Our Team

Psychiatric Institute

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  2. Psychiatric Institute
  3. Our Team

Alessandro Guidotti MD

  • Scientific Director, Psychiatric Institute
  • Distinguished Professor
Alessandro Guidotti is the Scientific Director of the Psychiatric Institute, and Professor of Psychiatry and Biochemistry at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago. Prof. Guidotti’s outstanding research record ranges from the report that benzodiazepines, allosterically acting at specific GABAa receptor sites, enhance GABA’s gating of Cl channels dating back to the 1970′s up to his recent pioneer studies on the role of reelin in human cortex and on demethylation of promoters expressed in GABAergic neurons as a potential mechanism of antipsychotic action.

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James Auta PhD, PharmD, MBA

  • Associate Professor

Associate Professor at UIC. Dr. Auta has extensive experience on the behavioral, molecular and neuropharmacology of GABAergic, glutamatergic and nicotinic receptors neurotransmission; and more recently, the neuropharmacology and pathology of the cerebellum during acute and chronic alcohol exposure.

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Erbo Dong PhD

  • Research Associate Professor
Dr. Dong’s research has concentrated on furthering understanding the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the development of alcohol use disorder comorbid with mood disorders including anxiety and depression, focusing especially on the epigenetic modifications of molecules associated with synaptic formation, function and plasticity.

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Graziano Pinna PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Psychiatry
  • University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
Graziano Pinna

Felipe Borges Almeida MSc

  • Visiting Scholar
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC
Felipe Borges Almeida is a biomedical scientist with a master’s degree in Health Sciences. He has 10 years of experience with preclinical research focusing on psychiatric disorders, including depressive disorders and drug addiction. He is currently a PhD student at the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre (UFCSPA, Brazil) and a recipient of the Fulbright Doctoral Dissertation Research Award to conduct research on the role of neurosteroids in animal models of depression in Pinna’s Lab.

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Diletta Camussi MD

  • Research Scholar
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC

Diletta Camussi is a MD from Sapienza University of Rome. Her research goals are to understand the epigenetic mechanisms underlying sustained neuroinflammation associated with alcohol consumption in animal models of alcohol dependence.

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Eleonora Gatta PhD

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC

Eleonora studies epigenetic mechanisms in the brain of alcohol use disorder subjects.

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Luca Spiro Santovito MD

  • Research Scholar
  • Department of Psychiatry
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Santovito has obtained his MD in Medicine and Surgery with the qualification cum laude in October 2019 at the University of Milan, after his final project at the neuroimmunology and neuromuscular unit at “I.R.C.C.S Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta” with Dr. Maggi and Prof. Lauria. The aims of his project, “Natural history of skeletal muscle laminopathies: a 2-year prospective study”, were better understanding the progression of these rare diseases, provide useful outcomes in disease-modifying trials and sensitive and meaningful clinical outcomes encompassing motor functions, fatigue and patient’s quality of life.

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Vikram Saudagar BS

  • Research Associate
Vikram Saudagar, research associate, is a graduate of UIC with a bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering and over 4 years of research experience in the psychiatric field.

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Syed Behnam M. Shamsaddin

  • Research Assistant

Syed Behnam Shamsaddin is a third-year biomedical engineering undergraduate at University of Illinois at Chicago. He is currently working as a research assistant with aims of improving the research behind alcohol use disorder (AUD).

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