Bernardo Sabatini, 2003

Bernardo Sabatini

Who he is

Bernardo Sabatini obtained a PhD from the Department of Neurobiology and his MD degree from the Harvard/MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology in 1999. After his postdoctoral research in the lab of Dr. Karel Svoboda at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, Dr. Sabatini joined the faculty in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School in 2001.

In 2008 Dr. Sabatini was named an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is currently an HHMI investigator and is the Alice and Rodman W. Moorhard III Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School.

What he does

The Sabatini laboratory focuses on understanding the function and regulation of synapses in the mammalian brain with a particular interest in how the function of synapses is perturbed in human disease such as autism, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.

In order to conduct their studies, Dr. Sabatini’s laboratory creates new optical and chemical methods to be able to observe and manipulate the biochemical signaling associated with synapse function.

News from the Lab

Recently the lab has been using optogenetics to analyze the structure and function of the basal ganglia and its interactions with cortex. Our results reveal previously unknown projections out of and unexpected properties of synapses within the basal ganglia. In particular, many synapses release multiple neurotransmitters with differential targeting of specific neuron subclasses with each neurotransmitter.