Pietro De Camilli, MD

John Klingenstein Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Cell Biology; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Chair, Department of Neuroscience; Director, Kavli Institute for Neuroscience and Program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair (CNNR)

Departments & Organizations

Cell Biology: De Camilli Lab | Developmental Cell Biology and Genetics | Membrane Traffic

Neuroscience: Kavli Institute for Neuroscience

Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC)

Diabetes Research Center

Fellowship Training

Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program

NIDA Neuroproteomics Center

Program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair

Yale Cancer Center

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

Office of Cooperative Research


A native of Italy, De Camilli studied at the Liceo Manzoni in Milan, earned his M.D. degree from the University of Milano in 1972 and obtained a postgraduate degree in medical endocrinology from the University of Pavia in Italy. He was a postdoctoral fellow (1978-79) with Paul Greengard in the Department of Pharmacology at Yale, and subsequently an assistant professor in the Yale Section of Cell Biology. Following a return of a few years to Milan, he moved back to Yale in the late 1980s, where he is now John Klingenstein Professor of Neuroscience. He became an Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1992. From 1997 to 2000 he served as Chair of the Department of Cell Biology and since 2005 he is Founding Director of the Yale Program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair. Since 2015, he serves as Chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Director of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience.

The De Camilli lab is interested in the cell biology of neuronal synapses. His studies on synaptic vesicle dynamics have contributed to the general fields of exocytosis and endocytosis. His research has provided insight into mechanisms of membrane fission and has revealed ways through which membrane-associated proteins can generate, sense and stabilize lipid bilayer curvature. His discovery and characterization of the role of phosphoinositide metabolism in the control of endocytosis have broad implications in the fields of phospholipid signaling and of membrane traffic. Building on this work, he has recently become interested in the role of membrane contact sites in the control of the homeostasis of bilayer lipids. His studies of synapses have also contributed to the elucidation of pathogenetic mechanisms of human diseases. 

Education & Training

MD University of Milan, Italy (1972)

Honors & Recognition

  • Ernst Jung Gold Medal for MedicineJung Foundation for Science and Research (Jung-Stiftung) (2019)

  • Julius Axelrod PrizeSociety for Neuroscience (SfN) (2015)

  • Elected Foreign MemberAccademia Nazionale dei Lincei (2013)

  • FellowAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2012)

  • Elected MemberInstitute of Medicine (2005)

  • Elected MemberAmerican Academy of Arts & Sciences (2001)

  • Elected MemberNational Academy of Sciences (2001)

  • Elected MemberEMBO (1987)

Professional Service

  • Yale University School of Medicine (2015 - Present) Chair of the Department of Neuroscience

  • Kavli Institute for Neuroscience (2015 - Present) Director

  • Yale Program for Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair (CNNR) (2005 - Present) Director

  • Yale University School of Medicines (1997 - 2000) Chair of the Department of Cell Biology


  • Advisory Council, Aligning Science Across Parkinson's Santa Monica, United States (2017 - 2019)

  • President, American Society of Cell Biology Bethesda, United States (2017 - 2017)

  • Scientific Advisory Board, Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research New Haven, United States (2013 - 2016)

  • Italian Scholarship Advisory Committee, Armenise-Harvard Foundation Rome, Italy (2013 - 2016)

  • Chair of Section 24 of National Academy of Sciences Washington, United States (2009 - 2012)

  • Scientific Advisory Board; Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences Gottingen, Germany (2008 - 2016)

  • Italian Scholarship Advisory Committee, Armenise-Harvard Foundation Armeno, Italy (2006 - 2009)

  • Scientific Advisory Board, Telethon Foundation Milan, Italy (2005 - 2011)

  • Scholars Awards Committee, Mcknight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience Minneapolis, United States (2004 - 2009)

  • NIH Study Section SYN (formerly MCDN1) Washington, United States (2001 - 2006)

    Chair, 2005-2006

  • Scientific Advisory Board, The Pew Scholars Program in Biological Sciences Philadelphia, United States (1997 - 2004)

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Contact Info

Pietro De Camilli, MD
Mailing Address
295 Congress Avenue
BCMM 236

New Haven, CT 06510

De Camilli Lab

Research Image 1

FIB-SEM generated 3D reconstruction of subcellular organelles present in dendritic spines of cortical neurons. (from Wu et al. PNAS 2016, PMID:28559323)

Research Image 2

EM tomographic reconstruction: plasma membrane (green lines) and clathrin coated endocytic intermediates in an axon terminal from a neuron that lacks both dynamin 1 and dynamin 3 (dynamin 1 and 3 double KO mouse).