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I have published 119 papers (see table with a summary and bibliometric data), 73 of them were published after 2009 indicating a trend for productivity growth. During this period I have been invited to give lectures in international meetings or advanced schools 35 times. The list includes prestigious institutions like the Simons Center at MIT, Cambridge Brain Repair School (UK), Collège de France, Gottingen University, and the Lasker/IRRF Initiative for Innovation in Vision Science (Woods Hole). I organized and talked at symposiums of important meetings selected after a competitive call (FENS Forums 2010, 2014 and 2018; US SfN meeting in 2017, IBRO in 2019). I co-founded the biennial European Visual Cortex Meeting and I have been regularly part of the organizing committee. I have also been elected councilor of the Italian Society for Neuroscience.
The main theme of my research has been the study of neural plasticity with particular attention to combining functional approaches using electrophysiology and in vivo imaging with in-depth molecular analysis to reveal environmental regulators of development. These interests lead me to realize that metabolism could be a crucial, but poorly considered, regulating factor and planning NOVELTY. My work has mainly been focused on the visual system, where I had identified in 2002 that the perineuronal net is a brake for ocular dominance plasticity maturing at the end of the critical period. This paper opened the field of PNNs in plasticity (commented in PNAS by the Nobel prize winner Roger Tsien in 2013). Its importance is highlighted by the PNN alterations found in the brain of neuropsychiatric patients and by the the positive effect of treatments targeting PNNs in models of brain injury exemplified by our data showing that perilesional PNN targeting promotes recovery in a cortical stroke model. For these studies I received the international Schellenberg Award from the IRP/IFP in Geneva. My prominent role in this field is also shown by the invitation to make a commentary in Science (2009) about the PNN role in fear memory, the publication of a review in Nature Neuroscience Reviews (2019), and my recent discovery of molecular mediator of PNN action in plasticity.
Another biological problem that I find fascinating is how environmental factors can change gene expression in the brain and the relationship between these mechanisms and plasticity. I tackled this issue studying visual regulation of epigenetic factors (DNA methylation, post-translational modifications of histones, microRNAs) and their importance in defining critical periods for plasticity. I gave the first evidence that episodes of visual experience of even a few minutes modify these epigenetic factors, and therefore gene expression, in the visual cortex. Moreover, my results involved for the first time microRNAs in the mechanisms of developmental plasticity. This research produced one paper in Neuron, two in Nature Neuroscience and one in Nature Communications. I further pursued these studies by applying environmental enrichment to a model of neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutation of an epigenetic factor (Rett syndrome). In disease models (CDKL5 deficiency and a genetic brain metabolic disorder: creatine deficiency), I have also introduced electrophysiological recording and non-invasive imaging of visual responses to assess treatment efficacy and optimized gene delivery. Finally, I tutored excellent young scientists who are now independent or continuing their academic path, among them: Laura Cancedda (senior tenured researcher IIT Genoa), Paolo Medini (Associate Professor, University of Umea), Gabriele Chelini, (postdoc, S. Beretta lab, Harvard), Maria Spolidoro, (senior postdoc, P. Caroni lab, F. Miescher Institute, Basel), Lisa Gherardini (tenured researcher, IFC-CNR Florence), Elena Maria Boggio (Assistant Professor, University of Turin, Italy), Paola Tognini (Assistant Professor, University of Pisa, Italy).
Tommaso Pizzorusso, Ph.D
Department NEUROFARBA, Università degli studi di Firenze
Date of birth and birthplace: 19 gennaio 1966, Lucca
1993 Ph.D. cum laude in Neurobiologia Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa Italy
1990 laurea cum laude in Sc. Biologiche presso l’Università di Pisa
1994: Post-doc, Dept. of Physiology Georgetown University, Washington USA, Prof. S. Vicini.
1995-1998: Post-doc, Istituto di Neurofisiologia CNR, Pisa. Prof. L. Maffei.
1998: Lecturer in Neurobiology, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa.
2005: Associate Professor, Università di Firenze.
2018: Full professor, University of Florence
Prizes and honors:
2003 Medal for the Neurosciences of the magazine <<Le Scienze>> and the President of the Italian Republic.
2013 IRP/IFP Schellenberg Prize
2014 Habilitated for the Direction of the Istituto nazionale di Neuroscienze del CNR
2014 Habilitated for Full Professorship in Psychobiology
2014 Habilitated for Full Professorship in Physiology
Reviewer and Editor activity:
Editor of Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Editor of Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Editor of the research topic “Regulatory RNA in the Nervous System” for Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.
Guest editor for the special issue of Neural Plasticity titled "GABAergic Circuit Development and Its Implication for CNS disorders".
Reviewer for Science, Molecular Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, Nature Neuroscience, Nature Neuroscience Reviews, Neuron, Cerebral Cortex, Neuroscience, Journal of Physiology, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Neuroreport, Genes brain and behavior, Journal of Neuroscience, EMBO journal, PLoS One, PNAS. Reviewing Editor for the European Journal of Neuroscience.
Member of the selection comittee of the French Research Agency ANR.
Organization of symposia selected after competition in international meetings:
IBRO 2019 meeting Daegu, South Korea. Symposium “Towards an understanding of neural basis of neurodevelopmental disorders: from cells to circuits.”
FENS Forum 2018 symposium: “Parvalbumin neurons, perineuronal nets and network plasticity”
Society for Neuroscience Meeting 2017, Washington DC, USA Minisymposium “Short-circuiting neurodevelopmental disorders: novel insights and treatment strategies”.
EPIGEN Symposium “Neuroepigeneticsin brain disease: from development to ageing” 2015, Pisa, ITALIA
FENS Forum, “Epigenetic control of neuronal function” Milano 2014
EPIGEN Symposium “Neuroepigenetics: from environment to behavior via DNA” 2014, Pisa, ITALIA
Joint meeting of the Italian and Israeli Neuroscience Societies, Catania 2012
FENS Forum, Amsterdam 2010
Italian Neuroscience Society Meeting, Pisa 2003
FENS Forum, Parigi 2002
Italian Neuroscience Society Meeting , Torino 2001
Organization of International meetings (member of the program comittee)
European Visual Cortex Meeting 2009, Pisa (Italy)
European Visual Cortex Meeting 2011, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
European Visual Cortex Meeting 2013, Zagreb (Croatia)
European COST Meeting “Brain Extracellular Matrix Targeting in Regeneration and Rehabilitation” 2014, Volterra (Pisa)
European Visual Cortex Meeting 2015, Kloster Seeon (Munich, D)
European meeting on Rett syndrome, Rome 2015
18th National Congress of the Italian Society for Neuroscience, Perugia 2019
Invited presentations to reknown International meetings or international advanced schools.
CDKL5 Workshop in Asia Sept 18-19, 2019 Ito International Research Center, The University of Tokyo Japan
IBRO 2019 Meeting Daegu (Korea)
Convegno Intersocietario SIMFER - SINPIA - Catania, 2019
7th European Visual Cortex Meeting, Leiden, 2019
f-TALES meeting Neuroplasticity and neuromodulation at different scales, Antwerpen (B) 2019
NeuroFRANCE, Marseille, 2019
Sensory plasticity, adaptation and development, Pisa 2018
FENS Forum 2018
Controlling Neuronal Plasticity, Prague, 2018
CDKL5 Forum, London 2018
Meeting “Cerebral cortex Plasticity: In and Around Fast-Spiking Inhibitory Interneurons”, Collège de France Paris, 2017
Society for Neuroscience Meeting 2017, Washington DC, USA
International Workshop “From activity to interactivity: harnessing early adaptive neuroplasticity for intervention in atypical development” Erice (Italy) 2017
Rett syndrome meeting, Berlin (2017)
4th International CDKL5 Congress, Rome 2017
US Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Washington DC 2017
Cambridge Brain Repair Spring School (UK) 2016
CDKL5 UK meeting (Birmingham, UK) 2016
US CDKL5 Foundation world meeting (Chicago, USA) 2016
