Prof. Giuseppe Di Giovanni

Prof. Giuseppe Di Giovanni

Prof. Giuseppe Di Giovanni



Room 142
Biomedical Sciences Building
University of Malta
  +356 2340 2776
He received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Chieti, Italy and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University, USA. Previously Senior Lecturer of Human Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Palermo, and Associate Professor at the University of Malta, from 2013 he is Professor of Human Physiology at the Medical School of the University of Malta. His research focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of monoaminergic systems using electrophysiological and neurochemical approach. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed papers, edited 7 books and 6 special issues of various journals. H-index score (36) and number of citation (more than 4363) (as of December 2017, Source = He is the Coordinator of the Malta Neuroscience Network and the Vice-President of the Mediterranean Neuroscience Society (MPS). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious Journal of Neuroscience Methods by Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands and the book series "The Receptors" by Springer, USA ( and serves as associate editor for the CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics by Wiley.

Neurophysiology Lab Research Group
Mr Pierucci Massimo (MT)
Dr Gergely Orban (Uni Pa, IT)
Dr Roberto Colangeli (IT, visiting researcher)
Ms Caitlin Davies, UK visiting student (Cardiff Uni)
Mr Francis Delicata (Master Student)
Ms Jeanette Magrin (Master Student)
Mr Abela Norbert (Master Student)

International Grants
R&I-2013-014, entitled ‘Closed-loop Serotonin Optogenetic Stimulation with EEG recording to Suppress Epileptic Seizures: A Therapeutic Device’ € 150000 PI, GDG (AAT MT and Cardiff UK external partners). 3 years (11/2014- 10/2017)
Epilepsy Research UK grant N. P1202 entitled 'Serotonergic modulation of tonic GABA A inhibition: pathophysiological and therapeutic implications for absence seizures'. 3 years 150000£
Physiological Society UK. International Senior Research Grant. Dopamanine Neuronal ensemble recordings in freely moving rats. 7000£
PON (programmi operativi nazionali), Italy. "Polo Cyberbrain". Consortium (NEUROMED, IEMEST, Fondazione Nerone di Roma) 5,000,000 €
  • Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurophysiology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Experimental Neurology

Di Giovanni, G. & Guiard, B. 2018, 5-ht2a Receptors in the Central Nervous System, Springer.

Agius, A. & Di Giovanni, G. 2017, "Is cannabis the best medicine for chronic pain?", .

Bortolato, M. & Di Giovanni, G. 2017, Editorial on Special Issue: Animal Models of Tourette Syndrome, Elsevier.

Colangeli, R., Pierucci, M., Benigno, A., Campiani, G., Butini, S. & Giovanni, G. 2017, "The FAAH inhibitor URB597 suppresses hippocampal maximal dentate afterdischarges and restores seizure-induced impairment of short and long-term synaptic plasticity", Scientific reports, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 11152.

De Deurwaerdare, P., Di Giovanni, G. & Millan, M.J. 2017, "Expanding the repertoire of L-DOPAâEUR(TM)s actions: a comprehensive review of its functional neurochemistry", Progress in neurobiology, vol. 151, pp. 57-100.

De Deurwaerdere, P. & Di Giovanni, G. 2017, "Serotonergic modulation of the activity of mesencephalic dopaminergic systems: therapeutic implications", Progress in neurobiology, vol. 151, pp. 175-236.

De Deurwaerdere, P., Ramsay, R.R. & Di Giovanni, G. 2017, "Neurobiology and neuropharmacology of monoaminergic systems", Progress in neurobiology, vol. 151, pp. 1.

Di Giovanni, G. & De Deurwaerdere, P. 2017, "TCB-2 (7R)-3-bromo-2, 5-dimethoxy-bicyclo 4.2. 0] octa-1, 3, 5-trien-7-yl] methanamine]: A hallucinogenic drug, a selective 5-HT 2A receptor pharmacological tool, or none of the above?", Neuropharmacology, .

Herrick-Davis, K., Milligan, G. & Di Giovanni, G. (eds) 2017, G-protein-coupled Receptor Dimers, Humana Press.

Lagière, M., Bosc, M., Whitestone, S., Manem, J., Elboukhari, H., Benazzouz, A., Di Giovanni, G. & De Deurwaerdere, P. 2017, "Does the Serotonin2C receptor segregate circuits of the basal ganglia responding to cingulate cortex stimulation?", CNS neuroscience & therapeutics, .

Ngomba, R.T., Di Giovanni, G., Battaglia, G. & Nicoletti, F. (eds) 2017, mGLU Receptors, Springer International Publishing.

Radic, M., Rappa, F., Barone, R., Cappello, F., Crescimanno, G., Casarrubea, M., Perucci, M., Marino Gammazza, A. & Di Giovanni, G. 2017, "Alcohol, Cannabinoids and Nicotine in Liver Pathophysiology", XJENZA (ONLINE), , pp. 132-136.

Ramsay, R.R. & Di Giovanni, G. 2017, "Structure-Based Drug Design for Diagnosis and Treatment of Neurological Diseases", Frontiers in pharmacology, vol. 8, pp. 13.

Schiavone, S., Mhillaj, E., Neri, M., Morgese, M.G., Tucci, P., Bove, M., Valentino, M., Di Giovanni, G., Pomara, C. & Turillazzi, E. 2017, "Early loss of blood-brain barrier integrity precedes NOX2 elevation in the prefrontal cortex of an animal model of psychosis", Molecular neurobiology, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 2031-2044.

Di Giovanni, G. 2016, "Marijuana for epilepsy?", .

Di Giovanni, G., Svob Strac, D., Sole, M., Unzeta, M., Tipton, K.F., Mück-Šeler, D., Bolea, I., Della Corte, L., Nikolac Perkovic, M. & Pivac, N. 2016, "Monoaminergic and histaminergic strategies and treatments in brain diseases", Frontiers in neuroscience, vol. 10, pp. 541.

Ramsay, R.R., De Deurwaerdère, P. & Di Giovanni, G. 2016, "Updating neuropathology and neuropharmacology of monoaminergic systems", British journal of pharmacology, vol. 173, no. 13, pp. 2065-2068.

Salvadè, A., D'angelo, V., Di Giovanni, G., Tinkhauser, G., Sancesario, G., Städler, C., Möller, J.,C., Stefani, A., Kaelin-Lang, A. & Galati, S. 2016, "Distinct roles of cortical and pallidal β and γ frequencies in hemiparkinsonian and dyskinetic rats", Experimental neurology, vol. 275, pp. 199-208.

Casarrubea, M., Jonsson, G.K., Faulisi, F., Sorbera, F., Di Giovanni, G., Benigno, A., Crescimanno, G. & Magnusson, M.S. 2015, "T-pattern analysis for the study of temporal structure of animal and human behavior: a comprehensive review", Journal of neuroscience methods, vol. 239, pp. 34-46.

Casarrubea, M., Davies, C., Faulisi, F., Pierucci, M., Colangeli, R., Partridge, L., Chambers, S., Cassar, D., Valentino, M. & Muscat, R. 2015, "Acute nicotine induces anxiety and disrupts temporal pattern organization of rat exploratory behavior in hole-board: a potential role for the lateral habenula", Frontiers in cellular neuroscience, vol. 9, pp. 197.

Crunelli, V. & Di Giovanni, G. 2015, "Differential Control by 5âEURHT and 5âEURHT1A, 2A, 2C Receptors of Phasic and Tonic GABAA Inhibition in the Visual Thalamus", CNS neuroscience & therapeutics, vol. 21, no. 12, pp. 967-970.

DâEUR(TM)Adamo, M.C., Di Giovanni, G. & Pessia, M. 2015, "Animal models of episodic ataxia type 1 (EA1)" in Movement Disorders (Second Edition), pp. 797-807.

Di Giovanni, G. 2015, "Final frontier: our brain", .

Di Giovanni, G. 2015, "The new Malta neuroscience network programme", .

Di Giovanni, G. 2015, "A week with Professor Giacomo Rizzolatti (30th of November-6th of December 2015)", .

Gammazza, A.M., Colangeli, R., Orban, G., Pierucci, M., Di Gennaro, G., Bello, M.L., D'aniello, A., Bucchieri, F., Pomara, C. & Valentino, M. 2015, "Hsp60 response in experimental and human temporal lobe epilepsy", Scientific reports, vol. 5, pp. 9434.

