Alessandro Gozzi

Senior Researcher TT (TT2)
Group Leader

Research Lines

Functional Neuroimaging

About

After receiving a master degree in Biotechnology at the University of Verona (Italy) in 1998, I  joined the neuroscience centre of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a large research-based pharmaceutical company based in Verona (Italy) and Harlow (UK), where I pioneered the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to describe the neural substrates modulated by pharmacological agents, a line of research that I  also pursued to obtain a PhD degree in biomedical imaging with the University of Verona.

During my years at GSK I took on roles of increasing responsibility, and developed a strong background in MRI, image processing and analysis, as well as in the application of translational approaches to study neuropsychiatric brain disorders.

In 2010 I joined the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, where I lead the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory. The lab is equipped with a 4-channel 7 Tesla MRI scanner for in vivo imaging. 

During my research activity, I have described the circuital substrates modulated by centrally-active agents in multiple areas of experimental neuroscience (e.g. schizophrenia, depression, drug addiction etc.) and identified functional and structural alterations in different rodent models of brain pathology. More recently, I have demonstrated the feasibility of using fMRI in combination with pharmaco-genetic silencing to dissect the circuital basis of complex behaviors, and demonstrated for the first time that the mouse brain contains distributed resting-state functional connectivity networks, including plausible homologues of the human default-mode (DMN) and salience networks.

My current research is primarily focused on the application of advanced MRI methods to investigate the large-scale neurofunctional architecture of the mouse brain, and describe its modulation by neurodevelopmental and pathological effectors. A major goal of my research is to probe the activity of functional network systems as a novel cross-species translational language that can be related to specific behaviours, cognitive processes and neuropathological traits. 

Projects

My research focuses on the development and application of advanced MRI methods to describe large scale circuits in the mouse brain.

 Active research projects include

- description of the connectional architecture of the mouse brain using MRI

- large-scale mapping of optogenetic and pharmacogenetic mediated neuronal activity

- circuital description of neuro-pharmacological effects using pharmacological fMRI 

- application of advanced morphoanatomical and functional MRI methods to investigate deranged neurofunctional states (e.g. autism and schizophrenia)

Graduate student training opportunities include studies at multiple levels across the areas of research described above, with a particular focus on image analysis and processing, and the development and validation of concurrent MRI/ optical / metabolic and electro-physiological measurements.

Google Scholar Bibliometrics
http://scholar.google.it/citations?user=Giz31hsAAAAJ&hl=it&oi=ao

Selected Publications

1.    Sforazzini F, Berterto A, Dodero L, David G, Galbusera A,  Scattoni ML, Pasqualetti M, Gozzi A*
Altered functional connectivity networks in acallosal and socially-impaired BTBR mice
(2014) Brain Structure & Function, In press

2.    M Squillace, L Dodero, M Federici, S Migliarini, F Errico, F Napolitano, P Krashia, A Di Maio, A Galbusera, A Bifone, ML Scattoni, M Pasqualetti, NB Mercuri, A Usiello, A Gozzi*
Dysfunctional dopaminerig neurotransmission in asocial BTBR mice
(2014) Translational Psychiatry, 4(8) e427

3.   Yang BZ, Paolicelli R, Sforazzini F, Weinhard L, Bolasco G, Pagani F, Vissosktsy A, Bifone A, Gozzi A, Ragozzino D, Gross C
Deficient neuron-microglia signaling results in impaired functional brain connectivity and social behavior.
(2014) Nature Neuroscience, 17, 400-406

3.    Sannino T, Gozzi A, Cerasa A, Schegga D, Manago F, Damiano M, Galbusera A, Dodero L, Tonelli D, Bifone A, Tsaftaris AS, Weinberger DR, Spalletta G, Papaleo F
Sexual dimorphisms in COMT modulation of cortical anatomy and behavior in mice and humans.
(2014) Cerebral Cortex, In press

4.    Tucci V., Kleefstra T, Hardy A, Heise I, Maggi S, McGuffin L, Vizor L, Dodero L, Tsaftaris S, Romero R, Nillesen n, Peart-Vissers L, Kempers M, Silfhout A, Iqbal Z, Orlando M, Maccione A, Lassi g, Farisello P, Constestabile A, Tinarelli F, Nieus T, Raimondi A, Greco B, Cantatore B, Gasparini L, Berdondini L, Bifone A, Gozzi A, Wells S, Nolan P
Dominant β-catenin mutations cause intellectual disability with recognizable syndromic feature
(2014) Journal of Clinical investigation

