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avatar for Alfredo Fontanini

Alfredo Fontanini

Asst Prof of Neuroscience
Stony Brook University
I received my MD degree and my PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Brescia Medical School, Italy. My PhD research, entirely performed at Caltech, focused on understanding the relationship between respiration and neural activity in the brain. After a brief distraction from chemical senses, studying plasticity in the somatosensory cortex, I joined Dr. Donald Katz's group at Brandeis University in 2003 as a Sloan-Swartz Fellow. It is during my postdoctoral studies in Don's lab that I discovered taste. My postdoctoral research focused on understanding how cortical circuits of alert rodents process gustatory information. In 2008 I joined the faculty of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Stony Brook University, where I am currently Assistant Professor. My group at Stony Brook combines elecrophysiological, behavioral and computational methods to understand how thalamic and cortical circuits involved in the perception of taste are influenced by expectation. Our research is supported by through generous funding from NIDCD, ONR and Swartz Foundation. Our work has been published in several journals and recognized with a Klingenstein Fellowship, an Ajinomito Award and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.