XV Congress of the Italian Society of Neuroscience SINS, Rome, 2016
CDKL5 Forum (London, UK) 2016
Lake Como School "Monitoring Development and Activity of Brain Circuits" (Como, Italy) 2016
Lasker/IRRF Initiative for Innovation in Vision Science |Amblyopia, Woods Hole (USA) 2015
EPIGEN Symposium, Pisa 2015
Series of the Simons Center for the Social Brain, MIT Boston (USA) 2015
International Symposium on Glyco-Neuroscience, Awaji Japan 2014
FENS Forum, Milano 2014
IUPS meeting 2013, Birmingham UK
European Brain and Behavior Society 2013, Munich (D)
CIBIO summer school in Neuronal Communication, 2013 Cavalese, Italy
16th World Congress of Psychophysiology 2012, Pisa (Italy)
4th International Cerebral Palsy Congress 2012, Pisa (Italy)
AXREGEN Course on: Molecular biology of extrasynaptic plasticity 2011. Warsaw, (Poland)
8th Gottingen Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society 2009, Gottingen (Deutschland)
World Rett Syndrome Congress 2008, Paris (France),
European working group on Rett syndrome 2007, Busto Arsizio (Italy)
Neuron Meeting, Epigenetics in Nervous System 2007, Alicante (Spain)
FENS Forum 2006 Vienna (Austria)
EMBL Rome, Monterotondo Italy 2006
Publications since 2017
Baroncelli L, Molinaro A, Cacciante F, Alessandrì MG, Napoli D, Putignano E, Tola J, Leuzzi V, Cioni G, Pizzorusso T (2017) A mouse model for creatine transporter deficiency reveals early onset cognitive impairment and neuropathology associated with brain aging. Human Molecular Genetics 25:4186-4200 doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddw252. IF 5.34
Maffei L, Picano E, Andreassi MG, Angelucci A, Baldacci F, Baroncelli L, Begenisic T, Bellinvia PF, Berardi N, Biagi L, Bonaccorsi J, Bonanni E, Bonuccelli U, Borghini A, Braschi C, Broccardi M, Bruno RM, Caleo M, Carlesi C, Carnicelli L, Cartoni G, Cecchetti L, Cenni MC, Ceravolo R, Chico L, Cintoli S, Cioni G, Coscia M, Costa M, D'Angelo G, D'Ascanio P, Nes M, Turco SD, Coscio ED, Galante MD, Lascio ND, Faita F, Falorni I, Faraguna U, Fenu A, Fortunato L, Franco R, Gargani L, Gargiulo R, Ghiadoni L, Giorgi FS, Iannarella R, Iofrida C, Kusmic C, Limongi F, Maestri M, Maffei M, Maggi S, Mainardi M, Mammana L, Marabotti A, Mariotti V, Melissari E, Mercuri A, Micera S, Molinaro S, Narducci R, Navarra T, Noale M, Pagni C, Palumbo S, Pasquariello R, Pellegrini S, Pietrini P, Pizzorusso T, Poli A, Pratali L, Retico A, Ricciardi E, Rota G, Sale A, Sbrana S, Scabia G, Scali M, Scelfo D, Sicari R, Siciliano G, Stea F, Taddei S, Tognoni G, Tonacci A, Tosetti M, Turchi S, Volpi L (2017) Randomized trial on the effects of a combined physical/cognitive training in aged MCI subjects: the Train the Brain study. Sci Rep. 7:39471. doi: 10.1038/srep39471. IF 4.25
Mazziotti R, Lupori L, Sagona G, Gennaro M, Della Sala G, Putignano E, Pizzorusso T (2017) Searching for biomarkers of CDKL5 disorder: early-onset visual impairment in CDKL5 mutant mice Hum Mol Genet. 26(12): 2290–2298. IF 5.34 (2016 anno più vicino disponibile) citazioni 1 Corresponding author
Mazziotti R, Baroncelli L, Ceglia N, Chelini G, Della Sala G, Magnan C, Napoli D, Putignano E, Silingardi D, Tola J, Tognini P, Arthur JSC, Baldi P, Pizzorusso T (2017) Mir-132/212 is required for maturation of binocular matching of orientation preference and depth perception Nat Commun. 8: 15488 doi: 10.1038/ncomms15488 IF 12.124 Corresponding author
