Pietro De Camilli, MD

  • John Klingenstein Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Cell Biology
  • Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Chair, Department of Neuroscience
  • Director, Kavli Institute for Neuroscience and Program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair (CNNR)

A native of Italy, De Camilli studied at the Liceo Manzoni in Milan, earned his M.D. degree from the University of Milano in 1972 and obtained a postgraduate degree in medical endocrinology from the University of Pavia in Italy. He was a postdoctoral fellow (1978-79) with Paul Greengard in the Department of Pharmacology at Yale, and subsequently an assistant professor in the Yale Section of Cell Biology. Following a return of a few years to Milan, he moved back to Yale in the late 1980s, where he is now John Klingenstein Professor of Neuroscience. He became an Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1992. From 1997 to 2000 he served as Chair of the Department of Cell Biology and since 2005 he is Founding Director of the Yale Program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair.

The De Camilli lab is interested in the cell biology of neuronal synapses. His studies on synaptic vesicle dynamics have contributed to the general fields of exocytosis and, more recently, of endocytosis. His research has provided insight into mechanisms of membrane fission and has revealed ways through which membrane-associated proteins can generate, sense and stabilize lipid bilayer curvature. His discovery and characterization of the role of phosphoinositide metabolism in the control of endocytosis have broad implications in the fields of phospholipid signaling and of membrane traffic. His studies of synapses have also contributed to the elucidation of pathogenetic mechanisms of human diseases.

Research interests
Alzheimer Disease; Cell Membrane; Cell Biology; Endocytosis; Neurosciences; Parkinson Disease; Synapses; Lipid Metabolism
Research summary

The cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells is compartmentalized by intracellular membranes that are interconnected by membrane traffic. We study mechanisms underlying membrane dynamics, with emphasis on membrane transport reactions involved in neurotransmission. Our goal is to advance the understanding of nervous system function in health and disease, neurodegenerative diseases in particular. We also exploit the special properties of synapses to learn about general principles of membrane biology. Within this field, the interplay between bilayer lipids and peripheral membrane proteins is a major focus of our work. These interactions help regulate membrane budding, membrane fission and membrane progression along the secretory and endocytic pathways. A new interest of the lab concerns the role of lipid exchange between bilayers at membrane contact sites that do not result in membrane fusion. In our work we use a wide range of techniques, including biochemistry, structural biology, cell-free systems, optical and electron microscopy, and mouse genetics

Specialized Terms: Synapses; Membrane Traffic; Endocytosis; Clathrin; Dynamin; Phosphoinositides; Lipid Metabolism; Lowe Syndrome; Bar Proteins; Neurodegeneration; Membrane Contact Sites

