Research Summary

My laboratory is located in the Brain and Spinal Injury Center (BASIC) at UCSF, and our research is focused on understanding how innate immune system activation and macrophages polarization affect information processing and cognition from a cellular and network perspective by using different animal models of brain injury. To examine the above effects, my laboratory employs three principle animal models: traumatic brain injury, therapeutic cranial γ-irradiation, and ionizing space radiation. Our ultimate goal is to understand the mechanisms responsible for the cognitive dysfunction observed after brain injury to identify diagnostic tools for treatment and prevention. Our published results demonstrate that neuroinflammation alters the coupling of neuronal activity with the transcription of genes that are implicated in long-term memory and synaptic plasticity (Rosi et al., Journal of Neuroscience, 2005). By modulating different aspects of neuroinflammation we reported that it is possible to restore synaptic plasticity and cognitive functions in different animal models of chronic neuroinflammatory conditions (Rosi et al., Brain 2009; Belarbi et al., Journal of Neuroinflammation, 2012; Twediee et al.; Journal of Neuroinflammation, 2012; Belarbi et al., Journal of Neuroinflammation, 2012; Belarbi et al., Cancer Research, 2013). More recently, we reported that peripheral monocytes infiltrate the brain after traumatic brain injury and drive the inflammatory response to TBI. Most importantly, targeting monocytes infiltration it is possible to modify macrophages polarization and prevent long-term loss of synaptic and cognitive function after injury (Morganti et al., Journal of Neuroscience, 2015).

Research Funding

  • July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2025 - Myeloid cells and radiation-induced memory deficits in rodent glioma model: sex and age effects , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA246722
  • April 1, 2018 - April 30, 2023 - Translational Outcomes Project: Visualizing Syndromic Information and Outcomes for Neurotrauma (TOP-VISION) , Co-Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: UH3NS106899
  • September 1, 2017 - April 30, 2022 - Aging exacerbates trauma-induced immune pathways and neuronal dysfunction , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01AG056770
  • December 9, 2016 - November 30, 2021 - Therapeutic Irradiation and Brain Functions , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA213441


University of Florence, Italy, B.S., 06/1995, Science
University of Florence, Italy, Ph.D., 06/2000, Biological Sciences
University of Florence, Italy, Postdoctoral, 2000-2001, Pharmacology
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, Postdoctoral Research Associate , 2002-2006, Psychology

Honors & Awards

  • 1996-2000
    Graduate Fellowship, University of Florence, Italy
  • 2000
    Graduated with Distinction, University of Florence, Italy
  • 2001
    Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, Department of Pharmacology, University of Florence, Italy
  • 2004
    Travel Award, Winter Conference on Brain Research
  • 2006
    Special Award for Research and Career, “Vel l’Etrusco”, Castiglion Fiorentino, Arezzo, Italy
  • 2007
    UCSF, Academic Senate Committee on Research - Individual Investigator Award: seed funding
  • 2007
    UCSF, Research Evaluation and Allocation Committee Award: seed funding
  • 2007
    Tuscany Special Award “Young Talents and Magnificent Excellences”, Arezzo, Italy
  • 2008
    New Investigator Research Grant, Alzheimer’s Association
  • 2012
    UCSF, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Seed Grant

