Bernardo Sabatini
Bernardo Sabatini, MD, PhD
Alice and Rodman W. Moorhead III Professor of Neurobiology

The main focus of my research laboratory is to understand the development and regulation of synapses in the brain and the relationship of these processes to behavior and disease.  Our studies include analysis of:

  1. The biophysical processes that control the function of individual synapses
  2. The mechanisms of regulation of synapses and neurons by neuromodulators such as dopamine, acetylcholine, and peptides
  3. The relationship between synaptic plasticity and behavior
  4. The role of perturbed synapse function in human neuropsychiatric diseases such as autism, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s

Our studies are performed in the mammalian brain and we focus on the analysis of hippocampus, cortex, and basal ganglia.  Recently, the analysis of the basal ganglia has become a major focus of the laboratory and we hope to perform a comprehensive analysis of the questions above in this brain structure.  Lastly, as necessary for our studies, we develop novel optical, electrophysiological, and behavioral approaches to carry out the proposed work. Greater detail and a complete list of publications can be found at our laboratory website.


"Recently, the analysis of the basal ganglia has become a major focus of the laboratory and we hope to perform a comprehensive analysis of the questions above in this brain structure."

Publications View
Spontaneous behaviour is structured by reinforcement without explicit reward.
Authors: Authors: Markowitz JE, Gillis WF, Jay M, Wood J, Harris RW, Cieszkowski R, Scott R, Brann D, Koveal D, Kula T, Weinreb C, Osman MAM, Pinto SR, Uchida N, Linderman SW, Sabatini BL, Datta SR.
View full abstract on Pubmed
Mice exhibit stochastic and efficient action switching during probabilistic decision making.
Authors: Authors: Beron CC, Neufeld SQ, Linderman SW, Sabatini BL.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
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Dendritic branch structure compartmentalizes voltage-dependent calcium influx in cortical layer 2/3 pyramidal cells.
Authors: Authors: Landau AT, Park P, Wong-Campos JD, Tian H, Cohen AE, Sabatini BL.
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Astrocyte-neuron crosstalk through Hedgehog signaling mediates cortical synapse development.
Authors: Authors: Xie Y, Kuan AT, Wang W, Herbert ZT, Mosto O, Olukoya O, Adam M, Vu S, Kim M, Tran D, Gómez N, Charpentier C, Sorour I, Lacey TE, Tolstorukov MY, Sabatini BL, Lee WA, Harwell CC.
Cell Rep
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Orthogonalization of far-field detection in tapered optical fibers for depth-selective fiber photometry in brain tissue.
Authors: Authors: Bianco M, Pisanello M, Balena A, Montinaro C, Pisano F, Spagnolo B, Sabatini BL, De Vittorio M, Pisanello F.
APL Photonics
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Co-packaging of opposing neurotransmitters in individual synaptic vesicles in the central nervous system.
Authors: Authors: Kim S, Wallace ML, El-Rifai M, Knudsen AR, Sabatini BL.
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Analysis of Thermogenesis Experiments with CalR.
Authors: Authors: Cortopassi MD, Ramachandran D, Rubio WB, Hochbaum D, Sabatini BL, Banks AS.
Methods Mol Biol
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Neurophotonic tools for microscopic measurements and manipulation: status report.
Authors: Authors: Abdelfattah AS, Ahuja S, Akkin T, Allu SR, Brake J, Boas DA, Buckley EM, Campbell RE, Chen AI, Cheng X, Cižmár T, Costantini I, De Vittorio M, Devor A, Doran PR, El Khatib M, Emiliani V, Fomin-Thunemann N, Fainman Y, Fernandez-Alfonso T, Ferri CGL, Gilad A, Han X, Harris A, Hillman EMC, Hochgeschwender U, Holt MG, Ji N, Kiliç K, Lake EMR, Li L, Li T, Mächler P, Miller EW, Mesquita RC, Nadella KMNS, Nägerl UV, Nasu Y, Nimmerjahn A, Ondrácková P, Pavone FS, Perez Campos C, Peterka DS, Pisano F, Pisanello F, Puppo F, Sabatini BL, Sadegh S, Sakadzic S, Shoham S, Shroff SN, Silver RA, Sims RR, Smith SL, Srinivasan VJ, Thunemann M, Tian L, Tian L, Troxler T, Valera A, Vaziri A, Vinogradov SA, Vitale F, Wang LV, Uhlírová H, Xu C, Yang C, Yang MH, Yellen G, Yizhar O, Zhao Y.
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Striatal indirect pathway mediates exploration via collicular competition.
Authors: Authors: Lee J, Sabatini BL.
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Bombesin-like peptide recruits disinhibitory cortical circuits and enhances fear memories.
Authors: Authors: Melzer S, Newmark ER, Mizuno GO, Hyun M, Philson AC, Quiroli E, Righetti B, Gregory MR, Huang KW, Levasseur J, Tian L, Sabatini BL.
View full abstract on Pubmed