Maurizio De Pittà
Computational and Translational Neurosciences, Neurophysiology, Cell Biology.
Primary: Department of Physiology
Scientist, Krembil Research Institute, Toronto, Canada
External Scientific Member, Basque Center for Applied Mathematics, Bilbao, Spain
Principal Investigator, ASTROTECH European Training Network
Investigator, Spanish Network for Clinical Systems Neuroscience
Dr. De Pittà’s long-term aim is to uncover neuron-glia interactions (NGIs) in the human brain at its multiple scales of organization and operation. In this framework, research at De Pittà’s group pursues three directions of investigation:
i. Computational modeling of NGIs. We use various mathematical and computational tools from nonlinear dynamics, statistical mechanics, topology, and information theory to build NGI models. In doing so, we bridge NGIs across different brain levels – from subcellular and molecular signaling, to synaptic transmission, from local neuron-glial ensembles to cortical networks and brain macrocircuits underpinning cognition.
ii. Development of digital twins of glial cells and NGIs circuits. We use connectomics in the human brain to reconstruct and model full-scale glial cells and neuron-glial ensembles digitally. In this framework, we collaborate with neurosurgeons and coordinate with local microscopy imaging facilities to develop protocols, algorithms and computational methods for handling and realistic 3D reconstruction of human neuron-glial tissue.
iii. Development of the technology to monitor NGIs in humans. collaborate with bioinformaticians, physicists and chemists to exploit genomics, drug design and bioengineering approaches to develop quantitative imaging of NGIs in humans.
Giulio Bonifazi (PhD candidate)
Carlos Vivar Rios (PhD candidate)
De Pittà M., Brunel N., Multiple forms of working memory emerge from synapse-astrocyte interactions. bioRxiv 2021 pre-print. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.25.436819v1
astanenka K., Moreno-Bote R., De Pittà M., Perea G., Eraso-Pichot A., Masgrau R., Poskanzer K. and Galea E. A roadmap to integrate astrocytes in System Neuroscience. Glia 2019:1-22. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/glia.23632
De Pittà and Berry, Computational Glioscience. Springer, Cham, 2019. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-030-00817-8
De Pittà M., Brunel N. and Volterra A. Astrocytes: orchestrating synaptic plasticity? Neuroscience 2016(323):43. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306452215003188
De Pittà M., Goldberg M., Volman V., Berry H. and Ben-Jacob E. Glutamate-dependent calcium and IP3 oscillating and pulsating dynamics in astrocytes. Journal of Biological Physics 2009:35:383-411. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10867-009-9155-y