Pietro De Camilli

Contact sites between organelles in the control of lipid transport and membrane identity
Yale University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA


Pietro De Camilli received his M.D. from the University of Milan and a postgraduate degree in Medical Endocrinology from the University of Pavia. He did his postdoctoral work with Paul Greengard at Yale and subsequently joined the Yale faculty in the Department of Cell Biology. After a brief return to Italy, he came back to Yale in 1988 where he has remained ever since. He became Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 1992, served as Chair of the Department of Cell Biology from 1997-2000 and in 2005 became founding director of the Yale Program for Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair.

Currently he is the John Klingenstein Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Cell Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Chair of the Yale Department of Neuroscience and Director of the Yale Kavli Institute for Neuroscience.

He was elected to the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in 1987, the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001, the US National Academy of Medicine in 2005, and the Italian “Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei” in 2013. Since 2012, he has been a fellow of the American Association for the

Advancement of Science (AAAS).  His awards include the the Datta lecture and Medal (FEBS), the Keith Porter lecture from the American Society for Cell Biology, an honorary doctorate from the University of Okayama (Japan) and  the Julius Axelrod award (Society for Neuroscience). He president elect (to serve in 2017) of the American Society of Cell Biology.

Dr. De Camilli’s research program aims to understand the dynamics and traffic of intracellular membranes, with a major focus on the neuronal synapse. His studies on synaptic vesicle traffic 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, and more recently of lipid transport between membrane bilayers, have broad implications in the fields of phospholipid signaling and membrane biology.  His laboratory also investigates the impact of dysfunction of these processes in diseases of the nervous system including genetic and neurodegenerative conditions.