Maurizio De Pittà

Maurizio De Pittà is a Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute and an External Scientific Member at the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics in Bilbao (Spain). He holds a Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering and Bioengineering from the University of Pisa (Italy) and a Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering from Tel Aviv University (Israel). Maurizio pursued his graduate training in Physics of Complex Systems at the eponymous laboratory under the supervision of the late Prof. Eshel Ben-Jabob, developing expertise in computational biology of intracellular calcium signaling. Later, he pursued postdoctoral training at INRIA Rhone-Alpes (France) and the University of Chicago (USA) with Dr. Nicolas Brunel, working on modeling neuron-astrocyte bidirectional signaling. Before moving to the Krembil, Maurizio was a ‘la Caixa’ Junior Leader at the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM) in Bilbao (Spain). He also serves as Principal Investigator in the H2020 ASTROTECH European Training Network and the Spanish Network for Clinical Systems’ Neurosciences (CliSyNe).
  • Scientist, Krembil Brain Institute, University Health Network
  • Assistant Professor*, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto*(pending, by October 2021)
  • External Scientific Member, Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (Bilbao, Spain)
  • Dr. De Pittà’s long-term aim is to uncover neuron-glia interactions (NGIs) in the human brain at its multiple scales of organization and operation. In this framework, research at De Pittà’s group pursues three directions of investigation:

    i. Computational modeling of NGIs. We use various mathematical and computational tools from nonlinear dynamics, statistical mechanics, topology, and information theory to build NGI models. In doing so, we bridge NGIs across different brain levels – from subcellular and molecular signaling, to synaptic transmission, from local neuron-glial ensembles to cortical networks and brain macrocircuits underpinning cognition.

    ii. Development of digital twins of glial cells and NGIs circuits. We use connectomics in the human brain to reconstruct and model full-scale glial cells and neuron-glial ensembles digitally. In this framework, we collaborate with neurosurgeons and coordinate with local microscopy imaging facilities to develop protocols, algorithms and computational methods for handling and realistic 3D reconstruction of human neuron-glial tissue.

    iii. Development of the technology to monitor NGIs in humans. collaborate with bioinformaticians, physicists and chemists to exploit genomics, drug design and bioengineering approaches to develop quantitative imaging of NGIs in humans.