Flora Maria Vaccarino MD

Harris Professor in the Child Study Center and Professor of Neurobiology

Departments & Organizations

WHRY Pilot Project Program Investigators

Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Neuroscience | Molecular Cell Biology, Genetics and Development

Program in Neurodevelopment and Regeneration

Office of Student ResearchInterdepartmental Neuroscience ProgramStem Cell Center, Yale: Stem Cell GeneticsNeurobiology: Kavli Institute for NeuroscienceChild Study Center: Tourette’s Syndrome & Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders; Family, Genetic and Molecular Research; NIMH Research Training Program in Childhood-onset Neuropsychiatric Disorders; Albert J. Solnit Integrated Training Program; Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Training Program; Albert J. Solnit Integrated Training


Dr. Flora Vaccarino graduated in Medicine at Padua University in Italy and studied neuropharmacology and cell biology at NIH as a research fellow before starting her Residency in Psychiatry at Yale University. After her residency, she studied developmental biology and genetics and was appointed Assistant Professor at Yale University in 1994. She then pursued several lines of research, using genetic mouse models as well as human brain specimens, to understand the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. Her 1999 paper in Nature Neuroscience (Vaccarino et al, 3: 246-253, 1999) showing that a single administration of Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 can induce permanent increases in cerebral cortical size, embodies the powerful role of these factors in development and plasticity.
Together with people in her lab, Dr. Vaccarino, now a full Professor at Yale University School of Medicine, studies mouse and human neural stem cells and their role in development and repair. She and a group of colleagues recently founded the Program in Neurodevelopment and Regeneration to harness the power of induced pluripotent stem cells for understanding individual variation in neurodevelopment and the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders.


  • M.D., Padua University Medical University , 1979

Selected Publication

  • Hypoxia-induced developmental delays of inhibitory interneurons are reversed by environmental enrichment in the postnatal mouse forebrain. M Komitova, D Xenos, N Salmaso, KM Tran, T Brand, ML Schwartz, L Ment, FM Vaccarino (2013). J Neurosci 33: 13375-87.

Latest Honor and Recognition

  • Harris Endowed Professorship(2010) , Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine