Overview | Reserach directions | Members | Publications | Grants | Ongoing collaborations


Our research aims at investigating the molecular basis of autism, a brain disorder of proven neurodevelopmental origin whose cellular and molecular causes remain largely unknown. We use a multidisciplinary approach, ranging from neuroanatomical to behavioral studies, to identify autistic-like deficits in monogenic mouse models.

Research directions

Developmental bases of autism. Our previous studies focused on how mutations in neural genes during embryonic brain development can impact autistic-like behaviors during postnatal life. We extensively studied mice lacking the homeobox-containing gene Engrailed-2, showing that these mice have anatomical and molecular defects of GABAergic interneurons, leading to impaired social and cognitive behaviors. Our current research aims to characterize the behavioral outcomes of single gene mutations that are responsible of syndromic autism, such as Shank3 and Cntnap2. In Shank3 and Cntnap2 mutant mice, we study the neural substrates of sensory deficits using a multidisciplinary approach including neuroanatomical, molecular, and behavioral studies. In these models, we also address the role of neuroinflammation in the genesis of autistic-like behaviors.



For a complete list see Yuri Bozzi personal page


  • 2018-2022: University of Trento Strategic Project TRAIN – Trentino Autism Initiative. – P.I. Yuri Bozzi
  • 2018-2023: ERC Advanced Grant BACKUP – P.I. Lorenzo Pavesi​
  • 2022-2023: Autism Research Institute (ARI) – P.I. Yuri Bozzi
  • 2022-2024: Spanish Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Association – P.I. Yuri Bozzi


  • Giovanni Provenzano, Department of Cellular, Computational, and Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento, Italy
  • Alessandro Gozzi, IIT Italian Institute of Technology, Rovereto, Italy
  • Peter Tsai, University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA