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de Bono Group

Genes, Circuits, and Behavior

The De Bono Group seeks to discover and then dissect basic molecular mechanisms that underpin the functions of neurons and neural circuits. Neurons are highly specialized cells and many fundamental questions about their organization, function and plasticity remain unaddressed.

They initiate many of their studies in C. elegans, because of its advantages for molecular and cellular neuroscience. They can identify and visualize each neuron of this animal in vivo, selectively manipulate it using transgenes, and monitor its activity with genetically-encoded sensors. Powerful genetics and advanced genomic resources make high-throughput forward genetics and single neuron profiling possible. They can also complement their genetics with excellent biochemistry, to get at molecular mechanisms that are usually conserved from the worm to man. They aim to take discoveries made in the worm into mammalian models.

To achieve their goals they are deconstructing global animal states in molecular and circuitry terms. An animal state is a coordinated response to a threat (e.g. predators) or opportunity (e.g. a potential mate). Such states arise from dynamically reconfigured neural circuits that optimize the response to the situation encountered. Hallmarks include a change in arousal, rearranged responsiveness to sensory cues, and altered physiology, with effects that often outlast the evoking stimulus.

On this site:


Image of Niko Amin-Wetzel

Niko Amin-Wetzel


Image of Rebecca Arnold

Rebecca Arnold

PhD Student

Image of Murat Artan

Murat Artan


+43 2243 9000 2171

Image of Ekaterina Lashmanova

Ekaterina Lashmanova

Research Technician

+43 2243 9000 2171

Image of Michaela Misova

Michaela Misova

PhD Student

+43 2243 9000 2171

Image of Mariana Pereira Guarda

Mariana Pereira Guarda

PhD Student

Image of Nelson Ramirez Suarez

Nelson Ramirez Suarez


+43 2243 9000 2171

Image of Hanna Schön

Hanna Schön

PhD Student

Image of Lenka Strnadova

Lenka Strnadova

PhD Student

Image of Yvonne Vallis

Yvonne Vallis

Research Technician

+43 2243 9000 2171

Current Projects


Artan M, Hartl M, Chen W, de Bono M. 2022. Depletion of endogenously biotinylated carboxylases enhances the sensitivity of TurboID-mediated proximity labeling in Caenorhabditis elegans. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 298(9), 102343. View

Zhao L, Fenk LA, Nilsson L, Amin-Wetzel NP, Ramirez N, de Bono M, Chen C. 2022. ROS and cGMP signaling modulate persistent escape from hypoxia in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS Biology. 20(6), e3001684. View

Artan M, de Bono M. 2022.Proteomic Analysis of C. Elegans Neurons Using TurboID-Based Proximity Labeling. In: Behavioral Neurogenetics. Neuromethods, vol. 181, 277–294. View

Valperga G, de Bono M. 2022. Impairing one sensory modality enhances another by reconfiguring peptidergic signalling in Caenorhabditis elegans. eLife. 11, e68040. View

Chauve L, Hodge F, Murdoch S, Masoudzadeh F, Mann H-J, Lopez-Clavijo A, Okkenhaug H, West G, Sousa BC, Segonds-Pichon A, Li C, Wingett S, Kienberger H, Kleigrewe K, de Bono M, Wakelam M, Casanueva O. 2021. Neuronal HSF-1 coordinates the propagation of fat desaturation across tissues to enable adaptation to high temperatures in C. elegans, Zenodo, 10.5281/ZENODO.5519410. View

View All Publications

ReX-Link: Mario de Bono


2019 Professor, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA)
2004–2019 Tenured Group Leader, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK
1999–2004 Tenure-track Group Leader, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK
1997–1999 Research Associate Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UCSF, San Francisco, USA
1995–1997 Wellcome Trust Travelling Prize Fellow, UCSF, San Francisco, USA
1995 PhD, University of Cambridge, UK

Selected Distinctions

2018 Wellcome Investigator Award
2011 Advanced Grant ERC
2014 Honorary Appointment, Garvan Medical Institute, Australia
2011 CoEN Award (Centre of Excellence in Neurodegeneration)
2006 Human Frontiers Science Program Organization grant
2007 Elected to EMBO
2005 The Balfour Lecture, The Genetics Society, UK
2004 Max Perutz Prize, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
1995 Wellcome Trust Prize Fellowship
1990 Wellcome Trust Prize Studentship
1990 Research Studentship, Trinity College, University of Cambridge

Additional Information

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