Giacomo Sitzia

Affiliated to research

Basal Ganglia

Models of Parkinson´s disease

Substantia nigra 


About me

Hi! I am a PhD student currently in the laboratory of Molecular Neurophysiology under the supervision of Karima Chergui. My research is focused on the brain structures that regulate motor functions, motivated behaviors and habitual learning: the basal ganglia. More specifically, I study how specific neurons of the basal ganglia (the GABAergic neurons of the substantia nigra) work and are modified in Parkinson´s disease. To  do so, I (1) combine single-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology and pharmacology to study glutamatergic neurotransmission (2) use and develop genetic and toxin-based (6-OHDA) mouse models of Parkinson´s disease (3) use behavioral tests to study locomotion and anxiety-related behaviors and (4) study the expression of specific receptors and proteins using immunohistochemistry and western blotting. I will spend last part of my PhD (starting in 2020) in the laboratory of David Lovinger at the NIH where I will learn new methods and study the involvement of the basal ganglia in alcohol addiction. 

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