Dr Michela Spatuzza


Education: Graduated in Biological Sciences - Biomedical specialization (110/110) at the University of Catania in 2005.
Qualified to practice as a biologist in 2006 and obtained a PhD in "Applied Biomedical Sciences" in 2009, also carrying out a study period of 4 months in Glasgow (Scotland), at the laboratories of Dr. Barnett, at the Beatson Institute of the University of Glasgow. In these years she studied in vitro glia-neuron interactions and functional neuroanatomy.
She worked at the IRMA (Institute of Medical and Environmental Research) of Acireale (Ct) in 2006 (March-May) dealing with cytogenetics; and from November 2008 to April 2009, as winner of a training grant of the BIOSISTEMA Society, during which she worked in flow cytometry and immunology.
From April 2009 to July 2017 she worked at the ISN-CNR of Catania as a research fellow. From September 2017 to July 2020 she worked at the CNR with a contract funded by the OASI Maria Santissima lRCCS Onlus Association of Troina (EN). Since July 2020 she is a permanent researcher (III professional level) at IRIB-CNR of Catania.

Research Activity:
-Determination of the mechanisms underlying diseases related to intellectual disability and autism, such as Fragile X syndrome (FXS), in order to identify new therapeutic targets for the treatment and correction of characteristic phenotypes of these pathologies
-Study of temporal profile of synapse development and the recruitment of glutamate receptors
- Morphological alterations of dendritic spines in the Fmr1 KO mouse (FXS animal model) by developing a technique for the identification of the dendritic spines and a method for analyzing them
- Study of surface expression of receptors after exposure to agonists/antagonists


- “Homer-mGlu5 scaffold as common abnormal mechanism and therapeutic target for Intellectual Disability (ID) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)” n° WFR PE-2013-02355126, Ricerca Finalizzata e Giovani Ricercatori 2013 – Min. Salute “Estero” PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR c/o Oasi Reasearch Institute – IRCCS Troina (2016-2020)
- “Activation of serotonin type7 (5HT7) receptors as a novel therapeutic strategy for Fragile X Syndrome“ Progetto Telethon GGP13145 PI L. Ciranna UNICT, resp. Unit, CNR MV Catania, resp. Unit UNIBA M Leopoldo (2013-2018).