Cristina Alberini

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Cristina Alberini
Alma materUniversity of Pavia (BSc)
University of Genoa (PhD)
Known forNeuroscience
AwardsHirschl-Weill Career Scientist Award, NARSAD Independent Investigator Award, Camilo Golgi Medal, Athena Award, MERIT Award
Scientific career
InstitutionsNew York University
University of Brescia
Brown University
Academic advisorsEric Kandel

Cristina Maria Alberini is an Italian neuroscientist who studies the biological mechanisms of long-term memory. She is a Professor in Neuroscience at the Center for Neural Science in New York University, and adjunct professor at the Departments of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, and Structural and Chemical Biology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.[1]

Her research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the stabilization, storage, and consolidation of long-term memories. Another part of her research involved the study of memory retrieval and reconsolidation. In 2017 she was elected to the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and awarded the Lombardy Region Rosa Camuna Award in 2019.[2] [3] [4]


She studied biology and graduated with honors from the University of Pavia, in Italy. Her undergraduate research focused in the study of antibodies in vitro. She obtained a doctoral degree in immunological sciences from the University of Genoa, where she studied T-cell antigen receptors.[5]

In 1985 she got a post-doctoral research fellowship to work in the Dana–Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School. Later she obtained a second post-doctoral fellowship to work at Columbia University working in the laboratory of Eric Kandel from 1991 to 1994 where she trained as a neurobiologist. During this time, her research focused in studying the role of gene expression regulation during long-term synaptic plasticity.[6] [7] [8]

In 1997 Cristina joined Brown University as an assistant professor of neuroscience. Years later, in 2001, she moved to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she acted as an assistant professor until 2010 when she was promoted to full professor. In 2011 she joined the Center for Neural Science at the New York University as a full professor in neuroscience.[2] [9]


Her research focusses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying memory and learning processes. Her laboratory studies the stabilization, storage and strengthening of long-term memories, as well as memory retrieval and reconsolidation. Her research team uses mammalian (e.g. mice) and invertebrate systems (e.g. Aplysia californica) to understand these processes. The results of her research may led to therapeutic approaches for memory loss, such as the ones occurring in aging, Alzheimer's disease, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).[1] [7]

Her early work involved investigations into the impact of the insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-II) protein on long-term memory. She showed that the brain produced more IGF-II when it is making memories, and that by increasing the amount of IGF-II it is possible to improve memory function and persistence. Similarly, she demonstrated that blocking the increase of IGF-II stopped the formation of long-term memory. Her research studies on the biological aspects of long-term memory and ways to minimize the fear associated with particular memories, may be an approach to treat people with PTSD.[6] [10] [11]

As a result of her research work, it has been demonstrated that early life experiences impact the biological function and development of the brain. To do so, Cristina´s research team has investigated the biological aspects that are related to episodic memories.[12] [13] In one of her publications her and her co-workers conclude: [14]

Memory development is important for thinking, future learning, planning, decision-making, problem solving, reflecting, imagining, and the overall capacity to form a sense of self. We suggest that regulation of infantile learning, especially during learning and memory critical periods, represents an extremely effective tool for preventing numerous psychopathologies.

Awards and honours[edit]

Since 2004 she has been an active member of the Council of the Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society. In this society she has acted as treasurer from 2006 to 2009 and as president in the period from 2009 to 2012. She is co-chair of the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society and serves on the Council of The Harvey Society.[15] [16]

Throughout her career her research work has been recognized by different institutions with several awards such as:

  • Camillo Golgi Medal Award. Awarded in 2011.[17]
  • Prize for American Italian Relations. Obtained in 2016.[18]
  • In 2017 she was elected as part of the Council of The Harvey Society.
  • In 2017 she was elected a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.
  • In 2018 she acted as a Jacob K. Javits visiting professor.
  • Lombardy Region Rosa Camuna Award. Obtained in 2019.[19]

Selected publications[edit]

She is emeritus editor of the scientific journal Hippocampus.[20] According to Scopus, her most important publications are: [21]

