Flora Vaccarino, MD

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

Departments & Organizations

Child Study Center: Albert J. Solnit Integrated Training Program | Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Training Program | Tic Disorder & Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Program | Vaccarino Lab

Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program

Kavli Institute for Neuroscience

Program in Neurodevelopment and Regeneration

WHRY Pilot Project Program Investigators

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

Yale Stem Cell Center

Office of Cooperative Research


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” (https://medicine.yale.edu/neurodevelopment/), 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

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

Honors & Recognition

  • FellowAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2015)

  • NARSAD Distinguished Investigator AwardNARSAD (2011)

  • Collegio dei Docenti, Dottorato di Ricerca in Neuropsicofarmacologia Clinica e SperimentaleUniversity of Messina, Italy (2011)

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

  • Executive CouncillorInternational Society for Developmental Neuroscience (2008)

  • Tourette’s Syndrome Association AwardTourette’s Syndrome Association (2004)

  • NARSAD Independent Investigator AwardNARSAD (2003)

  • Essel InvestigatorNARSAD (2003)

  • NARSAD Independent Investigator AwardNARSAD (2000)

  • Tourette’s Syndrome Association AwardTourette’s Syndrome Association (1998)

  • Professional Opportunities for Women in Research & Education AwardNational Science Foundation (1997)

  • NARSAD Young Investigator AwardNARSAD (1993)

  • Lustman AwardYale University (1991)

  • NARSAD Young Investigator AwardNational Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (1990)

  • Rotary International Educational AwardRotary Foundation (1981)

Professional Service

  • Yale School of Medicine (2015 - Present) Member, YSM Faculty Advisory Council

  • Yale University (2015 - Present) Scientific Advisory, Yale Genome Editing Center

  • Yale University (2015 - Present) Clinical and Translational Strategic Planning Committee

  • NIH (2014) Ad hoc Member, ZRG1 BDCN-C (02) Special Emphasis Panel: Brain Disorders in Animal Models and Patient Populations

  • NIH (2013) Ad hoc Member, Silvio O. Conte Centers for Basic or Translational Mental Health Research Panel, NIMH

  • NIH (2013 - Present) Member, NIMH Repository & Genomics Resource (RGR) Steering Committee

  • Telethon , Italy (2013 - Present) Scientific Committee member

  • Yale University (2013 - Present) Human Embryonic Stem Cell Oversight Committee (ESCRO)

  • Journal of Neuroscience (2013 - Present) Associate Editor

  • Brain Research (2011 - Present) Senior Editor

  • Yale University School of Medicine (2009 - 2012) Senior Faculty Allotment Committee

  • International Society of Developmental Neuroscience (2008 - Present) International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience

  • Frontiers in Neurogenesis (2008 - Present) Associate Editor

  • Yale University School of Medicine (2006 - 2009) Funds and Fellowships Committee

  • NIH (2005 - 2009) Developmental Brain Disorders (DBD) Study Section, NIH

  • Yale University (2004 - Present) Animal Users Committee

  • Society for Neuroscience (1983 - Present) Member

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