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Flora Vaccarino, MD

Harris Professor in the Child Study Center; Professor in the Department of Neuroscience



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. Her interests are the development of the mammalian the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and connected forebrain regions as well as the regulation of neural stem cells in both embryonic and postnatal periods. Her lab has been investigating how genetic (i.e., tyrosine growth factor receptors like Fibroblast Growth Factors) and epigenetic factors (i.e., perinatal hypoxia, environmental enrichment) affect the proliferation the maturation of neural progenitor cells in mouse models. Recently she has been exploring how induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be used to model developmental neuropsychiatric disorders including autism and Rett syndrome. With a group of colleagues, Dr. Vaccarino, now a full Professor at Yale University School of Medicine, founded in 2009 the “Program in Neurodevelopment and Regeneration” (, a collaborative interdepartmental program at Yale University that is leading interdisciplinary studies on iPSCs, neural stem cells and human development.Dr. Vaccarino is a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the PsychENCODE and the Brain Somatic Mosaicism Consortia.

Education & Training

  • Resident
    Yale University, School of Medicine, Psychiatry (1991)
  • Visiting Assistant Professor
    FIDIA-Georgetown Institute for the Neurosciences (1987)
  • Research Fellow
    NIMH-Laboratory of Preclinical Pharmacology (1985)
  • MD
    Padua University Medical University (1979)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
FellowAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)2015
NARSAD Distinguished Investigator AwardNARSAD2011
Collegio dei Docenti, Dottorato di Ricerca in Neuropsicofarmacologia Clinica e SperimentaleUniversity of Messina, Italy2011
Harris Endowed ProfessorshipChild Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine2010
Executive CouncillorInternational Society for Developmental Neuroscience2008
Tourette’s Syndrome Association AwardTourette’s Syndrome Association2004
NARSAD Independent Investigator AwardNARSAD2003
Essel InvestigatorNARSAD2003
NARSAD Independent Investigator AwardNARSAD2000
Tourette’s Syndrome Association AwardTourette’s Syndrome Association1998
Professional Opportunities for Women in Research & Education AwardNational Science Foundation1997
NARSAD Young Investigator AwardNARSAD1993
Lustman AwardYale University1991
NARSAD Young Investigator AwardNational Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression1990
Rotary International Educational AwardRotary Foundation1981

Professional Service

Yale School of MedicineMember, YSM Faculty Advisory Council2015 - Present
Yale UniversityScientific Advisory, Yale Genome Editing Center2015 - Present
Yale UniversityClinical and Translational Strategic Planning Committee2015 - Present
NIHAd hoc Member, ZRG1 BDCN-C (02) Special Emphasis Panel: Brain Disorders in Animal Models and Patient Populations2014
NIHAd hoc Member, Silvio O. Conte Centers for Basic or Translational Mental Health Research Panel, NIMH2013
NIHMember, NIMH Repository & Genomics Resource (RGR) Steering Committee2013 - Present
Telethon , ItalyScientific Committee member2013 - Present
Yale UniversityHuman Embryonic Stem Cell Oversight Committee (ESCRO)2013 - Present
Journal of NeuroscienceAssociate Editor2013 - Present
Brain ResearchSenior Editor2011 - Present
Yale University School of MedicineSenior Faculty Allotment Committee2009 - 2012
International Society of Developmental NeuroscienceInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience2008 - Present
Frontiers in NeurogenesisAssociate Editor2008 - Present
Yale University School of MedicineFunds and Fellowships Committee2006 - 2009
NIHDevelopmental Brain Disorders (DBD) Study Section, NIH2005 - 2009
Yale UniversityAnimal Users Committee2004 - Present
Society for NeuroscienceMember1983 - Present

Departments & Organizations