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Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

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Dr. Daniela Tropea
Associate Professor, Psychiatry
Associate Professor, Trinity Inst. of Neurosciences (TCIN)

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

3. R. Coomey, R. Stowell, A. Majewska, D. Tropea , The Role of Microglia in Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Their Therapeutics, Current Topics in Medical Chemistry, 20, (4), 2020, p272 - 276 Journal Article, 2020 URL

2. C. Keogh, G. Pini, I. Gemo, W. Kaufmann, D. Tropea , Functional network mapping reveals state-dependent response to IGF-1 treatment in Rett Syndrome, Brain Sciennces, 10, (5), 2020, p515 - 520 Journal Article, 2020 URL TARA - Full Text

1. S. Bach, N. M. Ryan, P. Guasoni, A. Corvin, D. Tropea, Methyl-CpG2-binding protein 2 mediates overlapping mechanisms across brain disorders, Scientific Reports, 10, (1), 2020 Journal Article, 2020 TARA - Full Text

Sanfeliu, A. and Hokamp, K. and Gill, M. and Tropea, D., Transcriptomic analysis of Mecp2 mutant mice reveals differentially expressed genes and altered mechanisms in both blood and brain, Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10, (278), 2019 Journal Article, 2019 DOI TARA - Full Text

Daniela Tropea, IGF1 and derivatives in the treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders, European College of Neuropharmachology annual meeting, September, 2019, ECNP Invited Talk, 2019

Sanfeliu, A. and Kaufmann, W.E. and Gill, M. and Guasoni, P. and Tropea, D., Transcriptomic Studies in Mouse Models of Rett Syndrome: A Review, Neuroscience, 413, 2019, p183-205 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

1. C. Keogh, G. Pini, A. H. Dyer, S. Bigoni, P. DiMarco, I. Gemo,, R. Reilly, D. Tropea, Clinical and Genetic Rett Syndrome Variants are Defined by Stable Electrophysiological Profiles, BMC Pediatrics, 18, (1), 2018, p333 - 348 Journal Article, 2018 DOI TARA - Full Text

Tropea, D. and Hardingham, N. and Millar, K. and Fox, K., Mechanisms underlying the role of DISC1 in synaptic plasticity, Journal of Physiology, 596, (14), 2018, p2747-2771 Journal Article, 2018 TARA - Full Text DOI

Keogh, C. and Pini, G. and Dyer, A.H. and Bigoni, S. and Dimarco, P. and Gemo, I. and Reilly, R. and Tropea, D., Clinical and genetic Rett syndrome variants are defined by stable electrophysiological profiles 11 Medical and Health Sciences 1109 Neurosciences, BMC Pediatrics, 18, (1), 2018 Journal Article, 2018 DOI TARA - Full Text

S.Shovlin & D. Tropea, Transcriptome level analysis in Rett syndrome using human samples from different tissues, Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 13, (1), 2018, p113 - 128 Journal Article, 2018 TARA - Full Text DOI

Daniela Tropea, Role of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 in the brain, Growth Hormone and IGF conference, Seattle, USA, 14 September , 2018 Invited Talk, 2018

Tropea, D. and Harkin, A., Editorial: Biology of brain disorders, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 11, (366), 2017 Journal Article, 2017 DOI TARA - Full Text

Daniela Tropea, DISC1 in Activity-dependent plasticity, Neuroplasticity and synaptic function inneuropsychiatric disorders, Cardiff, UK, 27 - 28 April , 2017 Invited Talk, 2017

Wrigley S, Arafa D, Tropea D, Insulin-like growth factor 1: At the crossroads of brain development and aging, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 11, 2017, p00014- Journal Article, 2017 DOI TARA - Full Text URL

Daniela Tropea, Understanding the biology of brain disorders with brain plasticity, weekly talks, Carnegie Mellon University, March, 2017 Invited Talk, 2017

Ajetunmobi A, McAllister D, Jain n, Brazil O, Corvin A, Volkov Y, Tropea D, Prina-Mello A., Characterization of SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cell growth over glass and SU-8 substrates., Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, 105A, (8), 2017, p2129 - 2138 Journal Article, 2017 URL

Vahdatpour C, Dyer A.H, Tropea D, Insulin-like growth factor 1 and related compounds in the treatment of childhood-onset neurodevelopmental disorders, Frontiers in Neuroscience, 10, (SEP), 2016 Journal Article, 2016 URL DOI

D.Tropea, I. Molinos, S. Bellini, E. Petit, C. O'Toutaigh, I. Nagakura, K. Mitchell, M. Sur, M. Gill, J. Waddington, A. Corvin, Disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) mutants have impaired activity-dependent plasticity in vitro and in vivo, Translational Psychiatry, 6, 2016, p712- Journal Article, 2016 TARA - Full Text URL

Dyer A.H, Vahdatpour C, Sanfeliu A, Tropea D, The role of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) in brain development, maturation and neuroplasticity, Neuroscience, 325, 2016, p89 - 99 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

1. G. Pini, L. Congiu, A. Benincasa, P. Di Marco, S. Bigoni, A. Dyer, N. Mortimer, A. Della Chiesa, S. O'Leary, R. McNamara, K. J. Mitchell, M. Gill and D. Tropea, Illness Severity, Social & Cognitive Ability and EEG Analysis of Ten Patients with Rett Syndrome Treated with Mecasermin (recombinant human IGF-1): A Clinical Study , Autism Research and treatment, 2016, 2016 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

Tropea D, Mortimer N, Bellini S, Molinos I, Sanfeliu A, Shovlin S, McAllister D, Gill M, Mitchell K, Corvin A, Expression of nuclear Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (Mecp2) is dependent on neuronal stimulation and application of Insulin-like growth factor 1, Neuroscience Letters, 621, 2016, p111 - 116 Journal Article, 2016 URL DOI

Pini G, Bigoni S, Congiu L, Romanelli A.M, Scusa M.F, Di Marco P, Benincasa A, Morescalchi P, Ferlini A, Bianchi F, Tropea D, Zappella M, Rett syndrome: a wide clinical and autonomic picture, Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 11, (1), 2016, p1 - 16 Journal Article, 2016 DOI URL

Daniela Tropea, Andrew Harkin, Biology of Brain Disorders, 1, Frontiers-Nature Group, 2016, 1 - 586pp Book, 2016 URL

Treating Rett Syndrome: current approaches and new therapies in, Rett Syndrome and Other Communication Disorders, New York, NOVA Science Publisher, 2015, pp58 , [Daniela Tropea, Sara Wrigley and Giorgio Pini] Book Chapter, 2015 URL

Progress toward therapies and interventions in, editor(s)Kevin Mitchell , The Genetics of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Singapore, Wiley, 2014, pp319 - 344, [Ajetumna Ajetumnobi and Daniela Tropea] Book Chapter, 2014 URL

Ajetunmobi,A. A., Prina-Mello,Adriele A., Volkov,Yuri Y., Corvin,Aiden P. A.P., Tropea,Daniela D., Nanotechnologies for the study of the central nervous system, Progress in Neurobiology, 123, 2014, p18-36 Journal Article, 2014 TARA - Full Text DOI

Castro J, Garcia R.I, Kwok S, Banerjee A, Petravicz J, Woodson J, Mellios N, Tropea D, Sur M, Functional recovery with recombinant human IGF1 treatment in a mouse model of Rett Syndrome, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111, (27), 2014, p9941 - 9946 Journal Article, 2014 URL DOI

Rose EJ, Hargreaves A, Morris D, Fahey C, Tropea D, Cummings E, Caltagirone C, Bossù P, Chiapponi C, Piras F, Spalletta G, Gill M, Corvin A, Donohoe G, Effects of a novel schizophrenia risk variant rs7914558 at CNNM2 on brain structure and attributional style., The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 204, (2), 2014, p115-121 Journal Article, 2014 TARA - Full Text DOI

