Francesca Mulas, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

I received my master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and my Ph.D. in Bioengineering and Bioinformatics from the University of Pavia, Italy, under the supervision of Prof. Riccardo Bellazzi. During the time spent in Prof. Blaz Zupan’s lab in Ljubljana, Slovenia, my graduate work resulted in a software tool that applies machine learning techniques to the whole genome to predict the pluripotency level of different types of stem cells. As a visiting postdoc in Prof. Stefano Monti’s lab at Boston University, I studied gene expression-based networks derived from samples exposed to different chemical compounds, with the aim of extracting gene modules whose connectivity may be altered by specific compounds. In the Sander lab, I am working closely with biologists to identify creative and innovative bioinformatics methods that help to uncover the complex mechanisms underlying beta cell maturation. My primary interests are focused towards the analysis of single-cells and the use of network-based approaches to fuse beta cell transcriptomic and epigenomic datasets produced in the lab.

 

Publications:

Carrano AC *, Mulas F*, Zeng C, and Sander M. (2017) Interrogating Islets in Health and Disease with Single-Cell Technologies. Molecular Metabolism (in press). *equal contributors

Zeng C*, Mulas F*, Sui Y, Guan T, Miller N, Tan Y, Liu F, Jin W, Carrano AC, Huising MO, Shirihai OS, Yeo GW, and Sander M. (2017) Pseudotemporal ordering of single cells reveals metabolic control of postnatal beta cell proliferation. Cell Metabolism 25: 1160-1175. *equal contributors

Mulas F, Li A, and Monti S. (2017) Network-based Analysis of Transcriptional Profiles from Chemical Perturbation Experiments. BMC Bioinformatics 18(Suppl 5): 130.

Sherr D, Stanford EA, Wang Z , Novikov O, Landesman-Bollag E, Mulas F, Monti S, Smith BW, and Murphy GJ. (2016) The role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in the development of cells with the molecular and functional characteristics of cancer stem-like cells. BMC Biology 14: 20.

Zuccotti M, Merico V, Rebuzzini P, Belli M, Vigone G, Mulas F, Fassina L, Wruck W, Adjaye J, Bellazzi R, and Garagna S. (2015) 3D culture of ovarian follicles: a system towards their engineering? Int J Dev Biol. 59(4-6): 211-6.

Villa F, Carrizzo A, Spinelli CC, Ferrario A, Malovini A, Maciag A, Damato A, Auricchio A, Spinetti G, Sangalli E, Dang Z, Madonna M, Ambrosio M, Sitia L, Bigini P, Calì G, Schreiber S, Perls T, Fucile S, Mulas F, Nebel A, Bellazzi R, Madeddu PR, Vecchione C, and Puca AA. (2015) Genetic Analysis Reveals a Longevity-Associated Protein Modulating Endothelial Function and Angiogenesis. Circ Res. 117(4): 333-45.

Vitali F, Mulas F, Marini P, and Bellazzi R. (2013) Network-based target ranking for polypharmacological therapies. Journal of Biomedical Informatics S1532-0464(13): 00090-7.

Vigone G, Merico V, Prigione A, Mulas F, Sacchi L, Gabetta M, Bellazzi R, Redi CA, Mazzini G, Adjaye J, Garagna S, and Zuccotti M. (2013) Transcriptome based identification of mouse cumulus cell markers that predict the developmental competence of their enclosed antral oocytes. BMC Genomics 14: 380.

Rebuzzini P, Fassina L, Mulas F, Bellazzi R, Redi CA, Di Liberto R, Magenes G, Adjaye J, Zuccotti M, and Garagna S. (2013) Mouse embryonic stem cells irradiated with γ-rays differentiate into cardiomyocytes but with altered contractile properties. Mutation Research pii: S1383-5718(13)00157-5.

Larizza C, Gabetta M, Milani G, Bucalo M, Mulas F, Nuzzo A, Favalli V, Arbustini E, and Bellazzi R. (2013) Supporting translational research on inherited cardiomyopathies through information technology. Methods Inf Med. 52(2): 137-47.

Sohni A, Mulas F, Ferrazzi F, Luttun A, Bellazzi R, Huylebroeck D, Ekker SC, and Verfaillie CM. (2012) TGF β 1-induced Baf60c regulates both smooth muscle cell commitment and quiescence. PLoS One 7(10): e47629.

Mulas F, Sacchi L, Zagar L, Garagna S, Zuccotti M, Zupan B, and Bellazzi R. (2012) Knowledge-based bioinformatics for the study of mammalian oocytes. Int J Dev Biol. 56(10-12): 859-66.

Zuccotti M, Merico V, Belli M, Mulas F, Sacchi L, Zupan B, Redi CA, Prigione A, Adjaye J, Bellazzi R, and Garagna S. (2012) Oct4 and the acquisition of the oocyte developmental competence during folliculogenesis. Int J Dev Biol. 56(10-12): 853-8.

Mulas F, Zagar L, Zupan B, and Bellazzi R. (2012) Supporting regenerative medicine by integrative dimensionality reduction. Methods Inf Med. 51(4): 341-7.

Merico V, Zuccotti M, Carpi D, Baev D, Mulas F, Sacchi L, Bellazzi R, Pastorelli R, Redi CA, Moratti R, Garagna S, and Balduini A. (2012) The genomic and proteomic blueprint of mouse megakaryocytes derived from embryonic stem cells. J Thromb Haemost. 10(5): 907-15.

Zagar L*, Mulas F*, Garagna S, Zuccotti M, Bellazzi R, and Zupan B. (2011) Stage prediction of embryonic stem cell differentiation from genome-wide expression data. Bioinformatics 27(18): 2546-53. *equal contributors.

Zuccotti M, Merico V, Bellone M, Mulas F, Sacchi L, Rebuzzini P, Prigione A, Redi CA, Bellazzi R, and Adjaye J. (2011) Gatekeeper of pluripotency: A common Oct4 transcriptional network operates in mouse eggs and embryonic stem cells. BMC Genomics 12: 345.