Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources

National Research Council of Italy

Adriana La Volpe

Role: Associated Staff
Section: Associate Members
Division: Naples
Tel: (39) 081-6132366
E-mail: adriana.lavolpe@ibbr.cnr.it

Adriana La Volpe

Role: Senior Scientis and Principal Investigator

Section: Researchers and Technologists

Division: Naples
Tel: (39) 081-6132366

E-mail: adriana.lavolpe@ibbr.cnr.it


Name: Adriana La Volpe

Place and date of birth: Naples (Italy),10/01/1957

Nationality: Italian

Address: Institute of Bioscience and BioResources CNR Via Pietro Castellino111, 80131 Naples - Italy

Position: since 2001 CNR Senior Scientist (Primo Ricercatore).


1987 PhD in Cellular Biology, Genetics, Biochemistry, University of Rome 1987. (rDNA transcription regulation in Xenopus, Drosophila and Homo sapiens)

1979 Laurea (MS) in Biology, University of Naples in 1979, magna cum laude, thesis in Genetics

Professional experience:

2014 Senior Scientist at the Institute of Bioscience and BioResources CNR

2012-2015 Principal Investigator and Coordinator of the multicenters Telethon-Italia GGP11076 Project “New pharmacological targets in Fanconi Anemia”in collaboration with Dr. M. Ciaramella and Prof. A Savoia

2011-2013 Principal Investigator of the AIRC Associazione Italiana Ricerca sul Cancro IG 11422 “ Cisplatin sensitivity/tolerance/resistance genetic pathways in hereditary cancer predisposition”

2004-2007 Principal Investigator of the Telethon-Italia Project GGP04010 Model studies of the Fanconi/BRC/recombination pathway

1995-1998 Associate member of the EEC Network on Meiosis (Project title: Meiotic chromosome pairing and recombination: an integration of experimental approaches.)

1991 - 1994 Coordinator of the EEC project Eukaryotic genome organization: repeated DNA elements function and evolution in the genome of Caenorhabditis elegans. (CEC contract No. Sc1*-CT91-0633 (DTEE) in collaboration with Dr. John E. Sulston

1988-2013 Staff scientist and PI at the International Institute of Genetics and Biophysics CNR

1987-1988 Visiting Scientist with an EMBO fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. John E. Sulston, MRC, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK Genome mapping of repetitive sequences in C. elegans

1985-1987: CNR research fellow at the International Institute of Genetics and Biophysics CNR, Naples (group leader: Dr. Paolo Bazzicalupo). Repetitive sequences in the free living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

1982-1985 CNR research fellow at the International Institute of Genetics and Biophysics -CNR- Naples (group leader: Dr. Edoardo Boncinelli) Molecular analysis of human rRNA gene sequence heterogeneity and ribosomal genes termination signals.

1980-1982 Long term EMBO fellow at the Mammalian Genome Unit -MRC- Edinburgh, UK (group leader: Dr. Adrian Bird). Studies on rDNA non-transcribed spacer methylation and chromatin organization in related species of Xenopus with regard to gene expression

1977-1980 MS thesis (supervisor Dr. Carla Malva). Genetics and molecular studies on rDNA redundancy variation at the "bobbed" locus in Drosophila melanogaster

Dr. A La Volpe has collaborated as reviewer to the International ISI Journals: PlosGenetics, PNAS, Nucleic Acid Research, Genetics, Mol. Gen. Genet. J. Mol. Evol., Gene, and DNA Research.

She has act as reviewer in the ANR (Agence Nationale de la Reserche) projects evaluation

She has been appointed in February 1996 to a panel of experts as reviewers of the European Community “Biotechnology” projects (Brussel, Belgium).

She has participated, organized or contributed to over hundred Meetings, Workshops, Conferences and Courses around the world.

She has given seminars on her research in various Institutions around the world, among these:

Institut fur Humangenetik, Zentrum Hygiene und Humangenetik, Univ. of Gottingen, Germany

NEC Fundamental Research Laboratories, Kawasaki, Japan

Tolmen Fundamental Research Laboratories, Tokyo, Japan

Institute of Applied Microbiology, University of Tokyo, Japan

Department of Haematology, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London, UK

National Genetics Institute, Mishima, Japan

Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, Lyon, France

Scientific interests:

