Massimiliano Renzi

University position

Department of Physiology and Pharmacology - Sapienza University, Rome (I)


My research interest concerns neuron-neuron and neuron-glia signalling and its regulation in physiological and pathological conditions.
Thus, I'm interested in how both neuronal intrinsic properties and glutamatergic and GABAergic signalling can shape the excitation-inhibition balance of neurons - from the single-channel to the network level.

In particular, my work is focused on:
i) the role of VTA neurons and dopaminergic signaling within the MesoCorticoLimbic network e.g. in animal models of resilience/depression; and
ii) the modulation of hippocampal neurons excitability in relation to Alzheimer Disease, microglial functions and brain ageing;
Also, I'm interested in investigating the biocompatibility of engineered silicon- or carbon- derived nano-structures as part of bio-electronic interfaces.

For my studies I primarily use patch-clamp techniques to investigate native (brain slices or cells in culture) or recombinant ion channels. Further approaches are: retrograde labeling, ultra-fast concentration jumps, live-imaging and molecular biology techniques.

My current collaborators include:

Prof R Ventura
(Psycology Dept Sapienza University; Rome, I)
Alteration of VTA dopaminergic neurons in mouse models of early life stress

Prof D Ragozzino and Prof D Caprioli
(Physiol. & Phamac. Dept Sapienza University; Rome, I)
Role of microglial cells in the Nucleus Accumbens synaptic transmission

Prof M D’Amelio
(Campus Bio-medico & IRCCS Santa Lucia; Rome, I)
Cortical and sub-cortical alterations in the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer Disease

Prof M Migliore
(Institute of Biophysics IBF - Italian National Research Council)
Modelling the firing properties of hippocampal neurons

Prof F Palma
(SBAI Sapienza University; Rome, I)
Biocompatibility of engineered nano-structures

Prof S Fucile
(Physiol. & Phamac. Dept Sapienza University; Rome, I)
Functional and pharmacological properties of LGICs

Formerly, I have worked with:
Prof. SG Cull-Candy and Prof M Farrant (Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology Dept., University College London);
Prof F Eusebi (Dept of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sapienza University); and
Prof G Levi and Dr S Visentin (Patho-Physiology Dept, Ist. Sup. di Sanità).

Research theme(s)
Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Application fields
Neurodegeneration, Neurophysiology, Neuropsychopharmacology

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