5.    Sforazzini, F., Schwarz, A.J., Galbusera,A., Bifone,A., Gozzi, A*
Distributed BOLD and CBV-weighted resting-state networks in the mouse brain
(2013) Neuroimage, 87, 403-415

6.    Dodero, L., Damiano, M., Galbusera, A. Bifone, A., Tsaftsaris, S.A., Scattoni, M.L., Gozzi, A*
Neuroimaging Evidence of Major Morpho-Anatomical and Functional Abnormalities in the BTBR T+TF/J Mouse Model of Autism.
(2013) PLoS ONE, 8 (10), art. no. e76655

7.    Gozzi, A*., Lepore S, Vicentini E, Merlo-Pich E, Bifone A
Differential effect of Orexin-1 and CRF-1 antagonism on stress circuits: a fMRI study in the rat with the pharmacological stressor yohimbine
(2013) Neuropsychopharmacology, 38 (11), pp. 2120-2130

8.    Gozzi, A*., Agosta, F., Massi, M., Cioccocioppo, R., Bifone, A.
Reduced limbic metabolism and fronto-cortical volume in rats vulnerable to alcohol addiction
(2012) Neuroimage, 69, pp. 112-119

9.    Wellman, P.J., Clifford, P.S., Rodriguez, J.A., Hughes, S., Di Francesco, C., Melotto, S., Tessari, M., Corsi, M., Bifone, A., Gozzi, A.
Brain reinforcement system function is ghrelin dependent: Studies in the rat using pharmacological fMRI and intracranial self-stimulatioAddiction Biology, 17 (5), pp. 908-919

10.  Ferrari, L.,Turrini, G., Crestan, V., Bertani, S., Cristofori, P., Bifone, A., Gozzi, A*.
A robust experimental protocol for pharmacological fMRI in rats and mice
(2012) Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 204 (1), pp. 9-18.

11.  Gozzi, A*., Colavito, V., Seke Etet, P.F., Montanari, D., Fiorini, S., Tambalo, S., Bifone, A., Zucconi, G.G., Bentivoglio, M.
Modulation of fronto-cortical activity by modafinil: A functional imaging and Fos study in the rat
(2012) Neuropsychopharmacology, 37 (3), pp. 822-837.

12.  Gozzi, A.*, Tessari, M., Dacome, L., Agosta, F., Lepore, S., Lanzoni, A., Cristofori, P., Pich, E.M., Corsi, M., Bifone, A.
Neuroimaging evidence of altered fronto-cortical and striatal function after prolonged cocaine self-administration in the rat
(2011) Neuropsychopharmacology, 36 (12), pp. 2431-2440.

13.  Gozzi, A.*, Turrini, G., Piccoli, L., Massagrande, M., Amantini, D., Antolini, M., Martinelli, P., Cesari, N., Montanari, D., Tessari, M., Corsi, M., Bifone, A.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging reveals different neural substrates for the effects of orexin-1 and orexin-2 receptor antagonists
(2011) PLoS ONE, 6 (1), art. no. e16406,

14.  Bifone, A., Gozzi, A., Schwarz, A.J.
Functional connectivity in the rat brain: A complex network approach
(2010) Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 28 (8), pp. 1200-1209.

15.  Gozzi, A., Jain, A., Giovanelli, A., Bertollini, C., Crestan, V., Schwarz, A.J., Tsetsenis, T., Ragozzino, D., Gross, C.T., Bifone, A.
A neural switch for active and passive fear
(2010) Neuron, 67 (4), pp. 656-666.

16.  Schwarz, A.J., Gozzi, A., Bifone, A.
Community structure in networks of functional connectivity: Resolving functional organization in the rat brain with pharmacological MRI
(2009) NeuroImage, 47 (1), pp. 302-311.

17.  Gozzi, A.*, Herdon, H., Schwarz, A., Bertani, S., Crestan, V., Turrini, G., Bifone, A.
Pharmacological stimulation of NMDA receptors via co-agonist site suppresses fMRI response to phencyclidine in the rat
(2008) Psychopharmacology, 201 (2), pp. 273-284.

18.  Schwarz, A.J., Gozzi, A., Bifone, A.
Community structure and modularity in networks of correlated brain activity
(2008) Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 26 (7), pp. 914-920.