For most of her senior career Adriana La Volpe has been interested in genome stability, a fundamental subject of biology with implication in genome evolution, fertility and oncogenesis. Between the 1988 and 1994 she described the Genome organization of repetitive sequence in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, with particular regard to their origin, evolution and chromosomal organization. These studies have also lead to some insights on mechanisms of gene conversion, transposition, and genome-wide cross-overs distribution. She was the first to identify and describe the roles in meiosis and in the soma of the recombinase RAD-51 in C. elegans and provided tools for the analysis of meiotic progression in oogenesis (1998-2003). Roles of fundamental genes such as mre-11, msh-4, msh-5, syp-2 were analyzed in such studies. She has also been interested in DNA repair and checkpoint silencing during embryogenesis showing that checkpoint activation is not an obligatory response to DNA damage and that pathways exist to bypass the checkpoint when survival depends on uninterrupted progression through the cell cycle: unlilke in germline, the checkpoint response to DNA damage is actively silenced in early embryogenesis and such silencing requires the polh-1 translesion DNA polymerase, which suppress replication fork stalling. Recently she has described the actions of the brc-1 and fcd-2 genes (respectively hortologs of human BRCA1 and FANCD2 in C. elegans) highlighting the role of BRC-1 in homologous repair on sister chromatid and of FCD-2 in down regulation of Non Homologous End Joining. Other key results of recent years have concerned the involvment of procrossover factors in regulation of DNA damage induced apoptosis in the C. elegans germline and the induction of DNA damage and of apoptosis during epigenetic germline gene silencing.


1988-1994 Dr. John E. Sulston, MRC, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK

1988-1990 Dr Robert Waterstone, Department of Genetics, Washington University, St. Louis MO, USA

1990-1992 Dr. Alexandra Levitt, NYU Department of Medical and Molecular Parasitology, New York, U.S.A.

2001-2003 Dr. Anne Villeneuve, Stanford University, CA, USA

2003-2006 Dr. WM Michael, Harvard, Cambridge MA, USA

2003-2010 Dr. Simon Boulton Cancer Research UK, South Mimms, UK,

2007-2013 Dr. Enrique Martinez-Perez, MRC London, UK

Ongoing collaborations:

since 2008 Dr. Verena Jantsch, University of Vienna, Austria

since 2011 Dr. Maria Ciaramella, CNR IBP

since 2011 Dr. Anna Savoia, University of Trieste, Ospedale Burlo

Full list of ISI publications with download opportunity is availabe at:


Relevant Publications since 2003

Silva N, Adamo A, Santonicola P, Martinez-Perez E, La Volpe A. (2013)

Pro-crossover factors regulate damage-dependent apoptosis in the Caenorhabditi...

Cell Death Differ. 2013 Sep;20(9):1209-18. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2013.68. Epub 2013 Jul 5.

Woglar A, Daryabeigi A, Adamo A, Habacher C, Machacek T, La Volpe A, Jantsch V. (2013)

Matefin/SUN-1 phosphorylation is part of a surveillance mechanism to coordinat...

PLoS Genet. 2013;9(3):e1003335. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003335. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

Try to disarm the intruder or kill him! (2012)

Adamo A, La Volpe A.

Worm. 2012 Oct 1;1(4):212-5. doi: 10.4161/worm.20502.

PMID: 24058851 [PubMed]

La Volpe A., Barchi M.(2012)

Meiotic double strand breaks repair in sexually reproducing eukaryotes: We are...

Exp Cell Res. 2012 Mar 27. [Epub ahead of print]

Adamo A, Woglar A, Silva N, Penkner A, Jantsch V, La Volpe A. (2012)

Transgene-mediated cosuppression and RNA interference enhance germ-line apopto...

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Feb 28;109(9):3440-5. Epub 2012 Feb 13.

Adamo A, Collis SJ, Adelman CA, Silva N, Horejsi Z, Ward JD, Martinez-Perez E, Boulton SJ, La Volpe A (2010)

Preventing nonhomologous end joining suppresses DNA repair defects of Fanconi ...

Mol Cell. 2010 Jul 9;39(1):25-35)

Adamo A, Montemauri P, Silva N, Ward JD, Boulton SJ, La Volpe A. (2008)

BRC-1 acts in the inter-sister pathway of meiotic double-strand break repair.

EMBO Rep. 2008 Mar;9(3):287-92.

Holway A.H., Kim S.H., La Volpe A., and Michael W. M. (2006)

Checkpoint silencing during the DNA damage response in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos.

J Cell Biol. 2006 Mar 27;172(7):999-1008. Epub 2006 Mar 20.

Colaiácovo M.P., MacQueenA.J., Martinez-PerezE., McDonald K., AdamoA., La VolpeA, and VilleneuveA.M. (2003)

Synaptonemal complex assembly in C. elegans is dispensable for loading strand-exchamge proteins but critical for proper completion of recombination.

Developmental Cell 5: 463-474.


Selected Publications
(full list available at CNR People)

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