  • MD, University of Milan, Italy, 1972
  • Dong R, Saheki Y, Swarup S, Lucast L, Harper JW, De Camilli P. 2016. Cell. 166: 408-423.
  • Saheki Y, Bian X, Schauder CM, Sawaki Y, Surma MA, Klose C, Pincet F Reinisch KM, and De Camilli P. 2016. Nat. Cell Biol. 18: 504-515.
  • Reinisch KM and De Camilli P. 2015. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1861: 924-927.
  • Baskin JM, Wu X, Christiano R, Oh M, Schauder CM, Gazzerro E, Messa M, Baldassari S, Assereto S, Biancheri R, Zara F, Minetti C, Raimondi A, Simons M, Walther TC, Reinisch KM*, and De Camilli P*. 2015. Nat. Cell Biol. 18: 132-138.
  • Chung J, Torta F, Masai K, Lucast L, Czapla H, Tanner LB, Narayanaswamy P, Wenk MR, Nakatsu F, and De Camilli P. 2015. Science. 349: 428.
  • Idevall-Hagren O, Lü A, Xie B, De Camilli P. 2015. EMBO J. 1851: 736-745.
  • Gowrishankar S, Yuan P, Wu Y, Schrag M, Paradise S, Grutzendler J, De Camilli P, Ferguson SM. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 2015. 112: 3699-3708.
  • Nakatsu F, Messa M, Nández R, Czapla H, Zou Y, Strittmatter SM, De Camilli P. 2015. J. Cell Biol. 209: 85-95.
  • Fernández-Busnadiego R, Saheki Y, and De Camilli P. 2015. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 112: E2004-E2013.
  • Messa M, Fernanez-Busnadiego R, Sun EW, Chen H, Czapla H, Wrasman K, Wu Y, Ko G, Ross T, Wendland B, and De Camilli P. 2014. Elife. 3: e03311.
  • Nandez R, Balkin DM, Messa M, Paradise S, Czapla H, Hein MY, Mann M, and De Camilli P. 2014. Elife. 3:e02975.
  • Shen H, Giordano F, Wu Y, Chan J, Zhu C, Milosevic I, Wu X, Yao K, Chen B, Baumgart T, Sieburth D, De Camilli P. 2014. Nat Cell Biol. 16: 652-662.
  • Schauder CM, Wu X, Saheki Y, Narayanaswamy P, Torta F, Wenk MR, De Camilli P*, and Reinisch KM*. 2014. Nature. 510: 552-5.
  • Wu X, Chi RJ, Baskin JM, Lucast L, Burd CG, De Camilli P, and Reinisch KM. 2014. Dev. Cell. 28: 19-29.
  • Park R, Shen H, Liu L, Liu X, Ferguson SM, and De Camilli P. 2013. J. Cell Sci. 126: 5305-5312.
  • Giordano F, Saheki Y, Idevall-Hagren O, Colombo S, Pirruccello M, Milosevic I, Gracheva E, Bagriantsev SN, Borgese N, and De Camilli P. (2013) PI(4,5)P(2)-dependent and Ca(2+)-regulated ER-PM interactions mediated by the extended synaptotagmins.
  • Wu M, Wu X, and De Camilli P. 2013. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 4: 1339-1344.
  • Shen H, Pirruccello M and De Camilli P. 2012. Cell. 150: 1300-1300.e2
  • Nakatsu F, Baskin JM, Chung J, Tanner LB, Shui G, Lee SY, Pirruccello M, Hao M, Ingolia NT, Wenk MR, and De Camilli P. (2012) PtdIns4P synthesis by PI4KIIIα at the plasma membrane and its impact on plasma membrane identity.
  • Idevall-Hagren O, Dickson EJ, Hille B, Toomre DK, and De Camilli P. 2012. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 109: 2316-2323.
  • Raimondi A, Ferguson SM, Lou X, Armbruster M, Paradise S, Giovedi S, Messa M, Kono N, Takasaki J, Cappello V, O'Toole E, Ryan TA and De Camilli P. 2011. Neuron. 70:.1100-1114.
  • Pirruccello M, Swan LE, Folta-Stogniew E, De Camilli P. 2011. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 18: 789-95.
  • Wu M, Huang B, Graham M, Raimondi A, Heuser JE, Zhuang X, De Camilli P. 2010. Nat Cell Biol. 12: 902-908.
  • Zoncu R, Perera R, Balkin DM, Toomre D, and De Camilli P. 2009. Cell. 136: 1110-1121.
  • Frost A, Roux A, Perera R, Spasov K, Destaing O, Egelman EH, De Camilli P, and Unger VM. 2008. Cell. 132: 807-817.
International activities
  • Italian Scholarship Advisory Committee
    Italy (2013-Present)
    Armenise-Harvard Foundation

  • EMBO Publications Advisory Board
    Heidelberg, Germany (2013-Present)

    European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Molecular Biology Laboratory

  • Partner Laboratory
    Dresden, Germany (2011-Present)

    Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering, Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering

  • Ph.D. International Program
    Gottingen, Germany (2009-Present)

    Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology, Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology

  • Scientific Advisory Board
    Germany (2008-Present)
    Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences, Göttingen, German

  • Julius Axelrod Prize
  • Elected Foreign Member
  • Elected Member
  • Fellow
  • Elected Member
  • Elected Member
  • Elected Member
  • BSAC
    (2004 - 2007)
  • Yale Program for Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair (CNNR)
  • Yale University School of Medicines
    (2007 - 2000)