Morris DW, Pearson RD, Cormican P, Kenny EM, O'Dushlaine CT, Perreault LP, Giannoulatou E, Tropea D, Maher BS, Wormley B, Kelleher E, Fahey C, Molinos I, Bellini S, Pirinen M, Strange A, Freeman C, Thiselton DL, Elves RL, Regan R, Ennis S, Dinan TG, McDonald C, Murphy KC, O'Callaghan E, Waddington JL, Walsh D, O'Donovan M, Grozeva D, Craddock N, Stone J, Scolnick E, Purcell S, Sklar P, Coe B, Eichler EE, Ophoff R, Buizer J, Szatkiewicz J, Hultman C, Sullivan P, Gurling H, McQuillin A, St Clair D, Rees E, Kirov G, Walters J, Blackwood D, Johnstone M, Donohoe G, O'Neill FA, Kendler KS, Gill M, Riley BP, Spencer CC, Corvin A, An inherited duplication at the gene p21 Protein-Activated Kinase 7 (PAK7) is a risk factor for psychosis., Human molecular genetics, 23, (12), 2014, p3316-26 Journal Article, 2014 DOI TARA - Full Text

Pini G, Scusa MF, Benincasa A, Bottiglioni I, Congiu L, Vadhatpour C, Romanelli AM, Gemo I, Puccetti C, McNamara R, O'Leary S, Corvin A, Gill M, Tropea D, Repeated insulin-like growth factor 1 treatment in a patient with rett syndrome: a single case study., Frontiers in pediatrics, 2, 2014, p52 Journal Article, 2014 TARA - Full Text DOI

Kenny EM, Cormican P, Furlong S, Heron E, Kenny G, Fahey C, Kelleher E, Ennis S, Tropea D, Anney R, Corvin AP, Donohoe G, Gallagher L, Gill M, Morris DW, Excess of rare novel loss-of-function variants in synaptic genes in schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders., Molecular psychiatry, 19, 2014, p872-879 Journal Article, 2014 TARA - Full Text DOI

Nagakura I, Van Wart A, Petravicz J, Tropea D, Sur M., STAT1 regulates the homeostatic component of visual cortical plasticity via an AMPA receptor-mediated mechanism., The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 34, (31), 2014, p10256-10263 Journal Article, 2014 DOI

O'Donoghue T, Morris DW, Fahey C, Da Costa A, Moore S, Cummings E, Leicht G, Karch S, Hoerold D, Tropea D, Foxe JJ, Gill M, Corvin A, Donohoe G, Effects of ZNF804A on auditory P300 response in schizophrenia., Translational psychiatry, 4, 2014, pe345 Journal Article, 2014 DOI TARA - Full Text

Donohoe G, Walters J, Hargreaves A, Rose EJ, Morris DW, Fahey C, Bellini S, Cummins E, Giegling I, Hartmann AM, Möller HJ, Muglia P, Owen MJ, Gill M, O'Donovan MC, Tropea D, Rujescu D, Corvin A, Neuropsychological Effects Of The CSMD1 Genome-Wide Associated Schizophrenia Risk Variant rs10503253., Genes, Brain, and Behavior, 12, (12), 2013, p203- 209 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Delaney C, McGrane J, Cummings E, Morris DW, Tropea D, Gill M, Corvin A, Donohoe G, Preserved cognitive function is associated with suicidal ideation and single suicide attempts in schizophrenia., Schizophrenia research, 140, (1-3), 2012, p232-6 Journal Article, 2012 DOI

D. Tropea, American College Neuropharmachology Annual Meeting, FL, USA, December, 2012 Invited Talk, 2012

G. Pini, M.F. Scusa, B. Felloni, L. Congiu, A. Benincasa, R. Frati, I. Bottiglioni, P. Di Marco, P. Borelli, U. Bonuccelli, A. Della-Chiesa, A. Prina-Mello, D. Tropea, Safety assessment of IGF-1 treatment: study on six Rett patients., Autism research and treatment, 2012 Journal Article, 2012

O'Donoghue T, Morris DW, Fahey C, Da Costa A, Foxe JJ, Hoerold D, Tropea D, Gill M, Corvin A, Donohoe G, A NOS1 variant implicated in cognitive performance influences evoked neural responses during a high density EEG study of early visual perception., Human brain mapping, 33, (5), 2012, p1202-11 Journal Article, 2012

Rose EJ, Morris DW, Fahey C, Robertson IH, Greene C, O'Doherty J, Newell FN, Garavan H, McGrath J, Bokde A, Tropea D, Gill M, Corvin AP, Donohoe G, The effect of the neurogranin schizophrenia risk variant rs12807809 on brain structure and function., Twin research and human genetics : the official journal of the International Society for Twin Studies, 15, (3), 2012, p296-303 Journal Article, 2012 DOI

