Honorary Senior Lectureship at University of Cardiff
Professor Giuseppe Di Giovanni from the Department of Physiology & Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, has been awarded the title of Honorary Senior Lecturer in Physiology by the University of Cardiff, Wales in recognition of his contribution to research, learning and teaching at this prestigious university.
This honorary title strengthens the ongoing collaboration between Professor Di Giovanni and Professor Crunelli at the School of Bioscience Cardiff University and offers the possibility to University of Malta students to participate in joint research programs in Neuroscience (post-doc, PhD or brief research visit) and benefit from both of the university facilities and stimulating research environments. All students interested in discussing research projects are welcome to contact Professor Di Giovanni.
Over the last two decades, Professor Di Giovanni has been investigating the functional role that central dopamine-containing neurotransmitter systems play in mediating drug addiction and neuropsychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia, depression, drug addiction and Parkinson’s disease. He has published more than 50 research papers, co-edited 4 books and 4 special issues of various journals.
To understand the role that dopamine plays in these various neuropsychiatric and cognitive disorders and the interactions with serotonin and nitric oxide systems, his laboratory has used two different experimental approaches. Extracellular recording, coupled with microiontophoresis in anesthetized animals and in vivo microdialysis in freely moving rats.
These two techniques allow researchers to gain an integrated vision of neural discharges and neurotransmitters’ release in physiological conditions as well as in pharmacologically treated animals. In collaboration with Professor Esposito (Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Italy) and Professor Crunelli, he has begun investigating the interactions of dopamine/serotonin/GABA in Parkinson animal models, using in vitro patch clamp recording and two photon microscopy. Utilizing these cutting-edge methods and technologies his overall goal being to enhance knowledge of the neuropathological mechanisms in neurological and psychiatric disorders, as well as to provide the basis for the development of next generation therapeutic drugs to treat or prevent these diseases.
The ongoing research projects are:
- Serotonin/dopamine interactions in absence epilepsy and sleep
- Serotonin/dopamine interactions in Parkinson’s disease
- Serotonin/dopamine interactions in drug addiction
The laboratory in Malta is equipped with an electrophysiological station for extracellular recording, coupled with microiontophoresis in anesthetized animals and in vivo brain microdialysis equipment for freely moving rats. The laboratory in Cardiff is equipped with six electrophysiological stations (three for patch- and three for sharp-electrode recordings), one confocal microscope with in vitro patch-electrode recording facilities, one 2-photon laser scanning microscope with in vivo and in vitro patch-and sharp-electrode recording facilities, a suite for in vivo electrical recordings and localized drug application in freely moving models, one cluster of 11 dual-processor nodes for computer simulations, in-house developed software for dynamic clamp experiments, and facilities for post-hoc morphological and immunocytochemical analysis of neurons and astrocytes.
Cope, D.W., Di Giovanni, G., Orban, G., Fyson, S.J., Errington, A.C., Lorincz, M.L., Gould, T.M., Carter, D.A., Crunelli, V., Enhanced tonic GABAA inhibition in typical absence epilepsy Nature Medicine (2009) 15(12), 1392-1398.
Abdallaht, L., Bonasera, S.J., Hopf, F.W., O’Dellf, L., Giorgetti, M., Jongsmas, M., Carrat, S., Pierucci, M., Di Giovanni, G., Esposito, E., Parsons, L.H., Bonci, A., Tecott, L.H., Impact of Serotonin 2C receptor null mutation on physiology and behaviour associated with nigrostriatal dopamine pathway function Journal of Neuroscience (2009) vol 29(25), 8156-8165.
Di Giovanni, G., A diet for the dopaminergic neurons? Journal Neuraltransmission Supplementa (2009) vol 73, 317-332.
Di Giovanni, G., Shi, W-X., Effects of Scopolamine on Dopamine Neurons in the Substantia Nigra: Role of the Pedunculopontine Tegmental Nucleus Synapse (2009) vol 63(8), 673-680.
Di Giovanni, G., Esposito, E., Di Matteo, V., In Vivo Microdialysis in Parkinson’s Research Journal Neuraltransmission Supplementa (2009) vol 73, 223-243.