Gennaro M, Mattiello A, Mazziotti R, Antonelli C, Gherardini L, Guzzetta A, Berardi N, Cioni G, Pizzorusso T (2017) Focal Stroke in the Developing Rat Motor Cortex Induces Age- and Experience-Dependent Maladaptive Plasticity of Corticospinal System. Frontiers in Neural Circuits 11:47 doi: 10.3389/fncir.2017.00047 IF 3.005 Corresponding author
Scabia G, Barone I, Mainardi M, Ceccarini G, Scali M, Buzzigoli E, Dattilo A, Vitti P, Gastaldelli A, Santini F, Pizzorusso T, Maffei L, Maffei M (2018). The antidepressant fluoxetine acts on energy balance and leptin sensitivity via BDNF. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol. 8, p. 1781-1792, ISSN: 2045-2322, doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-19886-x IF 4.011
Trazzi S, De Franceschi M, Fuchs C, Bastianini S, Viggiano R, Lupori L, Mazziotti R, Medici G, Lo Martire V, Ren E, Rimondini R, Zoccoli G, Bartesaghi R, Pizzorusso T, Ciani E (2018). CDKL5 PROTEIN SUBSTITUTION THERAPY RESCUES NEUROLOGICAL PHENOTYPES OF A MOUSE MODEL OF CDKL5 DISORDER. Human Molecular Genetics, p. 1-52, ISSN: 0964-6906, doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy064 IF 4.544
Landucci E, Brindisi M, Bianciardi L, Catania LM, Daga S, Croci S, Frullanti E, Fallerini C, Butini S, Brogi S, Furini S, Melani R, Molinaro A, Lorenzetti FC, Imperatore V, Amabile S, Mariani J, Mari F, Ariani F, Pizzorusso T, Pinto AM, Vaccarino FM, Campiani G, Renieri A, Meloni I. (2018) iPSC-derived neurons profiling reveals GABAergic circuit disruption and acetylated α-tubulin defect which improves after iHDAC6 treatment in Rett syndrome. Exp Cell Res. pii: S0014-4827(18)30263-5. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2018.05.001. IF 3.329
Bruno RM, Stea F, Sicari R, Ghiadoni L, Taddei S, Ungar A, Bonuccelli U, Tognoni G, Cintoli S, Del Turco S, Sbrana S, Gargani L, D'Angelo G, Pratali L, Berardi N, Maffei L, Picano E, Train the Brain Consortium. Vascular Function Is Improved After an Environmental Enrichment Program: The Train the Brain-Mind the Vessel Study Hypertension. 2018 Jun;71(6):1218-1225. IF 7.017
Barone I, Melani R, Mainardi M, Scabia G, Scali M, Dattilo A, Ceccarini G, Vitti P, Santini F, Maffei L, Pizzorusso T, Maffei M. (2018) Fluoxetine Modulates the Activity of Hypothalamic POMC Neurons via mTOR Signaling. Mol Neurobiol. 2018 Apr 16. doi: 10.1007/s12035-018-1052-6.
Morello N, Schina R, Pilotto F, Phillips M, Melani R, Plicato O, Pizzorusso T, Pozzo-Miller L, Giustetto M. Loss of Mecp2 Causes Atypical Synaptic and Molecular Plasticity of Parvalbumin-Expressing Interneurons Reflecting Rett Syndrome-Like Sensorimotor Defects. eNeuro. 2018 Sep 24;5(5). pii: ENEURO.0086-18.2018. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0086-18.2018. eCollection 2018 Sep-Oct.
Faini G, Aguirre A, Landi S, Lamers D, Pizzorusso T, Ratto GM, Deleuze C, Bacci A (2018) Perineuronal nets control visual input via thalamic recruitment of cortical PV interneurons eLife. 7: e41520. doi: 10.7554/eLife.41520
Molinaro A, Alessandrì MG, Putignano E, Leuzzi V, Cioni G, Baroncelli L, Pizzorusso T (2019) A Nervous System-Specific Model of Creatine Transporter Deficiency Recapitulates the Cognitive Endophenotype of the Disease: a Longitudinal Study. Sci Rep. 9(1):62. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37303-1.