Daniela Tropea, New mechanisms and therapeutics in neurodevelopmental disorders, Frontiers-Nature Group, 2012, 1 - 150pp Book, 2012 URL

Tropea D., New challenges and frontiers in the research for neuropsychiatric disorders., Frontiers in psychiatry, 3, 2012, p69 Journal Article, 2012 DOI

Strange A, Riley BP, Spencer CA, Morris DW, Pirinen M, O'Dushlaine CT, Su Z, Maher BS, Freeman C, Cormican P, Bellenguez C, Kenny EM, Band G, Wormley B, Donohoe G, Dilthey A, Moutsianas L,Quinn E, Edkins S, Judge R, Coleman K, Hunt S, Tropea D, Roche S, Cummings L, Kelleher E, McKeon P, Dinan T, McDonald C, Murphy KC, O'Callaghan E, O'Neill FA, Waddington JL, Walsh D, Giannoulatou E, Langford C, Deloukas P, Gray E, Dronov S, Potter S, Pearson R, Vukcevic D, Tashakkori-Ghanbaria A, Blackwell JM,15, Bramon E, Brown MA, Casas JP, Duncanson A, Jankowski J, Markus HS, Mathew CG, Palmer CNA, Plomin RP, Rautanen A, Sawcer SJ, Trembath RC, Viswanathan AC, Wood NW, Stone J, Scolnick E, Purcell S, Sklar P, SGENE+ Consortium, Ripke S, Walters J, Owen MJ, O'Donovan MC, Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium, Peltonen L, McVean G, Kendler KS, Gill M, Donnelly P, Corvin A for Irish Schizophrenia Genomics Consortium and the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2, Genome-wide association study implicates HLA-C*01:02 as a risk factor at the major histocompatibility complex locus in schizophrenia., Biological Psychiatry, 72, (8), 2012, p620-628 Journal Article, 2012 TARA - Full Text DOI

Pini G., Scusa M.F., Congiu L., Benincasa A., Morescalchi P., Bottiglioni I., Di Marco P., Borelli P., Bonuccelli U., Della Chiesa A., Prina-Mello A., Tropea D., , IGF1 as a Potential Treatment for Rett Syndrome: Safety Assessment in Six Rett Patients, Autism research and treatment , 01/2012, 2012 Journal Article, 2012 DOI

Corvin AP, Molinos I, Little G, Donohoe G, Gill M, Morris DW, Tropea D, Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and its active peptide (1-3)IGF1 enhance the expression of synaptic markers in neuronal circuits through different cellular mechanisms., Neuroscience letters, 520, (1), 2012, p51-56 Journal Article, 2012 DOI

Rose EJ, Morris DW, Fahey C, Robertson IH, Greene C, O'Doherty J, Newell FN, Garavan H, McGrath J, Bokde A, Tropea D, Gill M, Corvin AP, Donohoe G., The effect of the neurogranin schizophrenia risk variant rs12807809 on brain structure and function., Twin Research and Human Genetics, 15, (3), 2012, p296 - 303 Journal Article, 2012 DOI TARA - Full Text

Tropea D, Sur M, Majewska AK, Experience-dependent plasticity in visual cortex: Dendritic spines and visual responsiveness., Communicative & Integrative Biology, 4, (2), 2011, p216-9 Journal Article, 2011 TARA - Full Text DOI

Hargreaves A, Morris DW, Rose E, Fahey C, Moore S, Cummings E, Tropea D, Gill M, Corvin A, Donohoe G, ZNF804A and social cognition in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls., Molecular psychiatry, 17, (2), 2011, p118 - 119 Journal Article, 2011 DOI

D. Tropea, Ohio State University, OH, USA, January, 2011 Invited Talk, 2011

D. Tropea, Mount Sinai School of Medicine , NY, USA, February, 2011 Invited Talk, 2011

D. Tropea, Annual Symposium IRSF , VA, USA, June, 2011 Invited Talk, 2011

Mellios N, Sugihara H, Castro J, Banerjee A, Le C, Kumar A, Crawford B, Strathmann J, Tropea D, Levine SS, Edbauer D, Sur M, miR-132, an experience-dependent microRNA, is essential for visual cortex plasticity., Nature neuroscience, 14, (10), 2011, p1240-2 Journal Article, 2011

Tropea D, Majewska AK, Garcia R, Sur M, Structural dynamics of synapses in vivo correlate with functional changes during experience-dependent plasticity in visual cortex., The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30, (33), 2010, p11086-95 Journal Article, 2010

D. Tropea, Symposium on rare genetic diseases , Viareggio, Italy, February, 2010 Invited Talk, 2010

D. Tropea, World Congress Psychiatric Genetics, Athens, Greece, October , 2010 Invited Talk, 2010

D. Tropea, Kings College London , UK, December, 2010 Invited Talk, 2010

McCurry CL, Shepherd JD, Tropea D, Wang KH, Bear MF, Sur M., Loss of Arc renders the visual cortex impervious to the effects of sensory experience or deprivation., Nature neuroscience, 13, (4), 2010, p450-457 Journal Article, 2010 DOI

Tropea D, Van Wart A, Sur M, Molecular mechanisms of experience-dependent plasticity in visual cortex., Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 364, (1515), 2009, p341-55 Journal Article, 2009

D. Tropea, World Congress Psychiatric Genetics, San Diego, CA, November, 2009 Invited Talk, 2009

D. Tropea, European Conference on Rett Syndrome, Milan, Italy, June , 2009 Invited Talk, 2009

Caleo M, Tropea D, Rossi C, Gianfranceschi L, Maffei L, Environmental enrichment promotes fiber sprouting after deafferentation of the superior colliculus in the adult rat brain., Experimental neurology, 216, (2), 2009, p515-9 Journal Article, 2009

D. Tropea, Stony Brook University, NY, April , 2009 Invited Talk, 2009

Tropea D, Giacometti E, Wilson NR, Beard C, McCurry C, Fu DD, Flannery R, Jaenisch R, Sur M, Partial reversal of Rett Syndrome-like symptoms in MeCP2 mutant mice., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106, (6), 2009, p2029-34 Journal Article, 2009

D. Tropea, University of Chicago, IL , February , 2008 Invited Talk, 2008

Lyckman AW, Horng S, Leamey CA, Tropea D, Watakabe A, Van Wart A, McCurry C, Yamamori T, Sur M., Gene expression patterns in visual cortex during the critical period: synaptic stabilization and reversal by visual deprivation., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105, (27), 2008, p9409-9414 Journal Article, 2008 DOI

D. Tropea, Center for Brain Repair Cambridge, UK, February 2008 , 2008 Invited Talk, 2008

D. Tropea, Stanford University , CA, September , 2008 Invited Talk, 2008

D. Tropea, Rutgers University, NJ, December , 2008 Invited Talk, 2008

D. Tropea, A. Van Wart and M Sur (, Molecular mechanisms of experience-dependent plasticity in visual cortex., Philos .Trans. R. Soc. Lond B Biol Sci., 2008 Journal Article, 2008

D. Tropea, Ecole Normale Superieure , Paris, April , 2008 Invited Talk, 2008

Lyckman, S. Horng, C. Leamey, D. Tropea, A. Watakabe, A. Van Wart, C. McCurry, T. Yamamori and M. Sur , Transcriptional regulation during the critical period of ocular dominance plasticity: prominent expression of actin-binding and myelination factors. , PNAS, 105, (27), 2008, p9409 - 9414 Journal Article, 2008

D. Tropea, University of California Santa Barbara, CA, April , 2007 Invited Talk, 2007

D. Tropea, University of Rochester, NY, August 2006, 2006 Invited Talk, 2006

D. Tropea, G. Kreiman, A. Lyckman, S. Mukherjee, H. Yu, S. Horng and M. Sur , Gene expression changes and molecular pathways mediating activity-dependent plasticity in visual cortex, Nature Neuroscience,, 9, (5), 2006, p660 - 668 Journal Article, 2006

Pattabiraman PP, Tropea D, Chiaruttini C, Tongiorgi E, Cattaneo A, Domenici L, Neuronal activity regulates the developmental expression and subcellular localization of cortical BDNF mRNA isoforms in vivo., Molecular and cellular neurosciences, 28, (3), 2005, p556-70 Journal Article, 2005

Tropea D, Caleo M, Maffei L, Synergistic effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and chondroitinase ABC on retinal fiber sprouting after denervation of the superior colliculus in adult rats., The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 23, (18), 2003, p7034-44 Journal Article, 2003

Tropea D, Capsoni S, Covaceuszach S, Domenici L, Cattaneo A, Rat visual cortical neurones express TrkA NGF receptor., Neuroreport, 13, (10), 2002, p1369-73 Journal Article, 2002

Tropea D, Domenici L, Expression of TrkB receptors in developing visual cortex is not regulated by light., Cellular and molecular neurobiology, 21, (5), 2001, p545-52 Journal Article, 2001

Tropea D, Capsoni S, Tongiorgi E, Giannotta S, Cattaneo A, Domenici L, Mismatch between BDNF mRNA and protein expression in the developing visual cortex: the role of visual experience., The European journal of neuroscience, 13, (4), 2001, p709-21 Journal Article, 2001

Sermasi E, Tropea D, Domenici L, A new form of synaptic plasticity is transiently expressed in the developing rat visual cortex: a modulatory role for visual experience and brain-derived neurotrophic factor., Neuroscience, 91, (1), 1999, p163-73 Journal Article, 1999

Sermasi E, Tropea D, Domenici L, Long term depression is expressed during postnatal development in rat visual cortex: a role for visual experience., Brain research. Developmental brain research, 113, (1-2), 1999, p61-5 Journal Article, 1999

Tropea D, Sermasi E, Domenici L., Synaptic plasticity of feedback connections in rat visual cortex., Brain research. Developmental brain research, 118, (1-2), 1999, p61-67 Journal Article, 1999 DOI

D. Tropea, E. Sermasi, L. Domenici,, Long term potentiation of feedback horizontal connections in rat primary visual cortex., Dev. Brain Res., 118, 1999, p61 - 67 Journal Article, 1999

Research Expertise


I study the molecular mechanisms involved in neurodevelopmental disorders with a particular interest in Schizophrenia and Rett Syndrome. I was the first to show that Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) controls brain plasticity during postnatal development. My first translational work on IGF1 and Rett syndrome stands out for its clinical relevance. Rett syndrome is a severe disorder that lacks a treatment: I showed that IGF1, a growth factor used in children with growth impairments, is able to ameliorate the symptoms of the disease in a mouse model of Rett, and therefore has the potential of leading to a treatment for Rett and other neurodevelopmental disorders (Tropea et al., 2009). Nine clinical trials derived from this study, and I participated to safety clinical trials, which showed no side-effects of IGF1 administration in Rett patients (Pini et al., 2012, Pini et al., 2014, 2016). I have access to exclusive EEG data and blood samples from patients involved in IGF1-related trials. I collaborate with MIT, Neuren Pharmaceuticals, Tuscany Rett Center and Boston Children's Hospital, to study the RNA expression in the blood of Rett patients before and after treatment with IGF1. We aim at identifying, where possible, molecular determinants of IGF1' action in the patients responsive to treatment. I plan to focus my research on the identification of measurable biomarkers and on the effects of IGF1 for the treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders. This research has application in the design and interpretation of current and future clinical trials for assessing the efficacy of IGF1 (current active trails in Rett Syndrome, FragileX, Phelan McDermid and autism). My expertise in growth factors and IGF1 are broadly recognized and I am invited as regular and plenary speaker to international meetings to discuss the topic.


  • Title
    • IGF1 as treatment for Rett Syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Summary
    • This projects study the efficacy of IGF1 administration in treating the symptoms of Rett Syndrome. We use models of the disease to study the mechanisms of action of the drug and identify new molecular targets for treatment. Since IGF1 is a candidate treatment in clinical trials for neurodevelopmental disorders, this projects has broad applications in science, healthcare and it is relevant for patients' associations.
  • Funding Agency
    • Lejeune foundation
  • Title
    • NexusMentis-teaching Neuroscience to Primary School students
  • Summary
    • In collaboration wit TAP, and together with second year medical students, we adapted a strategy invented for Neuroscience assessment by Dr. Tropea to teach Neuroscience to primary school kids. We are now preparing a manuscript for publication: "DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF GAME BASED LEARNING IN NEUROSCIENCE AND MENTAL HEALTH FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN AGED 10-13"
  • Title
    • Molecular Markers for Rett Syndrome
  • Summary
    • We use model of Rett Syndrome to identify markers of severity of the clinical presentation. This project has high relevance in diagnostic, prognostic and treatment of Rett Syndrome.
  • Funding Agency
    • SFI
  • Title
    • Identification of quantitative EEG parameters for prognosis and severity rating in neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Summary
    • We measure brain activity in patients with Rett Syndrome and we correlate the results to clinical observations.We find that specific parameters correlate with presentation, drug resistance and response to treatment. This study is therefore of high relevance for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of Rett Syndrome and related disorders. As part of this project, in collaboration with Rett Syndrome Ireland we are developing a questionnaire for families to be part of a dataset for Rett Syndrome patients. We aim to expand the dataset enriching it with additional data and possibly opening it up to open collaborations.
  • Funding Agency
    • Meath Foundation
  • Title
    • Biology of Brain Disorders: Frontiers in Innovation
  • Summary
    • Summer school for educating participants in the science and innovation in brain disorders. It was a great educational event for undergraduate, graduate students and researchers in brain disorders. The participants came from 17 different countries. During the school was facilitated students-patients interaction to raise awareness on the real needs of the patients.
  • Funding Agency
    • Horizon 2020



Invited Plenary Speaker for Growth Hormone and IGF conference, Seattle, USA

Invited speaker for the European College NeuropsychiPharmachology Annual meeting 2019, Copenhagen, Denmark

External Reviewer PhD Thesis- University of Sidney June 2015

External Reviewers PhD Thesis-University of Trento 16 October

Invited Speaker for the meeting om Neuropsychiatric Disorders and Synaptic Plasticity, Cardiff, UK, April 2017

INVITED TALKS Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience Annual Meeting (Ireland) November 2013 Irish Rett Syndrome Association (Athlone, Ireland) September 2013 American College Neuropharmachology Annual Meeting (FL, USA) December 2012 Imperial College London (UK) October 2012 Annual Symposium IRSF (VA, USA) June 2011

Mount Sinai School of Medicine (NY, USA) February 2011 Ohio State University (OH, USA) January 2011 Kings College London (UK) December 2010 World Congress Psychiatric Genetics (Athens, Greece) October 2010 Symposium on rare genetic diseases (Viareggio, Italy) February 2010 World Congress Psychiatric Genetics (San Diego, CA) November 2009 European Conference on Rett Syndrome (Milan, Italy) June 2009

Stony Brook University (NY) April 2009 Rutgers University (NJ) December 2008 Stanford University (CA) September 2008 Ecole Normale Superieure (Paris) April 2008 University of Chicago (IL) February 2008 Center for Brain Repair Cambridge (UK) February 2008 University of California Santa Barbara (CA) April 2007 University of Rochester (NY) August 2006

Grant reviewer for Theleton Funding Agency 2009

Invited Associate Editor for Neural Plasticity

Reviewer for the Grant Agency Ontario Mental Health Foundation

Reviewer for the grant Agency Israel Science Foundation

Reviewer for the Funding Agency Wellcome Trust

Reviewer for the Funding Agency MRC

Reviewer for the following peer-reviewed scientific Journals: Neuron, Scientific Reports, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, European Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neuroscience, Genes, Brain and Behavior, Biological Psychiatry, Neural Plasticity, PlosOne, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Journal of Neuroscience Research, Experimental Gerontology, NeuroMolecular Medicine and Neuroinformatics.

Awards and Honours

Travel grant for SfN. Boston Area Neuroscience Group (BANG) 2006

Innovative treatment for rare diseases_TIAMO foundation June 2014

Best Project for TTO-organized program 14 March 2014

Teaching Innovation Award-TCD 2019

Excellence in teaching award-shortlisted-TCD 2020


Associate Member-American College of Neuropshychopharmacology (ACNP) 1 Jan 2016 – Present

Society for Neuroscience October 1997 – December 2018

Full member of ACNP January 2021