I have always been interested in animal behavior. Since I was a kid, I was observing birds and their habits in my parent’s backyard. As a teenager I discovered the work of Charles Darwin and Konrad Lorenz and I started reading all their books.
When I enrolled at the University of Pavia, I became fascinated in neurobiology after reading “On the matter of the mind” by Gerald Edelman. In this book Edelman popularized his theory of Neural Darwinism. In this model, he applies the selectionist approach from evolutionary biology into a theory that encompass brain development, anatomy and physiology, as he and others previously did with immunology. I obtained my Master in Neurobiology with a thesis in neurophysiology and ion channel biophysics. Then I enrolled in the PhD program in Physiology and Neuroscience of the University of Pavia working in the lab of Dr. Jacopo Magistretti. Under Jacopo’s guidance I learnt to perform patch clamp experiments to study the expression and properties of subthreshold sodium currents in different cells types of the parahippocampal and hippocampal region. Studying the differences in expression of the different components of sodium currents in different types of neurons allowed me to appreciate the wide diversity of neurons and how these cell types are biophysically specialized. After obtaining the PhD I moved to Oslo to work under the supervision of Dr. Johan Storm. With Johan I investigated the role of different potassium channels in shaping the electrophysiological properties of entorhinal cortex layer II stellate cells.
Once Giulia finished her PhD, we moved together to NYU to work with Dr. Bernardo Rudy (me) and Dr. Gord Fishell (Giulia). In Bernardo’s lab I studied the diversity of cortical interneurons using a combination of genetics, morphological reconstructions, and electrophysiology. This work gave me the chance to collaborate with amazing scientists such as Dr. Gord Fishell and Dr. Josh Huang. While in NY we also greatly enjoyed all the things that city has to offer: from outstanding museums to amazing restaurants exploring the world’s cuisines.
We then moved back to Europe in 2017 to work at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and we hope to establish ourselves as independent neuroscientists. At Kavli, I joined the lab of Dr. Menno Witter to study the diversity of GABAergic neurons in the perirhinal cortex. During this time I was awarded a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship to study multisensory integration in the cortex.
In January 2021 I will start my independent research group at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience!
Here is my CV and publications’ list: