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Gianni Castiglione, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Dr. Gianni M. Castiglione is a biologist in the department of Biological Sciences, with a secondary appointment in the department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Research in the Castiglione lab harnesses evolution to understand and treat human disease.  We focus on the molecular and cellular basis of blindness, cancer, and lifespan, interrogating how these pathways evolved within non-human animals. These include birds, horses, and deep-sea fishes, all of which are adapted to extreme physiological and/or environmental challenges. We reverse engineer their innovative physiological adaptations using a variety of in vitro and in vivo methods (bioinformatics, cell culture, electrophysiology, histology). Our goal is the discovery of unanticipated mechanisms underlying human disease and animal adaptation.