• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari

Tel :+390649912827
Fax :+390649912343

Istitute of Molecular Biology and Pathology - National Research Council
Department of Biology and Biotecnology - Charles Darwin
Sapienza University of Rome - Istituto Genetica, room 1-07 - P.Le A.Moro 5 00185 Roma
My research interests cover many aspects of chromatin structure and function. I study this topic by selecting mutations in Drosophila melanogaster and analyzing how they affect chromosome behavior and, consequently, mitotic and male meiotic divisions. In particular, I focus on the cytological effects of these mutations on cytokinesis.
I am also interested in the analysis of chromosome structure, with particular emphasis on the molecular mechanisms of telomeric fusions and the genetic and molecular characterization of mutations causing chromosome breakage.
I also have an ongoing analysis of Y chromosome-associated heterochromatin with a specific interest on alternative DNA structures.

Finally, collaborations exist with physicians of the San Camillo Hospital (Roma) for the study of the human urogenital tract, its diseases and its development.
PUBLICATIONS (last ten years, selected – starting from newest):

  • Vallone C, Rigon G, Gulia C, Baffa A, Votino R, Morosetti G, Zaami S, Briganti V, Catania F, Gaffi M, Nucciotti R, Costantini FM, Piergentili R, Putignani L, Signore F. Non-Coding RNAs and Endometrial Cancer. Genes (Basel). 2018 Mar 29;9(4).
  • Capozza N, Gulia C, Heidari Bateni Z, Zangari A, Gigli S, Briganti V, Tursini S, Koh CJ, Gaffi M, Baldassarra S, Signore F, Porrello A, Piergentili R. Vesicoureteral reflux in infants: what do we know about the gender prevalence by age? Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017 Dec;21(23):5321-5329.
  • Gulìa C, Baldassarra S, Signore F, Rigon G, Pizzuti V, Gaffi M, Briganti V, Porrello A, Piergentili R.
    Role of Non-Coding RNAs in the Etiology of Bladder Cancer. Genes (Basel). 2017 Nov 22;8(11).
  • Frappaolo A, Sechi S, Kumagai T, Robinson S, Fraschini R, Karimpour-Ghahnavieh A, Belloni G, Piergentili R, Tiemeyer KH, Tiemeyer M, Giansanti MG. COG7 deficiency in Drosophila generates multifaceted developmental, behavioral and protein glycosylation phenotypes. J Cell Sci. 2017 Nov 1;130(21):3637-3649.
  • Briganti V, Luvero D, Gulia C, Piergentili R, Zaami S, Buffone EL, Vallone C, Angioli R, Giorlandino C, Signore F. A novel approach in the treatment of neonatal gastroschisis: a review of the literature and a single-center experience. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018 May;31(9):1234-1240.
  • Gulia C, Zangari A, Briganti V, Bateni ZH, Porrello A, Piergentili R. Labia minora hypertrophy: causes, impact on women's health, and treatment options. Int Urogynecol J. 2017 Oct;28(10):1453-1461.
  • A. Frappaolo, S. Sechi, G. Belloni, R. Piergentili, MG. Giansanti. Visualization of cleavage furrow proteins in fixed dividing spermatocytes. Methods Cell Biol. 2017;137:85-103.
  • A. Porrello and R. Piergentili. Contextualizing the Genes Altered in Bladder Neoplasms in Pediatric and Teen Patients Allows Identifying Two Main Classes of Biological Processes Involved and New Potential Therapeutic Targets. Current Genomics, 2016; 17(1):33-61
  • R. Piergentili. Editorial - Thematic Issue: Bladder Conditions in Pediatric Patients: Genetics and Genomics. Current Genomics, 2016; 17(1):2-3
  • Marrocco G, Grammatico P, Vallasciani S, Gulia C, Zangari A, Marrocco F, Bateni ZH, Porrello A, Piergentili R. Environmental, parental and gestational factors that influence the occurrence of hypospadias in male patients. J Pediatr Urol. 2015;11(1):12-19
  • Piergentili R. Rediscovery and characterization of mus309[D1]. Dros Inf Serv, 2014; 97:173-175
  • S. Vallasciani, G. Marrocco, C. Gulia, A. Zangari, R. Piergentili. Bladder Cancer in Pediatric Patients. In: 'Bladder Cancer: Risk Factors, Emerging Treatment Strategies and Challenges', 2014, pp. 45-69. New York: NovaScience Publishers inc. ISBN:978-1-63321-666-2
