Marco Pignatelli, MD

Marco Pignatelli, MD

Assistant Professor, WashU Psychiatry

Molecular, cellular, and circuit mechanisms of affective disorders

Our research focus is driven by two major long-term goals: first, to obtain a mechanistic understanding of how synapses work and contribute to information processing by neural circuits, and ultimately how synapses and neural circuits give rise to specific behaviors; second, to obtain a molecular-based understanding of how “synaptopathies” might be amendable to therapeutic intervention.

Towards this goal, the lab uses an interdisciplinary approach integrating electrophysiology, optogenetics, cell biology and genetics. Specifically, while using mouse models mimicking fundamental behavioral neurobiological aspects of neuropsychiatric human disorders, we incorporate electrophysiological dissection of synaptic transmission and plasticity with molecular manipulations within defined neuronal populations.

Understanding basic circuit and synaptic mechanisms that gone awry in disease states will ultimately facilitate rational design for therapeutic intervention.

More about the Pignatelli lab