Invernizzi, R.W., Esposito, E., Di Matteo, V. & Di Giovanni, G. 2015, "Microiontophoresis and related methods", Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology, , pp. 971-980.

Navailles, S., Di Giovanni, G. & De Deurwaerdère, P. 2015, "The 5âEURHT4 Agonist Prucalopride Stimulates LâEURDOPAâEURInduced Dopamine Release in Restricted Brain Regions of the Hemiparkinsonian Rat In Vivo", CNS neuroscience & therapeutics, vol. 21, no. 9, pp. 745-747.

Aourz, N., Portelli, J., Coppens, J., De Bundel, D., Di Giovanni, G., Van Eeckhaut, A., Michotte, Y. & Smolders, I. 2014, "CortistatinâEUR14 Mediates its Anticonvulsant Effects Via sst2 and sst3 but Not Ghrelin Receptors", CNS neuroscience & therapeutics, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 662-670.

Connelly, W.M., Errington, A.C., Yagüe, J.,G., Cavaccini, A., Crunelli, V. & Di Giovanni, G. 2014, "GPCR Modulation of Extrasynapitic GABA A Receptors" in Extrasynaptic GABAA Receptors Springer, New York, NY, , pp. 125-153.

Crunelli, V. & Di Giovanni, G. 2014, "Monoamine modulation of tonic GABAA inhibition", Reviews in the neurosciences, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 195-206.

Crunelli, V., Di Giovanni, G., Parri, H.R. & Errington, A.C. 2014, "Gain-of-function of thalamic extrasynaptic GABA-A receptors in typical absence seizures" in Extrasynaptic GABAA Receptors Springer, New York, NY, , pp. 223-237.

Crunelli, V., Errington, A.C. & Di Giovanni, G. 2014, "Modulation of Extrasynaptic GABA (A) Receptors by mGlu Receptors", BENTHAM SCIENCE PUBL LTD EXECUTIVE STE Y-2, PO BOX 7917, SAIF ZONE, 1200 BR SHARJAH, U ARAB EMIRATES, , pp. 12.

Di Giovanni, G., García, I., Colangeli, R., Pierucci, M., Rivadulla, M.L., Soriano, E., Chioua, M., Della Corte, L., Yáñez, M. & De Deurwaerdère, P. 2014, "NâEUR(furanâEUR2âEURylmethyl)âEURNâEURmethylpropâEUR2âEURynâEUR1âEURamine (F2MPA): A Potential Cognitive Enhancer with MAO Inhibitor Properties", CNS neuroscience & therapeutics, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 633-640.

Navailles, S., Di Giovanni, G. & De Deurwaerdère, P. 2014, "Predicting Dopaminergic Effects of LâEURDOPA in the Treatment for Parkinson's Disease", CNS neuroscience & therapeutics, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 699-701.

Navailles, S., Milan, L., Khalki, H., Di Giovanni, G., Lagière, M. & De Deurwaerdère, P. 2014, "Noradrenergic Terminals Regulate lâEURDOPAâEURderived Dopamine Extracellular Levels in a RegionâEURdependent Manner in Parkinsonian Rats", CNS neuroscience & therapeutics, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 671-678.

Pierucci, M., Chambers, S., Partridge, L., De Deurwaerdère, P. & Di Giovanni, G. 2014, "Role of central serotonin receptors in nicotine addiction" in Nicotinic Receptors Humana Press, New York, NY, , pp. 279-305.

Ramsay, R.R. & Di Giovanni, G. 2014, "Interdisciplinary chemical approaches for neuropathology", CNS neuroscience & therapeutics, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 571-573.

Bombardi, C. & Di Giovanni, G. 2013, "Functional anatomy of 5-HT 2A receptors in the amygdala and hippocampal complex: relevance to memory functions", Experimental brain research, vol. 230, no. 4, pp. 427-439.

Bortolato, M., Pivac, N., Seler, D.M., Perkovic, M.N., Pessia, M. & Di Giovanni, G. 2013, "The role of the serotonergic system at the interface of aggression and suicide", Neuroscience, vol. 236, pp. 160-185.

Boulougouris, V., Malogiannis, I., Lockwood, G., Zervas, I. & Di Giovanni, G. 2013, "Serotonergic modulation of suicidal behaviour: integrating preclinical data with clinical practice and psychotherapy", Experimental brain research, vol. 230, no. 4, pp. 605-624.

Connelly, W.M., Fyson, S.J., Errington, A.C., McCafferty, C.P., Cope, D.W., Di Giovanni, G. & Crunelli, V. 2013, "GABAB receptors regulate extrasynaptic GABAA receptors", Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 33, no. 9, pp. 3780-3785.

Connelly, W.M., Errington, A.C., Di Giovanni, G. & Crunelli, V. 2013, "Metabotropic regulation of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors", Frontiers in neural circuits, vol. 7, pp. 171.

DâEUR(TM)Adamo, M.C., Servettini, I., Guglielmi, L., Di Matteo, V., Di Maio, R., Di Giovanni, G. & Pessia, M. 2013, "5-HT 2 receptors-mediated modulation of voltage-gated K+ channels and neurophysiopathological correlates", Experimental brain research, vol. 230, no. 4, pp. 453-462.

D'Adamo, M.C., Catacuzzeno, L., Di Giovanni, G., Franciolini, F. & Pessia, M. 2013, "K+ channelepsy: progress in the neurobiology of potassium channels and epilepsy", Frontiers in cellular neuroscience, vol. 7, pp. 134.

David, F., Schmiedt, J.T., Taylor, H.L., Orban, G., Di Giovanni, G., Uebele, V.N., Renger, J.J., Lambert, R., Leresche, N. & Crunelli, V. 2013, "Essential thalamic contribution to slow waves of natural sleep", Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 33, no. 50, pp. 19599-19610.

Di Giovanni, G. 2013, "Discovering depression treatments", .

Di Giovanni, G. 2013, Serotonin in the pathophysiology and treatment of CNS disorders, Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Di Giovanni, G. & Di Matteo, V. 2013, Microdialysis techniques in neuroscience, Humana Press.

Di Giovanni, G., Pierucci, M., Pessia, M. & Di Matteo, V. 2013, "In Vivo Microdialysis to Study Striatal Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration" in Microdialysis Techniques in Neuroscience Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, , pp. 23-42.

Galati, S. & Di Giovanni, G. 2013, "Intracerebral Human Microdialysis in ParkinsonâEUR(TM)s Disease" in Microdialysis Techniques in Neuroscience Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, , pp. 209-223.

Orban, G., Pierucci, M., Benigno, A., Pessia, M., Galati, S., Valentino, M., Muscat, R. & Di Giovanni, G. 2013, "High dose of 8-OH-DPAT decreases maximal dentate gyrus activation and facilitates granular cell plasticity in vivo", Experimental brain research, vol. 230, no. 4, pp. 441-451.

Brunetti, O., Imbrici, P., Botti, F.M., Pettorossi, V.E., D'Adamo, M.C., Valentino, M., Zammit, C., Mora, M., Gibertini, S. & Di Giovanni, G. 2012, "Kv1. 1 knock-in ataxic mice exhibit spontaneous myokymic activity exacerbated by fatigue, ischemia and low temperature", Neurobiology of disease, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 310-321.

Di Giovanni, G. 2012, "Brain awareness, research and facts", .

Di Giovanni, G., Pessia, M. & Di Maio, R. 2012, "Redox sensitivity of tyrosine hydroxylase activity and expression in dopaminergic dysfunction", CNS & Neurological Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-CNS & Neurological Disorders), vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 419-429.

Giovanni, G.D. 2012, "Does Central Serotonin2C Receptor still have New Therapeutic Potential", Biochem Physiol, vol. 1, pp. e101.

Di Giovanni, G., Errington, A.C. & Crunelli, V. 2011, "Pathophysiological role of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors in typical absence epilepsy", .

Di Giovanni, G., Esposito, E. & Di Matteo, V. 2010, 5-HT2C Receptors in the Pathophysiology of CNS Disease, Springer Science & Business Media.

Di Giovanni, G., Di Matteo, V., Pierucci, M. & Esposito, E. 2009, "Preferential Modulation of the GABAergic vs. Dopaminergic Function in the Substantia Nigra by 5-HT 2C Receptor" in The Basal Ganglia IX Springer, New York, NY, , pp. 285-296.

