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Associate professor Petronella Kettunen received a PhD in medicine (Neuroscience) at the Karolinska Institute in 2004. She is leading a research group at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology and is the co-director of Centre for Cognitive Medicine and a senior visiting researcher at the University of Oxford.

Webinar Content

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Time in CEST

Dr. Dmitry Lim

Chair Introduction

9:00 - 9:05 am

Dr. Luigia Santella
What Happens When Sperm Fertilizes Starfish and Sea Urchin Eggs

9:05 - 9:35 am

Dr. Letizia Zullo
In or Out? Calcium Regulation of Muscle Contraction in the Octopus

9:35 - 10:05 am

Dr. Petronella Kettunen

Calcium Imaging in the Zebrafish - How Can We Increase the Understanding of Brain Functions?

10:05 - 10:35 am

Q&A Session

10:35 - 10:55 am

Closing of Webinar
Dr. Dmitry Lim

10:55 - 11:00 am

Relevant SI

Cell Calcium across the Phylogenetic Tree: From Physiological Signaling to Pathogenic Mechanisms
Guest Editor: Dr. Dmitry Lim
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 June 2022

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