Biographical Résumé (Clich HERE for my publications)


After attending the medical faculty of the University or Rome and specializing in CNS pharmacology I have spent long periods abroad, at the Department of Physiology of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and at the Brain Research Institute in LA. My main interests were the actions of drugs on behavior, behavior genetics and pharmacogenetics. During different visits in US research Labs, such as the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Me, and the Primate Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin at Madison I have refined my behavior genetic approaches and concentrated on different mouse models of memory and learning. In the most recent years my research deals with the role of cortical and subcortical structures on motivation and learning.

The following is a biographical sketch:

Place and date of birth: Catania, Italy, Dec. 1, 1938.

Education: MD., University of Rome, 1962.

Married, one daughter.

1963-64 Research Fellow, Italian Institute of Health, Rome. Activity related to noradrenergic neurotransmitters and noradrenaline turnover.

1964-65 Research Fellow, Department of Physiology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. Studies on noradrenaline turnover in relation to increased nervous activity (with. U.S. von Euler).

1965-67 Assistant Research Pharmacologist, UCLA School of Medicine and Brain Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA. Research project on behavior genetics and psychopharmacogenetics. Studies on learning and memory in inbred mice (With D. Bovet and J.L. McGaugh).

1967-70 Research Pharmacologist, University of Sassari, Italy. Research associate to a program on psychobiology and psychopharmacology. Studies on behavior genetics and cholinergic mechanisms involved in memory processes.

1969 Visiting Scientist, Regional Primate Research Center, The University of Wisconsin (With H.F. Harlow).

1971 Research Director, Institute of Psychobiology and Psychopharmacology, CNR (Italian National Research Council), Rome. Behavior genetics, circadian rhythms, central effects of cholinergic agents.

1972 Visiting Scientist, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine. Experiments on Recombinant Inbred strains (With D.W. Bailey)

1973 Associate professor of animal psychology, School of Psychology, University of Rome.

1975 Professor of Physiological Psychology, University of Rome.

1976-2002. Director, Institute of Psychobiology and Psychopharmacology, CNR, Rome. Studies on behavior genetics, neurobiological correlates of individual differences and learning. Psychopharmacogenetics.

1978 to present. Full Professor of Psychobiology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Rome (Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology).

1982-84. Dean of the School of Biological Sciences, University of Rome.

1988-1990. Director, Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of Rome.

1990 Visiting Scientist, Center for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California at Irvine.

1994 to 2001. President, Italian Institute of Anthropology.

2002-2007 in charge of Laboratory of Psychobiology, Institute of Neuroscience, CNR Rome

2002- Professor of Psychobiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Rome, "La Sapienza"


Publications: Author or co-author of about 400 publications. He is author of about 30 chapters or general reviews in edited books or annual reviews. Has edited 6 books on animal behavior and behavior genetics. Author of many books on memory, brain and behavior.


Teaching activities. From 1975 full professor of Psychobiology to post-graduate students of neurobiology.


Present research fields. Neurochemical - neurophysiological correlates of memory. Genetic approaches to behavior.





Department of Biology and Biotechnology "Charles Darwin", University of Rome "La Sapienza", piazzale Aldo Moro 5
00185 Rome, Italy
phone: +39 6 49912244
fax: +39 6 4440812

email: oliverio at oliverio dot eu