Developmental Biology Program


Program Details | Biography Details | Publications




Dr. Bellipanni's research employs the zebrafish animal model to study two key aspects of embryo development: the mechanisms leading to Dorso/Ventral (D/V) patterning during embryo gastrulation -- when the germ layers of an embryo are formed and the body plan of the mature organism is established -- and the molecular and cellular mechanisms that instruct patterning and specification of the central nervous system.





Gianfranco Bellipani, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Director, Developmental Biology Program

Phone: (cell) 267-934-9655
      (work) 215-898-2640

Gianfranco Bellipani, Ph.D. is an Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology and the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine in the College of Science and Technology at Temple University (USA).

After receiving his Ph.D. from the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of Palermo, Italy, Dr. Bellipanni spent five years as a Post-Doctorate Fellow in the Department of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he worked to characterize the role of zOtx1 during the development of the central nervous system of zebrafish. In 2000, he won the A. Monroy Fellowship to attend the prestigious Embryology Course at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA.

He then joined the Institute of Developmental Genetics of the GSF-National Research Center for Environmental and Health in Munich (Germany) as a Senior Post-Doctorate Fellow, where he studied the specification and function of the serotonergic neuronal population in zebrafish. After a brief stint as a visiting scientist at the University of Milan, Italy, he returned to Philadelphia as a Research Associate in the Department of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. At Penn he worked on several projects, including:

  • Microarray-based search for novel neural-specific genes and characterization of their function in zebrafish embryos;
  • Characterization of the roles of the two zebrafish b-catenins in organizer formation and dorso/ventral patterning; and,
  • Modeling heart malformations in zebrafish.






Mate Varga, Shingo Maegawa, Gianfranco Bellipanni and Eric S. Weinberg. "Chordin Expression, Mediated by Nodal and FGF Signaling, is Restricted by Redundant Function of Two β-catenins in the Zebrafish Embryo" Mech. of Development 2007 Sep-Oct;124 (9-10):775-91.

G.Bellipanni*, M. Varga*, S. Maegawa*, Y. Imai, C. Kelly, A. Pomrehn, F. Chu, W.S. Talbot and E.S. Weinberg. "Essential and opposing roles of zebrafish β-catenins in formation of dorsal axial structures and neurectoderm" Development. 2006 Apr;133(7):1299-309.

Adolf B, Bellipanni G, Huber V, Bally-Cuif L. "atoh1.2 and beta3.1 are two new bHLH-encoding genes expressed in selective precursor cells of the zebrafish anterior hindbrain" Gene Expr Patterns. 2004 Nov; 5(1):35-41.

G.Bellipanni, E. Rink, L. Bally-Cuif. "Cloning of two tryptophan hydroxylase genes expressed in the diencephalon of the developing zebrafish brain" Mech. of Development 119S (2002) S215-S220.

G.Bellipanni*, T. Murakami*, O.G. Doerre, P.Andermann and E.S. Weinberg. "Expression of Otx homeodomain proteins induces cell aggregation in developing zebrafish embryos " Developmental Biology 223, 339-353 (2000).

*Co-first author


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