We are actively seeking postdocs and PhD students to join us ! 

Please contact us if you are interested. 

If you want to go fast go alone; if you want to go far go together. (African proverb)

Marco Pignatelli, MD

PI, Assistant Professor

Marco received his M.D. degree and Residency in Medical Pharmacology from "Sapienza" University of Rome. He completed his postdoctoral work at the NIH where he established genetic, optogenetic and pharmacological approaches to study neural circuit function in the context of affective and motivated behaviors. 

Marco's career goal as a multidisciplinary physician neuroscientist is to address the following fundamental question: What are the synaptic mechanisms by which emotional experiences lead to maladaptive plasticity and how can we rescue them? 

While not in the lab Marco spends time with his family, enjoys watching soccer games (he is a big As Roma fan), listening to music and collecting records.

Federica Lucantonio, PhD

Assistant Professor

Federica graduated from Sapienza University of Rome with a B.S. in Biotechnology and a M.S. in Neurobiology. In 2009, Federica began a PhD in Neuroscience in Geoffrey Schoenbaum’s lab at the University of Maryland. Here, she explored the neural circuits mediating associative learning and decision making and how alterations in those circuits contribute to maladaptive behaviors in drug addiction. Federica then went on to a postdoc in Jeremiah Cohen’s lab at the Johns Hopkins University. Here, she investigated the role of stress in affecting corticothalamic responses in behavioral tasks involving learning about both rewarding and aversive events. Now, she wants to investigate how emotional disorders may affect cognition, and how this perturbation predisposes to drug addiction. While not in the lab, Federica loves spending time with her family (including her cat!), watching movies, going to NIA classes and travelling around the world. 

Francesca Romana Fiocchi


Jacob Roeglin

PhD student 

Washington University Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences

Kat Czerpaniak

PhD student

Washington University Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences

Sofia Salvatore Lannes

Rotating PhD student

Washington University Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences

Ziad Ghantous, MD

Psychiatry Residency Research Education Program (PRREP)

Aleesha Shi, BS

Research Technician

Jaden Lu

Undergraduate student 

Washington University 

Sarah He

Undergraduate student 

Washington University