Foto del docente

Matteo Cerri

Associate Professor

Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences

Academic discipline: BIO/09 Physiology

Curriculum vitae

Education

  1. 1998 - M.D., University of Bologna. M.D. Dissertation: “The relationship between the thermoregulatory balance in major orthopedic surgery and the incidence of hypoxia after surgery”

  2. 2002 - Ph.D. in Neurophysiology, University of Bologna. Ph.D. Dissertation: “Phenomenology of Sleep Homeostasis”.

  3. 2002-2003. General medical officer in the Italian Army

Positions

  1. 2003-2005. Postdoc fellow in Shaun Morrison’s Lab at the Oregon Health and Science University (OSHU), Portland (OR), USA

  2. 2006 - present. Assistant professor at the Department of Biomedical and NeuroMotor Sciences, University of Bologna.

  3. 2014 - present. Member of the Topical Team Hibernation of the European Space Agency

  4. 2015 - present. Associated to the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN)

  5. 2020 - Affiliated to the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)

  6. 2021 - present. Associate Professor of Physiology - University of Bologna

 

Research Summary

  1. Unravelling the neural regulation of torpor. Torpor and hibernation are hypometabolic states characterized by an active inhibition of energy expenditure initiated and coordinated by the brain. The neural substrates of such regulation are currently unknown as well as the molecular signals that activate suche substrates. We have currently identified part of the brain circuit controlling the entering into torpor and will soon begin to study the molecular signal activating such circuit. The experiments are conducted in laboratory mice because of their facultative heterothermy and the genetic toolbox that they can provide. This project is conducted within a larger research project of the topical team hibernation of ESA:

  2. Brain adaptations during hibernation and synthetic torpor. The brain during hibernation shows some very peculiar adaptations that are also observed in synthetic torpor. For instance, neural connectivity is reduced and pathological markers expressed. All these changes are reversed upon arousal. We are currently working on analyzing the EEG of these states and plan to use cortex-to-cortex evoked potential to provide a description of cortical connectivity during torpor. Since synapses were shown to retract during torpor, cortical connectivity should progressively reduce during torpor, possibly providing a model to test the Information Integration Theory.

Investigating the mechanism that enhances radiation resistance in hibernators. Hibernators were shown to be much more resilient to radiation damage. The mechanism of such resistance and whether protection is provided versus photons or also versus protons and heavy ions (the main components of cosmic rays and used in cancer radiation treatment as well) are the aims of these projects. This project is in collaboration with TIFPA (Trento Institute for Fundamentals Physics Applications) and it’s funded by both the italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics and the Minister of Research.