Dr Andrea Santangelo M


My work focuses on gene variability and emotional and cognitive behaviour interactions. In particular, I study variation in the serotonin transporter gene that has been linked to vulnerability to early-life stress and the development of affective disorders. Our research includes behavioural testing, brain imaging and molecular studies to understand the molecular mechanisms and neurodevelopmental changes that underlie the individual differences in affective behaviour.

Reduced serotonin receptor 2A binding potential in the insular cortex correlates with enhanced emotionality.
Reduced serotonin receptor 2A binding potential in the insular cortex correlates with enhanced emotionality.
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Research Focus


emotional and cognitive behavior


genetic variation

gene expression regulation

molecular evolution

Clinical conditions

Anxiety disorders


Depressive disorders

Genetic disorders

Panic disorder


Post-traumatic stress disorder

Sleep disorders



Behavioural analysis

Bioinformatics, Gene expression (Real time PCR), DNA-protein interactions (EMSA, ELISA)

Enzyme assays

Fluorescence microscopy


Haemodynamic monitoring


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Neuropsychological testing

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Protein purification



Shankar Balasubramanian

Anne Ferguson Smith

Mitsuteru Ito

Pierre Murat

Angela Roberts

Yoshiro Shiba


Annabelle Belcher Web: http://irp.drugabuse.gov/NRB/bel...

Chihiro Yokoyama Web: http://clst.riken.jp/bfi/eng...

Jorge Zeredo Web: http:// http://lattes...

Associated News Items



    Shiba Y, Santangelo AM, Braesicke K, Agustín-Pavón C, Cockcroft G, Haggard M, Roberts AC (2014), “Individual differences in behavioral and cardiovascular reactivity to emotive stimuli and their relationship to cognitive flexibility in a primate model of trait anxiety.” Front Behav Neurosci 8:137 Details


    Agustín-Pavón C, Braesicke K, Shiba Y, Santangelo AM, Mikheenko Y, Cockroft G, Asma F, Clarke H, Man MS, Roberts AC (2012), “Lesions of ventrolateral prefrontal or anterior orbitofrontal cortex in primates heighten negative emotion.” Biol Psychiatry 72(4):266-72 Details


    Bumaschny VF, de Souza FS, López Leal RA, Santangelo AM, Baetscher M, Levi DH, Low MJ, Rubinstein M (2007), “Transcriptional regulation of pituitary POMC is conserved at the vertebrate extremes despite great promoter sequence divergence.” Mol Endocrinol 21(11):2738-49 Details

    Santangelo AM, de Souza FS, Franchini LF, Bumaschny VF, Low MJ, Rubinstein M (2007), “Ancient exaptation of a CORE-SINE retroposon into a highly conserved mammalian neuronal enhancer of the proopiomelanocortin gene.” PLoS Genet 3(10):1813-26 Details


    de Souza FS, Santangelo AM, Bumaschny V, Avale ME, Smart JL, Low MJ, Rubinstein M (2005), “Identification of neuronal enhancers of the proopiomelanocortin gene by transgenic mouse analysis and phylogenetic footprinting.” Mol Cell Biol 25(8):3076-86 Details


    Overstreet LS, Hentges ST, Bumaschny VF, de Souza FS, Smart JL, Santangelo AM, Low MJ, Westbrook GL, Rubinstein M (2004), “A transgenic marker for newly born granule cells in dentate gyrus.” J Neurosci 24(13):3251-9 Details