Dr. Chiara Criscuolo earned a BS and MS in Medical Biotechnology at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and completed her PhD in Neurobiology at the Neuroscience Institute of the National Research Council in Pisa, Italy, with a graduate scholarship awarded by the University of L’Aquila. In Pisa, she also did a first postdoc collaborating with Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa and the European Brain Research Institute – Rita Levi-Montalcini Foundation (EBRI) of Rome. During her time in Pisa, Dr. Criscuolo had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects. Her PhD work focused on the role of neurotrophic factors of the NGF family in the control of synaptic function in the entorhinal cortex and their effects on synaptic toxicity caused by an Aβ-enriched environment. Later, she investigated the potential of intranasal treatment as a new tool to deliver neurotrophic factors directly into the brain in murine models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In addition, with the aim of describing the Aβ targets, she investigated the role of microglial and neuronal RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation end products) in Aβ-mediated synaptic dysfunction. In Pisa, she also studied the visual system – at first focusing on the development of the visual circuitry, then monitoring the visual function of murine AD models at earlier stages of neurodegeneration.
Before joining the Scharfman Lab in 2019, Dr. Criscuolo worked at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center Department of Neurology, where she studied alterations in the cortico-striatal circuitry in a murine model of autism spectrum disorder. At Columbia, she also explored the effects of sleep deprivation on the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease. Chiara is currently investigating how sex differences affect the brain in animal models of AD and epilepsy, and the role played by neurotrophic factors and their receptors in the early stages of AD.