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/NCI, 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/NINDS, Sponsor Award ID: UH3NS106899
  • September 1, 2017 - April 30, 2022 - Aging exacerbates trauma-induced immune pathways and neuronal dysfunction, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIA, Sponsor Award ID: R01AG056770
  • December 9, 2016 - November 30, 2021 - Therapeutic Irradiation and Brain Functions, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, 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. 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 Aug 14; 98:122-135.  View on PubMed
  2. 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 Aug 13.  View on PubMed
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Krukowski K, Rosi S. The dark side of antiviral T cell responses. Nat Neurosci. 2019 08; 22(8):1199-1200.  View on PubMed
  9. Krukowski K, Chou A, Feng X, Tiret B, Paladini MS, Riparip LK, Chaumeil MM, Lemere C, Rosi S. Traumatic Brain Injury in Aged Mice Induces Chronic Microglia Activation, Synapse Loss, and Complement-Dependent Memory Deficits. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Nov 26; 19(12).  View on PubMed
  10. Cekanaviciute E, Rosi S, Costes SV. Central Nervous System Responses to Simulated Galactic Cosmic Rays. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Nov 20; 19(11).  View on PubMed
  11. Feng X, Liu S, Chen D, Rosi S, Gupta N. Rescue of cognitive function following fractionated brain irradiation in a novel preclinical glioma model. Elife. 2018 11 13; 7.  View on PubMed
  12. Vonder Haar C, Ferland JN, Kaur S, Riparip LK, Rosi S, Winstanley CA. Cocaine self-administration is increased after frontal traumatic brain injury and associated with neuroinflammation. Eur J Neurosci. 2019 08; 50(3):2134-2145.  View on PubMed
  13. Rosi S. The final frontier: Transient microglia reduction after cosmic radiation exposure mitigates cognitive impairments and modulates phagocytic activity. Brain Circ. 2018 Jul-Sep; 4(3):109-113.  View on PubMed
  14. Krukowski K, Grue K, Frias ES, Pietrykowski J, Jones T, Nelson G, Rosi S. Female mice are protected from space radiation-induced maladaptive responses. Brain Behav Immun. 2018 11; 74:106-120.  View on PubMed
  15. Krukowski K, Feng X, Paladini MS, Chou A, Sacramento K, Grue K, Riparip LK, Jones T, Campbell-Beachler M, Nelson G, Rosi S. Author Correction: Temporary microglia-depletion after cosmic radiation modifies phagocytic activity and prevents cognitive deficits. Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 03; 8(1):10297.  View on PubMed
  16. Nolan A, Hennessy E, Krukowski K, Guglielmetti C, Chaumeil MM, Sohal VS, Rosi S. Repeated Mild Head Injury Leads to Wide-Ranging Deficits in Higher-Order Cognitive Functions Associated with the Prefrontal Cortex. J Neurotrauma. 2018 10 15; 35(20):2425-2434.  View on PubMed
  17. Chou A, Krukowski K, Morganti JM, Riparip LK, Rosi S. Persistent Infiltration and Impaired Response of Peripherally-Derived Monocytes after Traumatic Brain Injury in the Aged Brain. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 May 30; 19(6).  View on PubMed
  18. Krukowski K, Jones T, Campbell-Beachler M, Nelson G, Rosi S. Peripheral T Cells as a Biomarker for Oxygen-Ion-Radiation-Induced Social Impairments. Radiat Res. 2018 08; 190(2):186-193.  View on PubMed
  19. Krukowski K, Feng X, Paladini MS, Chou A, Sacramento K, Grue K, Riparip LK, Jones T, Campbell-Beachler M, Nelson G, Rosi S. Temporary microglia-depletion after cosmic radiation modifies phagocytic activity and prevents cognitive deficits. Sci Rep. 2018 05 18; 8(1):7857.  View on PubMed
  20. Guglielmetti C, Chou A, Krukowski K, Najac C, Feng X, Riparip LK, Rosi S, Chaumeil MM. In vivo metabolic imaging of Traumatic Brain Injury. Sci Rep. 2017 12 13; 7(1):17525.  View on PubMed

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