Alejandro Lomniczi

  • Research Assistant Professor, Oregon National Primate Research Center


The Lomniczi Laboratory specializes in neuroendocrinology and cell biology, with emphasis in genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that control physiological responses. The primary focus of the Lab is to unveil how epigenetic landscapes of neurons and glial cells change in response to external conditions such as diet manipulation, stress, changes in circadian patterns, or exposure to endocrine disruptors that modulate cellular function.

Recent studies from the Lomniczi Lab have revealed that an epigenetic mechanism of transcriptional repression operating in the hypothalamus plays a vital role in timing female puberty. Dr. Lomniczi’ s results strongly suggest that the epigenetic control of puberty involves lifting of a transcriptional repressive tone exerted by the Polycomb group (PcG) of transcriptional silencers, with the simultaneous recruitment of a group of transcriptional activators from the Trithorax family. This dynamic Yin-Yang of repression vs activation is imposed on a regulatory system (epitomized by the Kiss1 gene) directly involved in the stimulatory control of GnRH secretion ultimately controlling reproductive function.

Currently, the Lomniczi Laboratory is exploring the role of epigenetics in conveying nutritional status information to the cellular networks involved in the hypothalamic control of GnRH secretion during development and aging. They use a combination of multiple techniques including RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, genome-wide DNA methylation analysis, and a battery of histological and physiological methods.

Education and training

    • B.A., 1997, University of Buenos Aires
    • Ph.D., 2002, University of Buenos Aires

Memberships and associations:

  • Editorial Board of Neuroendocrinology
  • Endocrine Society, member
  • Society of Neuroscience, member
  • Pan-American Neuroendocrine Society, member

Areas of interest

  • Reproductive Neuroendocrinology
  • Genetic and Epigenetic Programming
  • Brain Development
  • Puberty and Adolescence
  • Aging and Menopause


Selected publications

  • Mancini A, Howard SR, Cabrera CP, Barnes MR, David A, Wehkalampi K, Heger S, Lomniczi A, Guasti L, Ojeda SR, Dunkel L. EAP1 regulation of GnRH promoter activity is important for human pubertal timing. Hum Mol Genet. 2019 Apr 15;28(8):1357-1368. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy451. PubMed PMID: 30608578; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6452208.
  • Vazquez MJ, Toro CA, Castellano JM, Ruiz-Pino F, Roa J, Beiroa D, Heras V,Velasco I, Dieguez C, Pinilla L, Gaytan F, Nogueiras R, Bosch MA, Rønnekleiv OK, Lomniczi A, Ojeda SR, Tena-Sempere M. SIRT1 mediates obesity- and nutrient-dependent perturbation of pubertal timing by epigenetically controlling Kiss1 expression. Nat Commun. 2018 Oct 10;9(1):4194. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06459-9. PubMed PMID: 30305620; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6179991.
  • Toro CA, Wright H, Aylwin CF, Ojeda SR, Lomniczi A. Trithorax dependent changes in chromatin landscape at enhancer and promoter regions drive female puberty. Nat Commun. 2018 Jan 4;9(1):57. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02512-1. PubMed PMID: 29302059; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5754362.
  • Horikoshi M, Day FR, Akiyama M, Hirata M, Kamatani Y, Matsuda K, Ishigaki K, Kanai M, Wright H, Toro CA, Ojeda SR, Lomniczi A, Kubo M, Ong KK, Perry JRB. Elucidating the genetic architecture of reproductive ageing in the Japanese population. Nat Commun. 2018 May 17;9(1):1977. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04398-z. PubMed PMID: 29773799; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5958096.
  • Lomniczi A, Wright H, Castellano JM, Matagne V, Toro CA, Ramaswamy S, Plant TM, Ojeda SR. Epigenetic regulation of puberty via Zinc finger protein-mediated transcriptional repression. Nat Commun. 2015 Dec 16;6:10195. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10195. PubMed PMID: 26671628; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4703871.
  • Ojeda SR, Lomniczi A. Puberty in 2013: Unravelling the mystery of puberty. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2014 Feb;10(2):67-9. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2013.233. Epub 2013 Nov 26. Review. PubMed PMID: 24275741.
  • Lomniczi A, Loche A, Castellano JM, Ronnekleiv OK, Bosch M, Kaidar G, Knoll JG, Wright H, Pfeifer GP, Ojeda SR. Epigenetic control of female puberty. Nat Neurosci. 2013 Mar;16(3):281-9. doi: 10.1038/nn.3319. Epub 2013 Jan 27. PubMed PMID: 23354331; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3581714.


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