Professor Ezio Rosato

Professor of Biology

School/Department: Biological Sciences, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 3351



Ezio Rosato was born and grew-up in Mestre, Italy, which is part of the Venetian 'dry-land' (terraferma) before studying for a ‘Laurea’ at the University of Padova.

After military service in Rome, Ezio won a national competition and obtained a PhD scholarship in genetics. Although the ‘Dottorato’ was awarded by the University of Ferrara, the laboratory work was carried out in the Department of Biology at the University of Padova and in the Department of Genetics at the University of Leicester.

Professor Rosato moved to Leicester permanently in 1994.



Professor Rosato’s laboratory is interested in behaviour, namely those observable processes initiated by an animal in response to extrinsic and/or intrinsic changes to the environment. Behaviour is a product of the brain, therefore can be used as a convenient tool for the analysis of the nervous system.

Over the years the laboratory has been particularly involved in studying a complex behaviour known as the circadian clock, especially (but not exclusively) in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The group are interested in the genes that regulate the clock and study them by characterising their function, by examining their evolution, and by analysing their expression.

They are also engaged in understanding how clock neurons (neurons expressing clock genes) are organised and how circadian information flows through their network. More recently studies have started investigating the interrelationship between clock and development.




1. Kyriacou CP, Rosato E (2022). Genetic analysis of Cryptochrome in insect magnetosensitivity. Frontiers in Physiology, in press.

2. Delfino L, Mason RP, Kyriacou CP, Giorgini F, Rosato E (2020) Rab8 promotes mutant HTT aggregation, reduces neurodegeneration, and ameliorates behavioural alterations in a Drosophila model of Huntington's disease. J. of Huntington's disease. 9(3):253-263. doi: 10.3233/JHD-200411

3. Hunt BJ, Mallon E, Rosato E. (2019) In silico identification of a molecular circadian system with novel features in the crustacean model organism Parhyale hawaiensis. Frontiers in Physiology-Chronobiology, 10: 1325, doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01325.

4. Hansen CC, Özkaya Ö, Roe H, Kyriacou CP, Giongo L, Rosato E. (2019) Locomotor behaviour and clock neurons organization in the agricultural pest Drosophila suzukii. Frontiers in Physiology, 10: 941.

5. Hunt BJ, Özkaya Ö, Davies N, Gaten E, Seear P, Kyriacou CP, Tarling G, Rosato E (2017). The Euphausia superba transcriptome database, SuperbaSE: An online open resource for researchers. Ecol Evol. 7:6060-6077. DOI:10.1002/ece3.3168.

6. Dissel S, Hansen CN, Özkaya Ö, Hemsley M, Kyriacou CP, Rosato E. (2014) The logic of circadian organization in Drosophila, Curr Biol, 24: 2257-2266. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.023

7. Fedele G, Green EW, Rosato E, Kyriacou CP (2014). An electromagnetic field disrupts negative geotaxis in Drosophila via a CRY-dependent pathway. Nature Communications 5, DOI:10.1038/ncomms5391.

8. Seear PJ, Goodall-Copestake WP, Fleming AH, Rosato E, Tarling GA (2012). Seasonal and spatial influences on gene expression in Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba Dana). Marine Ecology Progress series, 467: 64-75. DOI 10.3354/meps09947.

9. Dissel S, Codd V, Fedic R, Garner K, Costa R, Kyriacou CP, Rosato E (2004) A constitutively active Drosophila CRYPTOCHROME. Nature Neuroscience. 7: 834-840.

10. Rosato E, Codd, V., Mazzotta, G, Piccin, A., Zordan, M., Costa, R. and Kyriacou, C.P. (2001) Light-dependent interaction between Drosophila CRY and the clock protein PER mediated by the carboxy terminus of CRY. Current Biology 11: 909-917.

11. Rosato E, Trevisan A., Sandrelli F., Zordan M., Kyriacou C. P., Costa R. (1997). Conceptual translation of timeless reveals alternative initiating methionines in Drosophila. Nucleic Acids Res., 25: 455-458.



Professor Rosato’s laboratory is open to exceptionally motivated students interested in neurogenetics.

Particular strengths of the group are:

  • Behaviour
  • Biological rhythms
  • Circadian clocks
  • Drosophila genetics
  • Cryptochrome.

However, any area of neurogenetics will be considered.



Professor Rosato convenes the BS1050 and contributes to the BS2066 modules.

Press and media

Professor Rosato is an expert on circadian clocks, biological rhythms, genetics, and model systems.


Laurea in Scienze Biologiche, Universita’ di Padova, Padua, Italy.

Dottorato (PhD) in Genetica, Universita’ di Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.

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