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Prof. Rodolfo Costa

Neurogenetics and Chronobiology
The unit has a longstanding research interest in circadian chronobiology (i.e. the study of biological events as a function of time and in terms of their rhythms). Our work has focused on the genetic, molecular and behavioural analysis of the circadian clock in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, as well as other organisms such as the Antartic krill. More recently, our research interests have extended to the circadian biology of humans. In addition, we are active in the field of functional genomics, and use Drosophila as a model for the study of orthologs of human genes involved in mitochondrial pathology.


Rodolfo Costa holds the Chair of Genetics at the University of Padova, in Italy. For several years, his research focus has been the study of the biological clock in different organisms, in terms of its genetic/molecular features and its physiological and behavioural correlates. He is also active in the field of functional genomics, utilizing the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) as a model for the study of homologues of human genes implicated in mitochondrial diseases. His research has been funded by the European Union (CEC Science Plan; EC-Biotechnology Programme; EU 6th Framework Programme – EUCLOCK; Marie Curie FP7 ITN – INsecTIME), the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – POLARTIME, the Italian Ministry of Education, the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Policies, the Italian Space Agency, the National Research Council of Italy (CNR – EPIGEN), the University of Padova, and the CaRiPaRo and Telethon foundations. He has been actively involved in major popular sciences initiatives including the Genova Science Festival and the Padova Galileo book award. He is the current President of the Italian Association for Genetics (AGI), and a member of the European Biological Rhythm Society (EBRS) and the American Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR). He also serves as the Editor in Chief of the section Chronobiology of Frontiers in Physiology.