Advisory Board

Professor Bruno Conti

Bruno Conti, Ph.D. is Professor, Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences Department (MIND), The Scripps Research Institute.
Bruno is interested in the biological role of cytokines in the central nervous system and in the role of central thermoregulation in energy homeostasis and aging.
In particular, he is investigating the biology of interleukin 18 (IL-18) and of interleukin 13 (IL-13) in the central nervous system (CNS). These cytokines can participate in local inflammatory processes affecting neuronal survival and neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, since the IL-18, as well as the IL-13 receptors, is expressed in neurons, these interleukins can directly influence central functions and behavior.
Using molecular techniques and animal models Bruno hopes to characterize the biology of these cytokines in the CNS and its significance in health and disease. For instance, he previously demonstrated that IL-18 participates in the regulation of energy homeostasis by influencing feeding and energy efficiency. He also recently showed that the IL-13Ra1 system plays an important role in regulating the survival of dopaminergic neurons during neuroinflammation suggesting it may contribute to the pathogenesis or the progression of Parkinson’s Disease.
In addition, his laboratory is also actively investigating the central mechanisms of thermoregulation and its involvement in influencing energy homeostasis, metabolism, and aging. He showed that small but prolonged reduction of core body temperature prolongs lifespan. He is now actively investigating the mechanisms mediating these effects.
His papers include Induction of Interferon-γ Inducing Factor in the Adrenal Cortex, Cytokines and fever, Transgenic Mice with a Reduced Core Body Temperature Have an Increased Life Span, A Specific Role for NR2A-Containing NMDA Receptors in the Maintenance of Parvalbumin and GAD67 Immunoreactivity in Cultured Interneurons, Neuroprotection and Neuronal Differentiation Studies Using Substantia Nigra Dopaminergic Cells Derived from Transgenic Mouse Embryos, and A role for galanin in antidepressant actions with a focus on the dorsal raphe nucleus.
Bruno earned his Ph.D. at the University of Milan in 1991.
Read Scripps Research Institute Team Identifies a Potential Cause of Parkinson’s Disease that May Lead to New Treatment Options. Read his Academia profile.