  • Suzuki, Akinobu; Stern, Sarah A.; Bozdagi, Ozlem; Huntley, George W.; Walker, Ruth H.; Magistretti, Pierre J.; Alberini, Cristina (2011). "Astrocyte-neuron lactate transport is required for long-term memory formation". Cell. 144 (5): 810–823. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2011.02.018. PMC 3073831. PMID 21376239.
  • Alberini, Cristina (2009). "Transcription Factors in Long-Term Memory and Synaptic Plasticity". Physiological Reviews. 89 (1): 121–145. doi:10.1152/physrev.00017.2008. PMC 3883056. PMID 19126756.
  • Alberini, Cristina (2005). "Mechanisms of memory stabilization: are consolidation and reconsolidation similar or distinct processes?". Trends in Neurosciences. 28 (1): 51–56. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2004.11.001. PMID 15626497. S2CID 18339636.
  • Alberini, C.M; Ghirardl, M; Metz, R; Kandel, E.R. (1994). "C/EBP is an immediate-early gene required for the consolidation of long-term facilitation in Aplysia". Cell. 76 (6): 1099–1114. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(94)90386-7.
  • Milekic, M.H.; Alberini, C.M. (2002). "Temporally graded requirement for protein synthesis following memory reactivation". Neuron. 36 (3): 521–525. doi:10.1016/S0896-6273(02)00976-5.


  1. ^ a b "Cristina M. Alberini". Alberini Lab: NYU Center for Neural Science. Archived from the original on 16 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Prof. Christina Alberini". Fondation Agalma. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  3. ^ Whitman, Ann (7 February 2017). "Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives Elects Fifteen New Members". Dana Foundation. pp. News Release. Archived from the original on 4 February 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  4. ^ "Premio Rosa Camuna 2019 alla ricercatrice cremonese Maria Cristina Alberini". Cremonaoggi (in Italian). 28 May 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Cristina M. Alberini – Alberini Lab". Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b De Waal, Mandy (7 October 2011). "Cristina Alberini's long-term contribution to memory". Daily Maverick. pp. Schi–Tech. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  7. ^ a b Schousboe Sjøgaard, Susanne (15 March 2021). "Cristina Alberini". Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  8. ^ Brown University. "Cristina M. Alberini". p. Faculty. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Cristina Alberini". The Helix Center. New York. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  10. ^ "The protein that fights Alzheimer's and autism. Interview with Cristina Alberini". Aspen Institute Italia. 30 June 2015. pp. Italian contribution to research. Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  11. ^ Hartnett, Kevin (13 October 2016). "Rats! Bad, old memories stay with us". Boston Globe. pp. Brainiac. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  12. ^ The New York University (3 February 2020). "Early life experiences biologically and functionally mature the brain: Study on rats and mice reveals impact on learning and memory". Science Daily. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  13. ^ The New York University (18 July 2016). "Infantile memory study points to critical periods in early-life learning for brain development". Science Daily. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  14. ^ Bessières, Benjamin; Travaglia, Alessio; Mowery, Todd M.; Zhang, Xinying; Alberini, Cristina M. (31 January 2020). "Early life experiences selectively mature learning and memory abilities". Nature Communications. 11 (1): 628. Bibcode:2020NatCo..11..628B. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-14461-3. ISSN 2041-1723. PMC 6994621. PMID 32005863.
  15. ^ "The International Neuropsychoanalysis Society". NPSA. p. Who we are. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  16. ^ The Harvey Society. "Officers & Council 2019—2020". The Harvey Society. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  17. ^ "Ambassador Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata Introduces the Global Health Symposium". Ambascita d'Italia Washington. Washington DC. 8 January 2011. pp. News & Press Release. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  18. ^ "Chi c'era alla consegna dei premi Prize for American Italian Relations al Csa. Foto di Pizzi". Formiche (in Italian). 13 December 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  19. ^ Francio, Cinzia (29 July 2019). "Decadimento della memoria, nuove prospettive con Alberini". La Provincia Cremona (in Italian). Cremona. pp. Cronaca. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Hippocampus". Wiley Online Library. doi:10.1002/(ISSN)1098-1063. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  21. ^ "Alberini, C.M." Scopus. Retrieved 2 March 2023.