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Alessandra Porcu

Course Title: Neuroscience: From Brains to Behaviors

Alessandra Porcu received both her Pharm D. in Medicinal Chemistry and her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Cagliari, Italy. She is currently working on post-doctoral research in the Department of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. Her research focus is on cellular circadian clocks in mood disorders and molecular mechanisms involved in photoperiod-dependent neutransmitter plasticity.
  • Pharm D. in Medicinal Chemistry, University of Cagliari, Italy
  • Ph.D. in Neuroscience, University of Cagliari, Italy 
Alessandra was a former visiting research scientist in the Molecular Neurobiology Lab at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Her research invovled investigating GPCRs signaling pathways, molecular effects of protein-protein interactions and dynamic changes in protein conformation. She also conducted undergraduate research in the School of Pharmacy at the University College London in London. She has mentored and tutored lab staff, undergraduate, and graduate students in a variety of capacities.
  • Porcu A., Riddle M., Welsh D.K. Dynamic neuroplasticity mediates seasonal adaptation. Review, Neural Plasticity (Peer reviewer).
  • Porcu A., Melis M., Turecek R., Ullrich C., Mocci I., Bettler B., Gessa G.L., Castelli M.P. (2017) Rimonabant, the potent CB1 receptor antagonist, is a Gαi/o inhibitor. Neuropharmacology (Peer reviewer).
  • Porcu A. and Castelli M.P. (2017) Cannabis and amphetamine substances-like use. Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathology. Elsevier Editor, Chapter e10, e101-e110.
  • Porcu A., Lobina C., Giunta D., Solinas M., Mugnaini C., Corelli F., Castelli M.P. (2016) In vitro and in vivo pharmacological characterization of a novel GABAB positive allosteric modulator: SSD114. European Journal of Pharmacology (791), 115-123.
  • *De Luca M.A., *Castelli M.P., Loi B., Porcu A., Martorelli M., Miliano C., Davidson C., Stair J., Schifano F., Di Chiara G. (2015) Native CB1 receptor affinity, intrinsic activity and Accumbens Shell dopamine stimulant properties of third generation Spice/K2 Cannabinoids: BB-22, 5F-PB-22, 5F-AKB-48 and STS-135. Neuropharmacology (15), 30181-7. 
  • Mugnaini C., Pedani V., Casu A., Lobina C., Casti A., Maccioni P., Porcu A., Giunta D., Lamponi S., Solinas M., Dragoni S., Valoti M., Colombo G., Castelli M.P., Gessa G.L., Corelli F. (2013) Synthesis and Pharmacological Characterization of 2-(Acylamino)thiophene Derivatives as Metabolically Stable, Orally Effective, Positive Allosteric Modulators of the GABAB Receptor. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (56), 3620−35.
  • Ferraro L., Loche A., Beggiato S., Tomasini M.C., Antonelli T., Colombo G., Lobina C., Carai M.A.M., Porcu A., Castelli M.P., Clerici F., Borrelli A.C., Cacciaglia R., Tanganelli S. (2013) The new compound GET73, N-[(4-trifluoromethyl)benzyl]4-methoxybutyramide, regulates hippocampal aminoacidergic transmission possibly via an allosteric modulation of mGluR5. Behavioural evidence of its “anti-alcohol” and anxiolytic properties. Current Medicinal Chemistry (27), 3339-57.