Boggio EM, Ehlert EM, Lupori L, Moloney EB, De Winter F, Vander Kooi CW, Baroncelli L, Mecollari V, Blits B, Fawcett JW, Verhaagen J, Pizzorusso T. (2019) Inhibition of Semaphorin3A Promotes Ocular Dominance Plasticity in the Adult Rat Visual Cortex. Mol Neurobiol. 2019 doi: 10.1007/s12035-019-1499-0
Baho E, Chattopadhyaya B, Lavertu-Jolin M, Mazziotti R, Awad PN, Chehrazi P, Groleau M, Jahannault-Talignani C, Vaucher E, Ango F, Pizzorusso T, Baroncelli L, Di Cristo G. (2019) p75 Neurotrophin Receptor Activation Regulates the Timing of the Maturation of Cortical Parvalbumin Interneuron Connectivity and Promotes Juvenile-like Plasticity in Adult Visual Cortex. J Neurosci. pii: 2881-18. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2881-18.201
Lupori L, Sagona G, Fuchs C, Mazziotti R, Stefanov A, Putignano E, Napoli D, Strettoi E, Ciani E, Pizzorusso T. (2019) Site-specific abnormalities in the visual system of a mouse model of CDKL5 deficiency disorder. Hum Mol Genet. pii: ddz102. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddz102. [Epub ahead of print]
Gennaro M, Mattiello A, Pizzorusso T. (2019) Rodent Models of Developmental Ischemic Stroke for Translational Research: Strengths and Weaknesses.Neural Plast. 2019:5089321. doi: 10.1155/2019/5089321
Giusti L, Molinaro A, Alessandrì MG, Boldrini C, Ciregia F, Lacerenza S, Ronci M, Urbani A, Cioni G, Mazzoni MR, Pizzorusso T, Lucacchini A, Baroncelli L (2019) Brain mitochondrial proteome alteration driven by creatine deficiency suggests novel therapeutic venues for creatine deficiency syndromes. Neuroscience. pii: S0306-4522(19)30181-2. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.03.030. [Epub ahead of print]
Fawcett JW, Oohashi T, Pizzorusso T. (2019) The roles of perineuronal nets and the perinodal extracellular matrix in neuronal function. 20 (8), 451-465 Nat Rev Neurosci. doi: 10.1038/s41583-019-0196-3.
Cintoli S, Radicchi C, Noale M, Maggi S, Meucci G, Tognoni G, Bonuccelli U, Sale A, Berardi N, Maffei L, Train the Brain Consortium (2019) Effects of Combined Training on Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Quality of Life in Patients With Cognitive Decline Aging Clinical and Experimental Research doi 10.1007/s40520-019-01280-w
Mazziotti R, Sagona G, Lupori L, Martini V, Pizzorusso T (2020) 3D printable device for automated operant conditioning in the mouse eNeuro 10 April 2020, ENEURO.0502-19.2020; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0502-19.2020
Pizzorusso T, Tognini P (2020) Interplay between Metabolism, Nutrition and Epigenetics in Shaping Brain DNA Methylation, Neural Function and Behavior Genes (Basel) 11(7):E742 doi: 10.3390/genes11070742.
La Montanara P, Hervera A, Baltussen LL, Hutson TH, Palmisano I, De Virgiliis F, Kong G, Chadwick J, Gao Y, Bartus K, Majid Q, Gorgoraptis N, Wong K, Downs J, Pizzorusso T, Ultanir SK, Leonard H, Yu H, Millar DS, Istvan N, Mazarakis ND, Di Giovanni S (2020) Cyclin-dependent-like kinase 5 is required for pain signaling in human sensory neurons and mouse models Sci Transl Med 12(551):eaax4846. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aax4846.
Sansevero G, Torelli C, Mazziotti R, Consorti A, Pizzorusso T, Berardi N, Sale A. (2020) Running towards amblyopia recovery. Sci Rep. 2020 10(1):12661. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-69630-7.
Mazziotti R, Cacciante F, Sagona G, Lupori L, Gennaro M, Putignano E, Alessandrì MG, Ferrari A, Battini R, Cioni G, Pizzorusso T, Baroncelli L (2020) Novel translational phenotypes and biomarkers for creatine transporter deficiency Brain Communications, fcaa089, https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcaa089
Napoli D, Lupori L, Mazziotti R, Sagona G, Bagnoli S, Samad M, Sacramento EK, Kirkpartick J, Putignano E, Chen S, Terzibasi Tozzini E, Tognini P, Baldi P, Kwok JCF, Cellerino A, Pizzorusso T (2020) MiR-29 coordinates age-dependent plasticity brakes in the
1994 PhD in Neurobiology cum laude, Laboratory of Neurobiology, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy
1990 Master in Biological Sciences cum laude, Faculty of Biological Science, University of Pisa, Italy
2018 – Full Professor in Psychobiology, NEUROFARBA Department, University of Florence, Italy
FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
Napoli D, Lupori L, Mazziotti R, Sagona G, Bagnoli S, Samad M, Sacramento EK, Kirkpartick J, Putignano E, Chen S, Terzibasi Tozzini E, Tognini P, Baldi P, Kwok JCF, Cellerino A, Pizzorusso T (2020) MiR-29 coordinates age-dependent plasticity brakes in the adult visual cortex EMBO Rep e50431. doi: 10.15252/embr.202050431.