Professore di I fascia
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Teaching
  • Appointments
  • Research

Date and place of Birth: 27 May 1961 in Sacile (Pordenone), Italy.
Current Position:
Professor at the Department of Medicine, University of Parma, Department of Neuroscience, Viale delle Scienze 11A, Parma (Italy)

* Ph.D. in Animal Biology (Ethology), University of Firenze, 1992.
* Degree in Biological Sciences (110/110 cum laude), University of Parma, 1987. Title of Doctoral Thesis:"Proximal and ultimate causations of different forms of intraspecific aggression in the House mouse (Mus musculus)".

Career / Employment
Dec 2016-current
Professor of Biology, University of Parma
2000 –2016 - Associate Professor of Applied Biology at the University of Parma
1999-2000 - Researcher (Zoology) at the University of Parma
1999-2004 - Assistant professor in Ethology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bologna
1997-98 - NATO-CNR Fellowship for Advanced Research at the Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia (USA)
1996-99 -Assistant Professor of Biology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Parma.
1993-95 - Post-doctoral position at the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Venice, Italy.
1991, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002- Visiting scientist at the Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri.
1990 – Visiting scientist at the Biomedical and Physiological Research Group, University of Swansea, U.K.
1988-91 - Ph.D student in Animal Biology (Ethology), University of Parma, Pisa, Florence

Research Activity
Biological bases of behavior, more specifically social and emotional behavior and the interaction between genes and developmental events. I take a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the neuroendocrine substrates and the adaptive significance of the sex-specific differences in reproductive strategies, and social, emotional, feeding and cognitive behavior through mice models. As a researcher, I have a substantial presence in academia: I have authored 93 papers in International journals, 21 book chapters, more than 200 International conference abstracts.

My h index is equal to 42 and the sum of citations is 7088 from Google Scholar(dated on December 7th 2015); From ISI WEB of Knowledge h-index is 35 and sum of citations is 5014.

Main research topics are:
-- Sex differences in behavior and reproductive strategies: neuroendocrine bases and adaptive significance.
-- Social stress models and vulnerability to psychiatric and metabolic disorders.
-- Gene-environment interactions in behavioral development and metabolic functions
--Effects of developmental exposure to estrogenic endocrine disrupters on reproduction, behavior and metabolism
-- Social organization of mice colonies in artificial territories and female competitive strategies.

For the complete list of my publications:
Google Scholar (

Main Scientific Collaborations
• Prof. F.S. vom Saal (University of Missouri Columbia, USA). Endocrine disruptors, reproduction and behavior
• Prof. C. Eva and Prof G. Panzica (NICO, Fondazione di Neuroscienze Cavaliere Ottolenghi e Dip. Di Neuroscienze, Università di Torino), NPY1R conditional KO mice, sex differences
• Prof. A. Bartolomucci (University of Minnesota, USA) Models of chronic psychosocial stress, obesity, diabetes.
• Prof. A. Vidal-Puig (MRL-University of Cambridge, UK). Obesity, diabetes.
• Dr. C. Gross (European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL, Monterotondo, Italy). Molecular biology; gene x environment vulnerability to chronic stress exposure.
• Dr. G. Laviola (Istituto Superiore di Sanità). Development, hormones
Scientific collaboration
• Prof C. Blanchard, Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii, USA. Social neuroscience, autism models
• Prof. S. Parmigiani, Dr. A Cabassi, Dr. G. Ceresini, Prof. R. Volpi, Prof. A. Sgoifo, Dr. P. Govoni, Prof. M. Ventura (University of Parma, Italy). Co-workers and main collaborators for past and current research at the University of Parma.

Research Grants
- 2000-2002. MIUR (Italian Ministry of University and Research) - Research Projects of National Relevance (PRIN): Behaviour as a biomarker of developmental exposure to estrogenic endocrine disruptors;. Principal investigator.
- 2002-2008. University of Parma Intramural Funds for Research: Sex differences in behavior: role of endogenous hormones and EDCs;. Principal investigator
- 2007-2008. Private Company: Zealand Pharma A/S, Glostrup, Danimarca- Drug Discovery Program: Effects of peripheral TLQP-21 treatment on mice adipose organ physiology, sympathetic activation and cardiac histology,. Co-Investigator
- 2008-2009. Private company: Takeda Cambridge (UK):Research Advancement Program. “Behavioural characterization of the C129 strain of mice for response to social stress and sex differences. Principal investigator.
- 2008-2011. Foundation Compagnia di San Paolo, Neuroscience Project. Conditional knockout NPY-YIR mice as an experimental model to study vulnerability to psychopathology; Principal Investigator.
- 2009-2011. MIUR (Italian Ministry of University and Research) PRIN- Projects of relevant national interest: Behavioral analysis and response to stress in conditional Knockout NPY-Y1R mice; Principal Investigator.
- 2012-2015. MIUR (Italian Ministry of University and Research), PRIN- Projects of relevant national interest: Infancy, adolescence and psiychopathology: effects of early maternal environment and of psychoactive drugs on brain development; Principal Investigator.

