Mr Gioacchino de Leo

PhD Candidate


I’m currently pursuing my PhD candidate at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), Dublin, under the supervision of the Dr Tobias Engel, where I’m studying the involvement of P2X7 receptor in neurogenesis in an epileptic model.

I come from Italy, where I obtained my Bachelor Degree in Neurophysiology Techniques at the University of Bari, with a thesis focused on the role of electromyography in the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

After that, I obtained my international Master’s Degree in Neuroscience at the University of Trieste, with a dissertation thesis on behavioural, anatomical and histopathological consequences of selective denervating lesions in the rat.

Subsequently I got a Post Lauream scholarship at SISSA (Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati), Trieste, Italy.

Research Focus:

My research is mainly focused on the involvement of purinergic system in epilepsy. In particular I’m studying the contribution of P2X7 receptor, a homotrimeric ionotropic receptor, in adult aberrant neurogenesis following status epilepticus in an epilepsy model.


Edward H. Beamer, Jeronimo Jurado-Arjona, Eva M. Jimenez-Mateos, James Morgan, Cristina R. Reschke, Aidan Kenny, Gioacchino de Leo, Luis A. Olivos-Oré, Marina Arribas-Blázquez, Stephen F. Madden, Jesús Merchán-Rubira, Norman Delanty, Michael A. Farrell, Donncha F. O’Brien, Jesus Avila, Miguel Diaz-Hernandez, M. Teresa Miras-Portugal, Antonio R. Artalejo, Felix Hernandez, David C. Henshall and Tobias Engel. MicroRNA-22 controls aberrant neurogenesis and changes in neuronal morphology after status epilepticus. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 2018 Dec 11; 11(442). Link to paper here.

Roberta Pintus, Margherita Riggi, Cecilia Cannarozzo, Andrea Valeri, Gioacchino de Leo, Maurizio Romano, Rosario Gulino, Giampiero Leanza. Essential role of hippocampal noradrenaline in the regulation of spatial working memory and TDP-43 tissue pathology. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 2018 May 1; 526(7):1131-1147. Link to paper here.

Rosario Gulino, Anna Kostenko, Gioacchino de Leo, Serena Alexa Emmi, Domenico Nunziata, Giampiero Leanza. Hippocampal noradrenaline regulates spatial working memory in the rat. In Nina Vardjan and Robert Zorec, editors: Vardjan – Noradrenergic Signaling and Astroglia, Oxford: Academic Press, 2017, pp. 201 – 220.