I come from Rome, Italy, where I achieve the Bachelor degree in Biotechnology, at the University of Tor Vergata in Rome. My deep interest in investigating molecular mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases promoted my progression to do a Master’s in Neuroscience, at the University of Trieste, Italy. During my Master´s studies I had the opportunity to have one-year exchange at the University of Helsinki, Finland, thanks to the Erasmus programme, where I could perform my Master´s thesis focused on the habenula of zebrafish as a model of brain asymmetry, applying gene knockdown techniques and drug treatments leading to the normal development disruption.
As part of the In-SENS training network, I am a PhD student working on the ESR7 project “In vivo cholinergic/dopaminergic neurotransmitter interaction with DISC1”.
A transgenic rat model line of psychosis over expressing human DISC1 gene was developed. This transgenic line will be used to assess structural alterations of the dopaminergic and acetylcholinergic systems by post mortem tissue analysis. Moreover, in vivo microdyalisis in multiples areas of the brain will be performed to analyse changes in evoked release of acetylcholine and dopamine. Furthermore, the behavioral phenotype of this rat line will be investigated; learning and memory, drug-induced (amphetamine sensitization) psychosis, pharmacological treatments will be tested.