Referee for Scientific Journals
Aggressive Behavior; Animal Behaviour; Behavioral Ecology; Behavioral Brain Research; Behavioral Processes; Brain Research Bulletin; Brain Behavioral Sciences; Environmental Health Perspectives; Environmental Reviews; Ethology Ecology Evolution; Hormones and Behavior; Journal of Reprod. and Fertility; Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews; Nature Neuroscience; Neurotoxicology; Neurotoxicology and Teratology; Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior; Physiology and Behavior; PLoS 1; PNAS; Psychoneuroendocrinology; Psychopharmacology; The Royal Society -Proceedings

Referee for Granting Agencies
-OWH (The Office on Women's Health) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- University of Naples (SUN) intramural grants.
- Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR)
- Italian Health Institute (ISS);
- Italian Health Ministry

2017 Workshop BIOMETRA, Milano, 26 Settembre 2017.
2016 40th Workshop of the School pof Ethology on “Translational Neuroscience & Mental Disorders – bridging the gap between animal models and the human condition” 4-9 novembre 2016, Erice Italy.
2016 49th Seminars of Planetary Emergencies - Erice (Italy) 19-24 agosto 2016
2015 9th World Congress on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD 2015), Cape Town South Africa, 8-11 November 2015
2015 20mo Convegno INBB- Ricerche Biomediche di Frontiera. Roma 22 ottobre 2015.
2014 39th Workshop of the School of Ethology “ What made us Human”, Erice, October 2014
2014 Italian Society of Neuropsychopharmacology, Turin 3-5 June 2014
2011 ARET Conference : “ Une challenge pour la toxicology: les faible doses et les melanges » Parigi, June 2012
2011 IBANGS symposium “The long way from genotype to behavioural phenotype: potential pitfalls and coping strategies”, Roma 10 May 2011
2011 SAFE workshop on "Endocrine Disruptive Effects of Pesticides due to Low Dose Exposure: Evidence for Non-Monotonic Dose Response Curves" Brussels, 15-16 March 2011.
2010 V European Conference on Behavioural Biology, Ferrara, Italy 16 - 18 July 2010.
2009 Workshop on “Conceptual issues on stress research”, April 17-19 2009, Göttingen.
2009 VII Conference “HORMONES, BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR”, Torino 13 Febbraio 2009
2009 XIII National Congress of the Italian Society for Neuroscience (SINS),Milan 2-5 October 2009
2008 European Primate Network (EUPRIM-Net) , course on "Stress and its implication for primate welfare" – lecture on “sex differences in the stress response”, Goettingen, Germany (
2008 38th Annual Symposium of the Scandinavian Society for Laboratory Animal Science (Scand-LAS) - symposium on “"Behavioural neuroscience and animal welfare - problems, solutions and benefits". Tartu, Estonia, 8-13 May 2008
2007 National Congress of the Italian Society for Neurosciences (SINS), symposium on “The vulnerable brain: environmental contaminants and mental health” , Padova 27-29 settembre 2007.

2015 XXVI Convegno della Società Italiana di Etologia, Parma 24-26 giugno 2015.
2014 Brainstorming Symposium on “Obesity, diabetes, metabolic Syndrome and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, Parma 18-21 May 2014
2007 Workshop on “Niko Tinbergen: a tribute for a founder of modern Ethology" Parma, 29 giugno 2007.
2002 18° Workshop on “Impact od endocrine disruptors on brain development and behavior”, School of Ethology – E. Majorana Center for Scientific Culture, Erice 15-20 March 2002. – co-director
1998 workshop of the International School of Ethology: “Ethology and Biomedical Research”, Erice, 1-6 Dicembre 1998 – co-director

- Applide Biology (9 cfu, 108 hours), Dentistry School, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery (2000-present).
- Experimental Models (6 cfu, 47 hours), CdLM in Biotecnology for Medicine, Veterinary and Pharmacy (2010-present);
- Biology pof Behavior (5cfu, 35 hours), c.i. Psicobiology and Ethology (8 cfu), laurea magistrale (Master) in Psicobiology and Cognitive Neuroscience (2014-present);
- Applied Biology per CdL Ortottica e riabilitazione oftalmologica (2 cfu), - Logopedia (3 cfu), - Fisioterapia (1 cfu), - Tecniche di radiologia medica per immagini e radioterapia (1 cfu), - Audioprotesi (1 cfu)

Completion accademic year: 2019/2020

Completion accademic year: 2018/2019

Completion accademic year: 2017/2018

Completion accademic year: 2016/2017

Completion accademic year: 2015/2016

Completion accademic year: 2014/2015

Completion accademic year: 2013/2014


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