19.  Gozzi, A.*, Large, C.H., Schwarz, A., Bertani, S., Crestan, V., Bifone, A.
Differential effects of antipsychotic and glutamatergic agents on the phMRI response to phencyclidine
(2008) Neuropsychopharmacology, 33 (7), pp. 1690-1703.

20.  Gozzi, A.*, Ceolin, L., Schwarz, A., Reese, T., Bertani, S., Crestan, V., Bifone, A.
A multimodality investigation of cerebral hemodynamics and autoregulation in pharmacological MRI
(2007) Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 25 (6), pp. 826-833.

21.  Gozzi, A. * Schwarz, A., Reese, T., Bertani, S., Crestan, V., Bifone, A.
Region-specific effects of nicotine on brain activity: A pharmacological MRI study in the drug-näve rat
(2006) Neuropsychopharmacology, 31 (8), pp. 1690-1703







iit Publications

2017 Aberrant striatal anatomy and gray matter connectivity networks in mice lacking autism-associated gene CNTNAP2
2017 Adolescence is the starting point of sex-dichotomous COMT genetic effects
2017 Altered default mode network organization and functional connectivity in mice lacking autism-associated gene Shank3
2017 Altered prefrontal anatomy and functional connectivity in mice lacking autism- associated gene Shank3
2017 Atlas-free connectivity analysis driven by white matter structure
2017 Autism associated 16p11.2 microdeletion impacts prefrontal connectivity in humans and mice
2017 Brain-wide Mapping of Endogenous Serotonergic Transmission via Chemogenetic fMRI
2017 Brainwide mapping of spontaneous network dynamics in the mouse brain
2017 Differential effects of brain disorders on structural and functional connectivity
2017 Distinctive behavioural anomalies, structural brain phenotypes and cortical hyper-connectivity in Chd8-deficient mice
2017 Dynamic reconfiguration of spontaneous network activity in the mouse brain
2017 Efficient Parametric Imaging with GPU Computing
2017 Heat delivered into the brain with tapered optical fibers
2017 Homozygous loss of autism-risk gene CNTNAP2 results in reduced local and long-range prefrontal functional connectivity
2017 Intranasal Oxytocin and Vasopressin Modulate Divergent Brainwide Functional Substrates
2017 Muscarinic receptor agonism prevents functional connectivity aberrancies produced by the NMDAR antagonist phencyclidine (PCP)
2017 Pharmacological Inhibition of ERK Pathway Rescues Morpho-Anatomical Aberrancies Associated with 16p11.2 Chromosomal Deletion
2017 Repeated dexamphetamine treatment alters the dopaminergic system and increases the phMRI response to methylphenidate
2017 Serotonin Buffers Hippocampal Neuroplasticity And Emotional Behavior
2017 The Knockout of Synapsin II in Mice Impairs Social Behavior and Functional Connectivity Generating an ASD-like Phenotype
2016 Altered functional connectivity networks in acallosal and socially impaired BTBR mice
2016 An automated pipeline for mouse brain morphometric MRI
2016 Can mouse imaging studies bring order to autism connectivity chaos?
2016 Default-mode network hypo-connectivity in a mouse model of human chromosome 16p11.2 microdeletion
2016 Default‐mode network hypoconnectivity in a mouse model of human chromosome 16p11.2 microdeletion
2016 Deletion of the Snor D116/S no RD116 alters sleep in mice and patients with Prader-Willi syndrome
2016 Directed information flow in fMRI connectivity
2016 Directed information flow in fMRI connectivity networks
2016 Directed information flow in fMRI connectivity networks
2016 Effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on cognitive functions and neural substrates: a voxel-based morphometry study in aged mice
2016 Effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on cognitive functions and neural substrates: A voxel-based morphometry study in aged mice
2016 Gray matter networks in the mouse brain
2016 Grey matter networks in the mouse brain
2016 Intrinsic directional connectivity in large-scale functional networks of the mouse brain
2016 Large-scale functional connectivity networks in the rodent brain
2016 Large-scale functional connectivity networks in the rodent brain
2016 Semi-automated registration-based anatomical labelling, voxel based morphometry and cortical thickness mapping of the mouse brain
2016 Structural covariance networks in the mouse brain
2016 Treatment with novel ERK inhibitor rescues ASD pathophysiology in 16p11.2 deletion mouse model
2015 A role for D-aspartate oxidase in schizophrenia and in schizophrenia-related symptoms induced by phencyclidine in mice
