1987-1991 Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy, Biology
1992-1994 Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy, Neurobiology
1994 Max-Planck Institut für Psychiatrie, Martinsried, Germany, (Prof. Y.-A. Barde), visiting student
The physiological roles of the neurotrophins NGF and BDNF in the development of the visual system’ Supervisor: Prof. L. Maffei External referee: Prof. H. Thoenen.
01.1995-06.1995: Max-Planck Institut für Psychiatrie, Martinsried, Germany, (Prof. Y.-A. Barde)
08/1995-12/1997:University of Tübingen, Forschungstelle für experimentelle Ophtalmologie, (Dr. K. Kohler) and Max-Planck Istitut für Entwicklungsbiologe (Prof. M. Bähr).
01/1998-01/2000: CNR., Institute of Neurophysiology, Pisa, (Dr. L. Galli-Resta and Dr. L. Colombaioni).
2000 : Tenure-track researcher, Scuola Normale Superiore
1995:Human Capital Mobility grant from the EEC
1996: Research grant from the ForTueNe Programme, University of Tuebingen
1996: Travel grant from the German Society for the Scientific Research (DFG)
1997: Travel grant from the German Society for the Scientific Research (DFG)
1999: Bilateral grant of the Vigoni programme CRUI (Italy)/DAAD (Germany)
2000: MURST research grant for junior scientists "Investigations on the role played by brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the formation of topographically-organised projections in the visual system".
2001: MURST research grant for junior scientists "Effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor on the light-transduction in the retina"
CNR-Agenzia 2000 "Effects of light-stimulation and BDNF on intracellualr transduction pathways in the retina"
Official roles in international meetings:
1997: Montpellier (France), September 3-6, First Mediterranean Neuroscience Conference: invited speaker
1997: New Orleans (LA, USA), October, 25-30, 23rd Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience: chairman of a slide session
1998: Bochum (Germany), October 12-14, KOGNET Autumn course: invited speaker
Scientific prizes awarded:
1998: Bruno Ceccarelli award for young neuroscientists
My scientific interest is divided along three lines of research:
Neurotrophic factors and visual system development
The core of my activity was focussed on the role played by neutrophins in plasticity and cell death. In particular, I am currently interested in the activity-dependent mechanisms underlying the refinement of the retino-tectal map and the control of cell death and development of neuronal morphology in the retina.
Biological models of aging
Recently, I have characterised a fish species (Nothobranchius furzeri) with a lifespan of only 12 weeks. This short lifespan notwithstanding, these fishes undergo senescence and we are characterising brain aging in this species.
My experimental activity has been complemented by a strong intellectual interest for Evolutionary Biology and Evolutionary Psychology. I have been reviewing the neurobiological and evolutionary-informed psichological literature concerning the control of human and animal mating. The results of this synthesis are presented in my book Eros e cervello (Eros and the Brain). We are currently studying perception of attractiveness and face gender using EEG and morphing techniques.
Book (in italian)
Eros e cervello. Le radici biologiche di sessualità, estetica, amore. (Eros and the Brain. The Biological roots of Sexuality, Aesthetics, Love). Traccedizioni. Piombino (LI). 2000.
Recensione su "Le Scienze" Luglio 2001