Lab Members

David C. Martinelli, Ph.D.

David C. Martinelli, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Location: L4003

Phone: 860-679-2271

Email: davidmartinelli@uchc.edu

Profile

 

David Martinelli received his Bachelor of Science degree in molecular genetics from the University of Rochester graduating summa cum laude. During this time, he spent one semester studying abroad at the University of Adelaide in Australia and one summer at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Groton Connecticut studying embryonic stem cells.

For graduate school, he attended the Johns Hopkins University and joined the laboratory of Dr. Chen-Ming Fan at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Embryology. In the Fan lab, David Martinelli studied the sonic hedgehog signaling pathway, an essential pathway involved in the development of numerous tissues and organs and implicated in the progression of many cancers. He discovered that the hedgehog binding protein GAS1 enhances hedgehog signaling and transforms hedgehog protein gradients into the observed morphogenic activity gradients that specify different cell fates. This work had broad implications, as every developmental and cancerous context involving hedgehog signaling would be modified by GAS1 expression.

In 2009 for his post-doctoral work, he switched fields into neuroscience, joining the laboratory of 2013 Nobel laurate Thomas Sudhof at Stanford University. There, Dr. Martinelli studied the formally orphaned G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) BAI3 and identified C1Q-like (C1QL) proteins as the specific ligand that interacts with BAI3 and functions to promote excitatory synapse formation and maintenance. His extensive genetics studies on C1ql3 knockout mice demonstrated that they had a variety of behavioral phenotypes and may serve as a model system for multiple neuropsychiatric diseases such as ADHD and addiction predisposition. Moreover, his mechanistic studies provided the first evidence that C1QL3 regulates synapse maintenance in vivo, by identifying a defined brain circuit controlling emotional memory that is dependent on C1QL3-positive synapses. As a whole, his work establishes C1QL proteins as novel regulators of synapses.

In 2016, Dr. Martinelli joined the faculty of the Neuroscience Department at UConn Health. Here, the Martinelli lab performs basic and translational research on C1Q-like proteins and their binding partners.

Lyndsay Kresic

Lab Manager, Research Assistant 1

Location: L4008

Email: kresic@uchc.edu

Keaven Caro

M.D./Ph.D. Student

Location: L4008

Email: caro@uchc.edu

Amanda Deming

Research Assistant

Location: L4008

Email: ademing@uchc.edu

 

 

Rob Pijewski, Ph.D.

Research Assistant

Location: L4008

Email: pijewski@uchc.edu

Alexander Schouw

Research Assistant

Location: L4008

Email: schouw@uchc.edu

 

 

Trevor Religa

Undergraduate Student

Location: L4008

Previous Lab Members

Brian Fox

Undergraduate Student

 

Brenna McAllister

Ph. D. Rotation Student

 

Matthew Sticco

Ph.D. Student

Michael Kosover

Undergraduate Student

Joyshree Biswas

Postdoctoral

Christina Miles

Ph.D. Rotation Student

Brianna Thompson

Research Assistant

Matt Antel

Ph.D. Rotation Student

 

Tania Miramontes

Undergraduate Student

Jessica Lawlor

Undergraduate Student

Rohit Makol

Undergraduate Student

Andrew Tang

Master's Student

 

Aubrey Surian

Undergraduate Student