Connecting European Neuroscience

Andrea Volterra

Ordinary member, Programme Committee FENS Forum 2016

Curriculum Vitae

Professional and academic career

2006-2012            Director of Department of Cell Biology and Morphology (DBCM), University of Lausanne (UNIL) (2 consecutive mandates)

2004-2006            Co-Director of DBCM

2004-present       Direction Committee Lemanic Center of Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)

2003-present       President, Steering Committee Cellular Imaging Facility, UNIL-CHUV

2001                    Full Professor, DBCM, UNIL

1990-2000            Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor, Dept Pharmacology, Univ. Milan

1986-1989            Research Scientist at Columbia University, New York, labs S. Siegelbaum and E. Kandel

1985                    PhD in Pharmacology cum laude, University of Milan

1982                    Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology cum laude, University of Milan, Italy


Honours and awards

2014           Nominated member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences           

2006           Nominated member of Academia Europea – Physiology and Medicine

1999           “Novartis price” for excellence in Neuroscience

1990           “Young Investigator” award from the Italian Society of Neuroscience

1989           Fellowship for Associate Research Scientist from Howard Hughes Medical Institute

1986           Fellowship for Post-Doctoral Research Scientist from Columbia University, New York

1983           Dean's Fellowship for Ph.D. students, University of Milan


General administrative and organisational experience

  • Organizer of Courses and Congresses, including Italian Society of Neuroscience (1991, 1995); International Prostaglandins Congress (2000); Euroglia (2002); FENS meeting (2008); FENS Satellite (2010)
  • Serving in national and international committees, including: Research committee UNIL (2004-2010); management committee NCCR “Transcure” (2010-2014); Experts committee AERES evaluation of French Research (2012-on); SAB School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University, Israel (2012 on)
  • Invited expert opinion for academic promotions at various institutions including Biotechnology Centre, Oslo, Norway; Johns Hopkins University, USA; UCSD and National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, USA; Catherine Thomas Whitehall Foundation, Inc.
  • Invited to International Prices/Awards Committees, including Electors Committee for Nobel Prize in Physiology and/or Medicine (Swedish Academy of Sciences); Japan Prize Foundation, Japan; Copernicus Award (German DFG and Polish FNP); Debiopharm Prix, Switzerland
  • >20 invitations to organize and chair symposia within international congresses
  • >60 invitations to give lectures in such symposia
  • 2 invitations to give a plenary lecture within international congresses
  • Faculty of Gordon Research Conference on Glia (2003, 2008, 2011, 2013), FENS-IBRO Training Centre on Imaging (2006, 2008, 2012), FENS-IBRO Astrocyte International School (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) and International Ph.D. School Univ. Copenhagen, Denmark (2013).


Research interests

Cellular Communication in the CNS: the language of astrocytes and the non-electrical communication between neurons and glial cells: contribution to integrative brain function and the pathogenesis of brain diseases. More specifically, study of the properties of Ca2+ signalling and transmitter release from astrocytes, significance of neuron-glia communication (dubbed “gliotransmission”) in synaptic functions, and role in the development of brain pathologies, using an interdisciplinary methodological approach with emphasis on dynamic cellular imaging.

Selected Publications

  • Volterra A, Liaudet N, Savchouk I: Astrocyte Ca2+signaling: an unexpected complexity. Nature Reviews - Neuroscience 15: 327-335, May 2014 [IF: 31.673] – review article
  • Araque A, Carmignoto G, Haydon PG, Oliet SHR, Robitaille R & Volterra A: Gliotransmitters travel in time and space. Neuron 81: 728-739, February 19, 2014 [IF2012: 15.776] – review article
  • Di Castro MA, Chuquet J, Liaudet N, Bhaukaurally K, Santello M, Bouvier D, Tiret P & Volterra A: Local Ca(2+) detection and modulation of synaptic release by astrocytes. Nature Neuroscience 14:1276-84, September 2011 [IF: 15.531] – original research article
  • Santello M, Bezzi P, & Volterra A: TNFα controls glutamatergic gliotransmission in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Neuron, 69:988-1001, March 2011 [IF: 14.736] – original research article
  • Jordain P, Bergersen LH, Bhaukaurally K, Bezzi P, Santello M, Domercq M, Matute C, Tonello F, Gundersen V & Volterra A: Glutamate exocytosis from astrocytes controls synaptic strength. Nature Neuroscience, 10: 331-9, March 2007 [IF: 15.531] – original research article
  • Volterra A & Meldolesi J.: Astrocytes, from brain glue to communication elements: the revolution continues. Nature Reviews - Neuroscience 6: 626-40, August 2005 [IF: 30.455] – review article
  • Bezzi P, Gundersen V, Galbete JL, Seifert G, Steinhauser C, Pilati E  Volterra A:  Astrocytes contain a vesicular compartment that is competent for regulated exocytosis of glutamate. Nature Neuroscience 7: 613-620, June 2004 [IF2012: 15.531] – original research article
  • Bezzi P, Domercq M, Brambilla L, Galli R, Schols D, De Clercq E, Vescovi A, Bagetta G,Kollias G, Meldolesi J & Volterra A: CXCR4-activated astrocyte glutamate release via TNFa: amplification by microglia triggers neurotoxicity. Nature Neuroscience 4: 702-710, 2001 – original research article
  • Bezzi P,  Carmignoto G,  Pasti L,  Vesce S,  Rossi D,  Rizzini B,  Pozzan T & Volterra A: Prostaglandins stimulate calcium-dependent glutamate release in astrocytes. Nature 391:281-5, 1998 – original research article
  • Volterra A, Trotti D,  Tromba C,  Floridi S & Racagni G: Glutamate uptake inhibition by oxygen free radicals in rat cortical astrocytes. Journal of Neuroscience 14(5 Pt 1):2924-32, 1994 – original research article
  • Buttner N,  Siegelbaum SA &  Volterra A.: Direct modulation of Aplysia S-K+ channels by a 12-lipoxygenase metabolite of arachidonic acid. Nature 342:553-5, 1989 – original research article
  • Sweatt JD,  Volterra A,  Edmonds B, Karl KA,  Siegelbaum SA & Kandel ER: FMRFamide reverses protein phosphorylation produced by 5-HT and cAMP in Aplysia sensory neurons. Nature 342(6247):275-8, 1989 – original research article
  • Piomelli D,  Volterra A,  Dale N,  Siegelbaum SA,  Kandel ER,  Schwartz JH & Belardetti F: Lipoxygenase metabolites of arachidonic acid as second messengers for presynaptic inhibition of Aplysia sensory cells. Nature 328:38-43, 1987 – original research article

Andrea Volterra

University of Lausanne, Department of Fundamental Neuroscience
Rue du Bugnon, 9 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland
Phone: +41 21 6925271
Fax: +41 21 6925105