GIOVANNI G, ,D., Cope, D. & Crunelli, V. 2008, "Cholinergic and monoaminergic modulation of tonic GABAA inhibition in the rat dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus", Society for Neuroscience, , pp. 531.

Matteo, V.D., Pierucci, M., Esposito, E., Crescimanno, G., Benigno, A. & Giovanni, G.D. 2008, "V Serotonin-Dopamine Interactions in Motor Disorders-21 Serotonin modulation of the basal ganglia circuitry: Therapeutic implication for Parkinson's disease and other motor disorders", Progress in brain research, vol. 172, pp. 423.

Di Giovanni, G., Benigno, A., Licciardi, A. & Esposito, E. 2007, "ANTIOXIDANTS DIETERY INTAKE AND PARKINSON'S DISEASE", .

Esposito, E., Di Matteo, V., Pierucci, M., Benigno, A. & Di Giovanni, G. 2007, "Role of central 5-HT2C receptor in the control of basal ganglia functions", The Basal Ganglia Pathophysiology, , pp. 97-127.

Fysons, S., Cope, D., Errington, A., GIOVANNI G, ,D., Leresche, N. & Crunelli, V. 2007, "Extrasynaptic GABAA receptor gain-of-function in absence epilepsy: GHB and thip pharmacological models", USA, , pp. on.

Di Giovanni, G., Ferraro, G., Sardo, P., Di Maio, R., Carletti, F. & La Grutta, V. 2006, "Microiontophoretic evidence that nitric oxide alters spontaneous activity of the substantia nigra pars reticulata neurons in the rat", Acta Physiol, vol. 188, pp. P184.

Di Matteo, V., Pierucci, M., Di Giovanni, G., Di Santo, A., Poggi, A., Benigno, A. & Esposito, E. 2006, "Aspirin protects striatal dopaminergic neurons from neurotoxin-induced degeneration: an in vivo microdialysis study", Brain research, vol. 1095, no. 1, pp. 167-177.


Esposito, E., MATTEO V, ,D., Pierucci, M., GIULIO C, ,D., Cacchio, M., GIOVANNI G, ,D., Benigno, A. & Amato, G. 2004, "Selective stimulation of serotonin2c receptors blocks the enhancement of striatal accumbal dopamine release by nicotine administration", .

Ferraro, G., Sardo, P., Di Giovanni, G., Galati, S. & La Grutta, V. 2002, "Nitric oxide and corticoâEURstriatoâEURpallidal motor circuitry: Quantitative EEG analysis of surface and depth recordings", Neuroscience Research Communications, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 121-133.

Matteo, V.D., Mascio, M.D., Giovanni, G.D. & Esposito, E. 2000, "Original investigations-Acute administration of amitriptyline and mianserin increases dopamine release in the rat nucleus accumbens: Possible involvement of serotonin2C receptors", Psychopharmacology-Berlin, vol. 150, no. 1, pp. 45-51.

Matteo, V., Giovanni, G. & Esposito, E. 2000, "SB 242084: A Selective 5âEURHT2C Receptor Antagonist", CNS drug reviews, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 195-205.

Di Mascio, M., Di Giovanni, G. & Esposito, E. 1998, "Fourier analysis applied to the study of the electrical activity of midbrain dopaminergic neurons" in Neural Circuits and Networks Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, , pp. 41-51.

Benigno, A., Licciardi, A. & Di Giovanni, G. "THE SUBSTANTIA NIGRA DOPAMINERGIC NEURONS", plumelia, , pp. 117.

Di Giovanni, G., Di Matteo, V., Pierucci, M. & Esposito, E. "Serotonin 5-HT2C Receptor and Dopamine Function in Depression", DOPAMINE RESEARCH ADVANCES, , pp. 131.

Honorary Senior Lecturer
Cardiff School of Biosciences,
Life Sciences Building,
Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Tel.: +44 2920875150 (direct)
+44 29 208 74986 (fax)

Journal Neuroscience Methods (Elsevier)

for the Series: “The Receptors”
Springer-Verlag, NY, USA

Editorial Board - CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics (Wiley-Blackwell)

Malta Chamber of Scientists
Society for Neuroscience
International Basal Ganglia Society
Italian Society of Physiology
New York Academy of Sciences
British Physiological Society