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  • Principal Investigator

    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.