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Historical notes


Neuroscience Institute is born from the reformation process of CNR resulting in the legislative decree No. 127 effective from June 4th, 2003 “Riordino del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche” ( The first purpose of this reformation was to provide a general research framework of different thematic areas within specific structures (the Institutes, which in turn are gathered in Departments) coordinating and integrating activities of research groups and laboratories with similar interests and objectives. A second aim of the reformation was to decrease the number of cost centers through the fusion or unification of different independent structures. Two alternative options for the reorganization of the scientific network were possible, i.e. an integration based on common research thematic areas (an hypothesis more convincing at the scientific level, but harder to manage at the administrative level) or an aggregation built around the geographic position of different structures.

The convergence of different CNR structures interested in Neuroscience research within a sole Institute was first promoted in particular by Professor Lamberto Maffei, director of the Neurophysiology Institute in Pisa, and by Professor Francesco Clementi, researcher of the Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology Institute in Milan. This reorganizazion has been matter of discussion until the meeting held in Pisa on January 12th 1999 during which Professor Clementi presented a constitutive proposal. At the end of the training process, the criterium of cultural affinity was preferred. The will to avoid fragmentation, which would have been in contrast with the principle of administrative simplification inspiring the reformation, however, implied a residual (and persisting) heterogeneity of research themes.

The official IN certificate of incorporation is the order No. 15797 signed by CNR President (Professor L. Bianco) on February 12th, 2001 (, then revised by the DPCNR No. 047 16/3/2009, protocol No. 0023671 (, and No. 012 14/2/2011, protocol No. 0014045 ( ).

The most recent update (2013), implemented the transformation of Florence operating unit into a separate branch.

At the formal establishment, the following structures merged into IN:

- the Neurophysiology Institute in Pisa,

- the Psychobiology and Psychopharmacology Institute in Rome,

- the Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology Institute in Milan,

- the Biomembrane Institute in Padua,

- the Biology and Muscular Physiopathology Institute in Padua,

- the Center for Studies about Aging in Padua.

The institute headquarters were settled in Pisa, while the structures of the other towns became the Rome, Milan and Padua territorial sections. In June 2003, a part of the Neurogenetics and Neuropharmacology Institute in Cagliari, that is the staff belonging to the former Center for Neuropharmacology Studies established in 1989, merged into IN thanks to a director act, then acknowledged in the order No. 16589 signed by the commissioner A. De Maio in February 25th, 2004, and a further territorial section was added to IN. The IN structure was importantly modified with the separation of Rome section, which flew into the Cellular Biology and Neurobiology Institute (IBCN) (December 21th, 2010; order No. 5 dated January 12th, 2011; This operation was determined by CNR management in the field of a reorganization of institutes active in Neuroscience research within the Rome territory. The establishment of a new operating unit in Florence, where a small group of CNR researchers formally associated to the Pisa section works at the University, is less important as relevant only at the administrative level. Considering the group size, this operating unit has been transformed into a separate branch. In addition, on January 9th, 2013 a separate branch at the Interdepartmental Center for Applied Biology of Trent University has been instituted and its transformation in research unit with third parties is expected in the medium term.

The management of Neuroscience Institute was initially conferred to Professor Lamberto Maffei. At the end of his mandate (November 30th, 2008), IN has been supervised ad interim by Doctor Lucia Galli until the designation of Professor Tullio Pozzan as new director (May 19th, 2009). When Professor Pozzan became the Director of the CNR Department of Biomedical Sciences, Doctor Mario Zoratti carried out the management from February 2nd, 2013 to June 30th, 2014.
Subsequently, from 1 July 2014 to 30 2018 June the management has passed.
to Prof. Michela Matteoli.
Dr. Giancarlo Colombo was the director ff from 1 July 2019 to 31 Agoust 2019.
From 1 September 2019 the institute is headed by prof. Michela Matteoli.
Now the aging Director is dr. Giancarlo Colombo.