Principal Investigator

Patrizia Campolongo, PhD
Associate Professor

Contact details

Department of Physiology and Pharmacology «V. Erspamer»
Sapienza University of Rome
P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185
Phone: +39 06-49912450
Fax: 06-49912480

Skills and Expertise

Neurobiology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Neuropharmacology, Neuropsychopharmacology, Behavioral Testing, Behavioral Pharmacology, Cannabinoid Research

Short biography

Patrizia Campolongo is Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology of Sapienza University of Rome. She got her PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology (2006) at Sapienza University of Rome with a thesis titled “The endocannabinoid system as a new target for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders”. After completing her doctoral studies, she was trained as a post-doc at the School of Medicine of the University of Foggia (2006- 2008). Dr. Campolongo has carried out part of her research projects in California- USA (Center for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California Irvine, CA 2004-2005) and has been a visiting Professor at the Ludwig Maxmilliam University of Munich in Germany (2013) and at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (2014). She was appointed Assistant Professor with tenure at Sapienza University in 2008, where she established an independent research group focused on investigating learning and memory in rodents that collected pioneering results about stress and endocannabinoid interactions in the modulation of memory function. In 2015, she advanced to Associate Professor at Sapienza University of Rome.
Over the last 10 years, Prof. Campolongo received several awards: among them, the Prize “Sapienza Ricerca 2010", for being one of the 6 most promising scientists performing fore-front research within the whole University, the “EBBS young investigator award” (European Brain Behaviour Society, 2011), the “Bertè” prize for the most prominent paper in Pharmacology published in 2009. Her research is funded by national (e.g., Italian Ministry of Education, Italian Ministry of Health) and international (e.g., Human Frontier Science Program, DAAD) agencies and it focuses on the role of the endocannabinoid system in the control of emotional behaviour in rodents. Its clinical application and translational value are represented by the development of novel drugable targets to treat stress-related psychiatric disorders. She found that enhancing endocannabinoid tone results in marked anxiolytic-like and antidepressant-like effects. This finding opened new horizons for clinical intervention. In the last few years her research has been focused to the neural mechanisms underlying the development of stress related disorders in ICU patients. She has discovered that ICU used sedative drugs, such as propofol, may enhance the consolidation of memory for traumatic events. Such discovery opens new horizons leading to new therapeutic approaches for the blockade of posttraumatic memory formation in ICU patients.
She recently expanded her focus to investigate the cognitive features of PTSD patients and the neurobiological underpinnings of superior autobiographical memory (HSAM) in a human population.