Francesco Gobbo

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory formation.

Dr Francesco Gobbo

Postdoctoral Researcher - Morris lab

1 George Square 



Contact details

 Work: +44 (0) 131 650 4571



Personal profile

  • 2018-present: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh
  • 2013-2018: PhD in Neurobiology, Scuola Normale Superiore
  • 2011-2013: Master of Science (Molecular and Cellular Biology), University of Pisa
  • 2008-2013: Corso Ordinario in Natural Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore
  • 2008-2011: Bachelor of Science (Molecular and Biological Sciences), University of Pisa

Other roles:

  • Member of Biomedical Sciences Opportunities Committee (BSOC)
  • Member of George Square Postdoctoral (G2PD) Committee


fig 1

My main research focus is on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory formation and how memories are retrieved to guide decision making. Currently I am working on the representation of spatial memories in the rat hippocampus using calcium imaging recordings with miniature microscopes. In particular, I am studying how reward events are represented by the activity of neurons in this brain area, and how the representation of space is influenced by the strategy employed by the animals to solve a two-dimensional maze task.

Figure 1: A place cell recorded in the everyday arena: the space selectivity of a place cells is determined by the position of the animal where the cells is active (red dots over the animal’s trajectory:

Figure 2

Figure 2: Two example rats showing the activity of neurons through the lens of a miniature microscope, and the projection of cell activity for the duration of the spatial task:



Gobbo F*, and Cattaneo A.* Neuronal Activity at Synapse Resolution: Reporters and Effectors for Synaptic Neuroscience. Front.Mol.Neurosci. 2020 doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2020.572312 *co-corresponding author

Marchetti L*, Bonsignore F*, Gobbo F*, Amodeo R, Calvello M, Jacob A, Signore G, Schirripa Spagnolo C, Porciani D,  Mainardi M, Beltram F, Luin S, Cattaneo A, Fast-diffusing p75NTR monomers support apoptosis and growth cone collapse by neurotrophin ligands, P.N.A.S. 2019. October 22, 116 (43) 21563-21572 doi:10.1073/pnas.1902790116.  *co-first authors

Gobbo F, Bonsignore F, Amodeo R, Cattaneo A, Marchetti L. Site-Specific Direct Labeling of Neurotrophins and Their Receptors: From Biochemistry to Advanced Imaging Applications. Methods Mol Biol. 2018;1727:295-314. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-7571-6_22. PubMed PMID: 29222790.

Gobbo F, Marchetti L, Jacob A, Pinto B, Binini N, Pecoraro Bisogni F, Alia C, Luin S, Caleo M, Fellin T, Cancedda L, Cattaneo A. Activity-dependent expression of Channelrhodopsin at neuronal synapses. Nat Commun. 2017 Nov 20;8(1):1629. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01699-7. PubMed PMID: 29158498; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC5696361.

De Nadai T, Marchetti L, Di Rienzo C, Calvello M, Signore G, Di Matteo P, Gobbo F, Turturro S, Meucci S, Viegi A, Beltram F, Luin S, Cattaneo A. Precursor and mature NGF live tracking: one versus many at a time in the axons. Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 1;6:20272. doi: 10.1038/srep20272. Erratum in: Sci Rep. 2016;6:23308. PubMed PMID: 26829890; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4735336.