ESR introduction and

outline ESR Project 9

Giulia Spanò was born the 5th of February 1994 in Palermo (Sicily, Italy).  After high school, she moved in Perugia (Italy) and she enrolled at the University of Perugia. In 2016 she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and on April 2019 she graduated cum laude as master of science in pharmaceutical biotechnology. She spent part of the last year of her master working in the Bacteria-Cell Interactions Unit of the Institute Pasteur (Paris, France) under the supervision of Prof. Pascale Cossart and Dr. Sabrina Jabs. She focused her research on the “Role of m6A mRNA methylation during the infection by the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes”. During her master’s internship, Giulia developed a special interest in molecular cellular mechanisms regulated by RNA molecules.

She awarded the PhD position within the H2020 TRAIN-HEART Consortium, a Marie-Sklodowska Curie Innovative Training Network. Therefore, since January 2020, she works as PhD-student in the Department of Molecular Genetics at Maastricht University under the supervision of Prof. Leon de Windt and the co-supervision of Prof. Paula da Costa Martins. Her main objective is to study the mechanism of action of promising ncRNAs underlying ischemic Heart Failure, to explore their potential as therapeutic targets in HF patients. She will spend her PhD investigating the crosstalk among different miRNA clusters, belonging to a large polycistronic family and involving in cardiomyocytes cell-cycle progression. Furthermore, she will study the mechanistic basis for promising lncRNAs candidates that underlie the evolutionary loss of cardiac regeneration capacity. She will exploit bioinformatic approaches, working together with Prof. Monika Stoll’s group, to identify endogenous lncRNAs responsible for the loss of mammalian cardiomyocytes proliferation ability from fetal to adult life of the heart.


- King's College London (groups of Prof. Mayr, cardiovascular proteomics, and Prof. Giacca, genetic engineering and biotechnology)

- Descin BV (Drs. Bessems, research project management)

Host Institution

Maastricht University

ESR: Giulia Spano


Main supervisor: Prof. Leon de Windt

Co-supervisor: Dr Martina Calore