Selected Publications

  1. Alwood JS, Mulavara AP, Iyer J, Mhatre SD, Rosi S, Shelhamer M, Davis C, Jones CW, Mao XW, Desai RI, Whitmire AM, Williams TJ. Circuits and Biomarkers of the Central Nervous System Relating to Astronaut Performance: Summary Report for a NASA-Sponsored Technical Interchange Meeting. Life (Basel). 2023 Aug 31; 13(9).  View on PubMed
  2. Chaumeil M, Guglielmetti C, Qiao K, Tiret B, Ozen M, Krukowski K, Nolan A, Paladini MS, Lopez C, Rosi S. Hyperpolarized 13C metabolic imaging detects long-lasting metabolic alterations following mild repetitive traumatic brain injury. Res Sq. 2023 Aug 14.  View on PubMed
  3. Impey S, Pelz C, Riparip LK, Tafessu A, Fareh F, Zuloaga DG, Marzulla T, Stewart B, Rosi S, Turker MS, Raber J. Postsynaptic density radiation signature following space irradiation. Front Physiol. 2023; 14:1215535.  View on PubMed
  4. Rienecker KDA, Grue K, Paladini MS, Frias ES, Frattini V, Borlongan MC, Chou A, Torres-Espin A, Krukowski K, Ferguson AR, Rosi S. Combined space stressors induce independent behavioral deficits predicted by early peripheral blood monocytes. Sci Rep. 2023 01 31; 13(1):1749.  View on PubMed
  5. Wang L, Jung J, Babikir H, Shamardani K, Jain S, Feng X, Gupta N, Rosi S, Chang S, Raleigh D, Solomon D, Phillips JJ, Diaz AA. A single-cell atlas of glioblastoma evolution under therapy reveals cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic therapeutic targets. Nat Cancer. 2022 12; 3(12):1534-1552.  View on PubMed
  6. Frias ES, Hoseini MS, Krukowski K, Paladini MS, Grue K, Ureta G, Rienecker KDA, Walter P, Stryker MP, Rosi S. Aberrant cortical spine dynamics after concussive injury are reversed by integrated stress response inhibition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 10 18; 119(42):e2209427119.  View on PubMed
  7. Borlongan MC, Rosi S. Stem Cell Therapy for Sequestration of Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced Inflammation. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Sep 07; 23(18).  View on PubMed
  8. Nolan AL, Sohal VS, Rosi S. Selective Inhibitory Circuit Dysfunction after Chronic Frontal Lobe Contusion. J Neurosci. 2022 07 06; 42(27):5361-5372.  View on PubMed
  9. Chou A, Torres-Espín A, Huie JR, Krukowski K, Lee S, Nolan A, Guglielmetti C, Hawkins BE, Chaumeil MM, Manley GT, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC, Martone ME, Grethe JS, Rosi S, Ferguson AR. Empowering Data Sharing and Analytics through the Open Data Commons for Traumatic Brain Injury Research. Neurotrauma Rep. 2022; 3(1):139-157.  View on PubMed
  10. Gentry NW, McMahon T, Yamazaki M, Webb J, Arnold TD, Rosi S, Ptácek LJ, Fu YH. Microglia are involved in the protection of memories formed during sleep deprivation. Neurobiol Sleep Circadian Rhythms. 2022 May; 12:100073.  View on PubMed
  11. Feng X, Frias ES, Paladini MS, Chen D, Boosalis Z, Becker M, Gupta S, Liu S, Gupta N, Rosi S. Functional role of brain-engrafted macrophages against brain injuries. J Neuroinflammation. 2021 Oct 15; 18(1):232.  View on PubMed
  12. Krukowski K, Grue K, Becker M, Elizarraras E, Frias ES, Halvorsen A, Koenig-Zanoff M, Frattini V, Nimmagadda H, Feng X, Jones T, Nelson G, Ferguson AR, Rosi S. The impact of deep space radiation on cognitive performance: From biological sex to biomarkers to countermeasures. Sci Adv. 2021 Oct 15; 7(42):eabg6702.  View on PubMed
  13. Krukowski K, Nolan A, Becker M, Picard K, Vernoux N, Frias ES, Feng X, Tremblay ME, Rosi S. Novel microglia-mediated mechanisms underlying synaptic loss and cognitive impairment after traumatic brain injury. Brain Behav Immun. 2021 11; 98:122-135.  View on PubMed
  14. Smith DH, Kochanek PM, Rosi S, Meyer R, Ferland-Beckham C, Prager EM, Ahlers ST, Crawford F. Roadmap for Advancing Pre-Clinical Science in Traumatic Brain Injury. J Neurotrauma. 2021 12; 38(23):3204-3221.  View on PubMed
  15. Rienecker KDA, Paladini MS, Grue K, Krukowski K, Rosi S. Microglia: Ally and Enemy in Deep Space. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2021 07; 126:509-514.  View on PubMed
  16. Krukowski K, Nolan A, Frias ES, Boone M, Ureta G, Grue K, Paladini MS, Elizarraras E, Delgado L, Bernales S, Walter P, Rosi S. Small molecule cognitive enhancer reverses age-related memory decline in mice. Elife. 2020 12 01; 9.  View on PubMed
  17. Paladini MS, Feng X, Krukowski K, Rosi S. Microglia depletion and cognitive functions after brain injury: From trauma to galactic cosmic ray. Neurosci Lett. 2021 01 10; 741:135462.  View on PubMed
  18. Krukowski K, Nolan A, Frias ES, Grue K, Becker M, Ureta G, Delgado L, Bernales S, Sohal VS, Walter P, Rosi S. Integrated Stress Response Inhibitor Reverses Sex-Dependent Behavioral and Cell-Specific Deficits after Mild Repetitive Head Trauma. J Neurotrauma. 2020 06 01; 37(11):1370-1380.  View on PubMed
  19. Rosi S, Frias ES. The Integrated Stress Response: A Central Memory Switch in Down Syndrome. Cell Metab. 2020 01 07; 31(1):15-17.  View on PubMed
  20. Krukowski K, Rosi S. The dark side of antiviral T cell responses. Nat Neurosci. 2019 08; 22(8):1199-1200.  View on PubMed

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