2015 Automated multi-subject fiber clustering of mouse brain using dominant sets
2015 Behavioural and neuroanatomical characterisation of synapsin-II mouse.
2015 COMT genetic reduction produces sexually divergent effects on cortical anatomy and working memory in mice and humans
2015 Directed functional connectivity mapping in the mouse brain
2015 Frontal hypoconnectivity in the 16p11.2 microdeletion autism model
2015 Functional connectivity hubs of the mouse brain
2015 Large-scale analysis of neuroimaging data on commercial clouds with content-aware resource allocation strategies
2015 MAPPING EFFECTIVE CONNECTIVITY IN THE MOUSE BRAIN USING GRANGER CAUSALITY
2015 Networks of anatomical covariance of the mouse brain
2015 Neural and cognitive substrates of omega-3 supplementation: a VBM study in aged mice.
2015 Voxel-scale mapping of the mouse brain functional connectome
2014 D-Aspartate Levels and Related Genetic Variation are Associated with Prefrontal Phenotypes: A Translational Study From Rodents to Humans
2014 Deficient neuron-microglia signaling results in impaired functional brain connectivity and social behavior
2014 Distributed BOLD and CBV-weighted resting-state networks in the mouse brain
2014 Dominant β-catenin mutations cause intellectual disability with recognizable syndromic features
2014 Dysfunctional dopaminergic neurotransmission in asocial BTBR mice
2014 Free D-aspartate regulates neuronal dendritic morphology, synaptic plasticity, gray matter volume and brain activity in mammals
2014 Group-wise functional community detection through joint Laplacian diagonalization
2014 Intransal administration of neuroactive peptides elicits robust fMRI responses in the mouse brain
2014 Modular organization of mouse brain functional connectivity
2014 USPIO-loaded red blood cells as a biomimetic MR contrast agent: A relaxometric study
2013 Automatic White Matter Fiber Clustering Using Dominant Sets
2013 Differential effect of orexin-1 and CRF-1 antagonism on stress circuits: A fMRI study in the rat with the pharmacological stressor yohimbine
2013 Gd-doped BNNTs as T2-weighted MRI contrast agents
2013 Inhibition of glycine transporter-1 reduces cue-induced nicotine-seeking, but does not promote extinction of conditioned nicotine cue responding in the rat
2013 Neuroimaging Evidence of Major Morpho-Anatomical and Functional Abnormalities in the BTBR T+TF/J Mouse Model of Autism
2013 Reduced limbic metabolism and fronto-cortical volume in rats vulnerable to alcohol addiction
2013 The Morphology and Adhesion Mechanism of Octopus vulgaris Suckers
2012 A robust experimental protocol for pharmacological fMRI in rats and mice
2012 Automatic tractography analysis through sparse networks in case-control studies
2012 Brain reinforcement system function is ghrelin dependent: Studies in the rat using pharmacological fMRI and intracranial self-stimulation
2012 Modulation of fronto-cortical activity by modafinil: A functional imaging and Fos study in the rat
2012 Mouse neuroimaging phenotyping in the cloud
2012 Neuromapping techniques in drug discovery: Pharmacological MRI for the assessment of novel antipsychotics
2012 Voxel scale complex networks of functional connectivity in the rat brain: Neurochemical state dependence of global and local topological properties
2011 Functional and pharmacological MRI in understanding brain function at a systems level
2011 Functional magnetic resonance imaging reveals different neural substrates for the effects of orexin-1 and orexin-2 receptor antagonists
2011 Neuroimaging evidence of altered fronto-cortical and striatal function after prolonged cocaine self-administration in the rat
2011 The efficacy of sodium channel blockers to prevent phencyclidine-induced cognitive dysfunction in the rat: Potential for novel treatments for schizophrenia
2010 A neural switch for active and passive fear
2010 Functional connectivity in the rat brain: A complex network approach
2010 Modulation of the glutamatergic system: from rat to human
2010 Probing brain function with pharmacological MRI: application to psychiatric drug research

Awards

NARSAD Indpendent Investigator Grant 2017

Simmons Foundation for Autism Research (SFARI) explorer award (2016)

Simmons Foundation for Autism Research (SFARI) explorer award (2014)

GlaxoSmithKline Exceptional Science Award (2006)

GlaxoSmithKline Scinovation Award (2007 and 2009)