Carlo Sala, 2001

  • Latest publications

    Vicidomini C, Ponzoni L, Lim L, Schmeisser M, Reim D, Morello N, Orelanna D, Tozzi A, Durante V, Scalmani P, Mantegazza M, Genazzani AA, Giustetto M, Sala M, Calabresi P, Boeckers TM, Sala C, Verpelli C. Pharmacological enhancement of mGlu5 receptors rescues behavioral deficits in SHANK3 knock-out mice. Mol Psychiatry (2016, in press)

    Heise C, Taha E, Murru L, Ponzoni L, Cattaneo A, Guarnieri FC, Montani C, Mossa A, Vezzoli E, Ippolito G, Zapata J, Barrera I, Ryazanov AJ, Cook J, Poe M, Stephen M, Kopanitsa M, Benfante R, Rusconi F, Braida D, Francolini M, Proud CG, Valtorta F, Passafaro M, Sala M, Bachi A, Verpelli C, Rosenblum K, Sala C. eEF2K/eEF2 pathway controls the excitation/inhibition balance and susceptibility to epileptic seizures Cereb Cortex (2016, in press)

    Sala C, Segal M. Dendritic spines: the locus of structural and functional plasticity. Physiological Reviews, 2014

    Valnegri P, Montrasio C, Brambilla D, Ko J, Passafaro M, Sala C. The X-linked intellectual disability protein IL1RAPL1 regulates excitatory synapse formation by binding PTP{delta} and RhoGAP2. Hum Mol Genet. 20:4797-809, 2011

    Verpelli C, Dvoretskova E, Vicidomini C, Rossi F, Chiappalone M, Schoen M, Di Stefano B, Mantegazza R, Broccoli V, Boeckers TM, Dityatev A, Sala C. Importance of shank3 in regulating metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) expression and signaling at synapses. J Biol Chem. 286:34839-50, 2011

  • Prizes and Awards

    Jerome Lejeune Foundation Grant, 2014

    Regione Lombardia Grant, 2013; 2012; 2010

    CARIPLO Foundation Grant, 2013; 2008; 2007

    Telethon Foundation Grant, 2013; 2012; 2009; 2006

    MIUR-Prin Grant, 2010; 2008

    Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) Grant, 2011

    European Commission ERA-NET NEURON, 2011

    IIT Seed Grant, 2010

    European Commission FP7 Marie Curie Action, SyMBaD project, 2010

    CNR Grant, 2008

    Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation Grant, 2008

    European Commission FP6 STREP action, SYNSCAF project, 2004

    Career Development Award, Armenise-Harvard Foundation, 2001

Career Development Award Project Title

“Regulation of dendritic spine and synaptic structure by Shank”, 2001

Who he is

A trained medical doctor, in 2001 Carlo Sala was appointed Assistant Professor at the Institute of Neuroscience of the National Research Council of Milan. After his medical degree and a doctorate in pharmacology at the University of Milan in 1998, Sala won the Armenise Harvard Fellowship and carried out his research as a postdoc in Prof. Morgan Shang’s lab at the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

In 2001, thanks to the Career Development Awards, he moved back to Milan where he set up his own laboratory on “Cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity” at the Institute of Neuroscience.

What he does

How does our brain evolve, change, and alter its structure? This question has to do with the concept of brain plasticity, and that’s exactly what Sala’s research is focused on. In particular, his team aims to study and understand the function of proteins that regulate synapse formation and plasticity.

Synapses are essential for information processing in the brain: changes in the molecular composition of pre- and post-synaptic compartments are critical for the modulation of synaptic efficacy in both normal and pathological conditions.

In fact, one of the fundamental questions in neurobiology is understanding how neuronal activity causes lasting changes in synaptic structure and function and how that contributes to learning and memory.

News from the Lab

Using in vivo and in vitro models, Sala and colleagues are particularly interested in studying the function of such proteins as Shank, IL1RAPL1 and MeCP2, which are encoded by mutated or deleted genes in patients with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders.