Synaptic neurophysiology (Prof. Cingolani)

Research Strand: 


Prof. Lorenzo Cingolani

Phone:  +39 040 5588728
Skype:   la.cingolani
Twitter: @CingolaniLab



After graduating with honors in Molecular Biology at the University of Pisa (Italy), I joined the department of Prof. Walter Stühmer at the Max-Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, Göttingen (Germany), where I specialized in electrophysiology by investigating the ontogenesis of Ca2+-activated K+ currents under the supervision of Dr. Paola Pedarzani and Dr. Martin Stocker. For this work, I was awarded a Ph.D. in Neurobiology by the Humboldt University of Berlin in 2002.

I then joined the research group of Dr. Yukiko Goda at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular and Cell Biology - University College, London (UCL, UK), first as a postdoctoral fellow and afterwards as a research associate. Working in an inspiring research environment that applied an integrative experimental approach, I uncovered a previously unsuspected role of the integrin adhesion complexes in synaptic plasticity. These findings resulted in several publications, including two Neuron and two PNAS papers, and have contributed to raise interest into the biomechanical properties of the brain in health and disease.

In 2012, I was recruited as a Researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT; Genoa), where I had the good fortune to work in the department of Prof. Fabio Benfenati and to collaborate with Prof. Alexander Dityatev. Here, I taught, mentored more than a dozen graduate and post-graduate students and led a laboratory I supported with national and European funding (>950̇ 000 €). With the aim of elucidating how synapse specificity and diversity in the brain is achieved, we provided the first clear demonstration that alternative splicing of Ca2+ channels shapes synaptic strength. Further, we implemented optogenetic and genome editing approaches to translate our most recent findings into rational therapeutic strategies for autism and ataxia (

Between 2019 and 2020, I transitioned from IIT to the University of Trieste as Associate Professor in Physiology, where I teach at the International Master Program in Neuroscience and direct the Laboratory of Synaptic Neurophysiology, currently supported by the Telethon and Cariplo foundations.


Last update: 05-10-2021 - 21:30