  • C. Gulia, G. Marrocco, S. Vallasciani, R. Piergentili. The Five Senses in Bladder Cancer Diagnostics. In: 'Bladder Cancer: Risk Factors, Emerging Treatment Strategies and Challenges', 2014, pp. 17-43. New York: NovaScience Publishers inc. ISBN:978-1-63321-666-2
  • Piergentili R, Carradori S, Gulia C, DeMonte C, CristiniC, Grande P, Santini E, Gentile V, Di Pierro GB. Bladder cancer: innovative approaches beyond the diagnosis. Curr Med Chem. 2014; 21:2219-2236. 
  • V. Mengoli, E. Bucciarelli, R. Lattao, R. Piergentili, M. Gatti, S. Bonaccorsi. The analysis of mutant alleles of different strength reveals multiple functions of Topoisomerase 2 in regulation of Drosophila chromosome structure.  PLoS Genetics 2014; 10:e1004739
  • Piergentili R. (2013) How complex an intron may be? The example of the first intron of the CTP synthase gene of Drosophila melanogaster. J Mol Biochem 2:28-40
  • Piergentili R. (2013) Zooming (a little) out of the M-theory. J Mol Biochem 2:3-5
  • Giansanti M.G., Sechi S., Frappaolo A., Belloni G. and Piergentili R. (2012) Cytokinesis in Drosophila male meiosis. Spermatogenesis 2:185-196
  • Di Pierro G.B., Gulia C., Cristini C., Fraietta G., Marini L., Grande P., Gentile V. and Piergentili R. (2012) Bladder cancer: a simple model becomes complex. Curr Genomics 13:395-415
  • Piergentili R. (2010) Multiple roles of the Y chromosome in the biology of Drosophila melanogaster. (Review) TheScientificWorldJOURNAL 10:1749-1767
  • Piergentili R. (2010) The heterochromatic component of the human Y chromosome: a genetic wasteland or something more? Suggestions from the fruitfly. In: Human Spermatozoa: Maturation, Capacitation and Abnormalities. NEW YORK: NovaScience Publishers, Inc. ISBN: 978-1-60876-401-3
  • Piergentili R. (2009) The Y chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster and the enigma of ‘functional heterochromatin’. In: Sex Chromosomes: Genetics, Abnormalities, and Disorders. NEW YORK: NovaScience Publishers, Inc. ISBN: 978-1-60741-304-2
  • Somma M. P., Ceprani F., Bucciarelli E., Naim V., De Arcangelis V., Piergentili R., Palena A., Ciapponi L., Giansanti M. G., Pellacani C., Petrucci R., Cenci G., Vernì F., Fasulo B., Goldberg M. L., Di Cunto F. and Gatti M. (2008) Identification of Drosophila mitotic genes by combining co-expression analysis and RNA interference. PLoS Genetics 4: e1000126
  • Piergentili R. and Mencarelli C. (2008) Drosophila melanogaster kl-3 and kl-5 Y-loops harbor triple-stranded nucleic acids. J Cell Sci 121:1605-1612
  • Ceprani F., Raffa G. D., Petrucci R. and Piergentili R. (2008) Autosomal mutations affecting Y chromosome loops in Drosophila melanogaster. BMC Genet 9:32
Collaborations within IBPM:
Dr MG Giansanti
Dr F di Rosa
Collaborations with other Institutions:
Dr A Porrello, Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC), University of North Carolina (UNC)-Chapel Hill, USA.
Dr V Briganti, Dr C Gulìa and Dr F Signore, Azienda Ospedaliera San Camillo Forlanini, Roma.
2016-2017 - Adjunct Professor of Genetics at Sapienza - Università di Roma
2003-2012 - Adjunct Professor of Genetics at Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo".
2009-2010 - Adjunct Professor of Genetics at Sapienza - Università di Roma - Polo di Latina (Università Pontina).
2012-present: Researcher at CNR-IBPM
2010-2012: Research Fellow at Sapienza - Università di Roma
2008: international fellowship at Umea University (Sweden, Prof. A. Chabes' Lab)
2005-2007: Research Fellow at Sapienza - Università di Roma
2002 and 2011: training course in Bioinformatics
2002: training course in Mass Spectrometry
1999-2000: international fellowship at UC Davis (CA-USA, Prof. K. C. Burtis' Lab)
1999: PhD degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology
1993: graduation in Biology


2018: Project Manager certified by ACCREDIA
2017: Project Management Advanced (ISIPM)
2016: Project Management Basic (ISIPM)