EMILIANA BORRELLI

Dr. Borrelli is a prominent molecular and cellular neurobiologist who has pioneered the use of genetically engineered animals to reveal mechanisms of behavior, drugs of abuse and neuropsychiatric disorders. Dr. Borrelli has dedicated her career to the study of dopamine signaling in health and disease. She was first to generate the knockout mice with the specific deletion of the dopamine D2 receptor. Similarly, she has more recently generated mice with a conditional cell-specific deletion of D2 in neurons of specific brain areas. These models have and will contribute to our understanding of human disorders such as: Parkinson’s disease, Schizophrenia and Pituitary tumors.

Dr. Borrelli has demonstrated the importance of dopamine D2 receptors in dopamine-dependent disorders such as: Parkinson’s Disease. She achieved this goal through analyses of mouse models genetically modified for the expression of the dopamine receptors. Recent studies are elucidating the role played by dopamine in eliciting epigenetic modifications in specific brain areas.

Dr. Borrelli’s achievements have allowed the elucidation of a remarkable variety of molecular mechanisms, relevant to the fields of neurology, psychiatry and neuroendocrinology. In this respect, her work on the regulation of signal transduction by dopamine represents a notable paradigm. Her most recent discoveries include mechanisms governing dopamine mediated brain circuits relevant to neuropsychiatric disorders and addiction.

Honors and Awards

1977. Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
2001. Prix de la Fondation de la Recherche Médicale, Paris
2001. Prix Mercier-Bourdeix de l’Académie des Sciences Françaises
2002. Prix INSERM in Physiopathology
2014. Umesono Lecture Award, The Salk Institute
2017. Knight of the Legion of Honor, France
2017. Chancellor’s Professor, UCI
2017. Golgi Award in Neuroscience, Italy
2018. Creativity Award from the Italian Institute of Culture (IIC, Los Angeles)
2018. Athalie Clark Research Achievement Award

Medal of the ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur


Emiliana Borrelli delivered the Plenary Lecture at the Neuroscience Symposium in Perugia, Italy on September 28th, 2019


Borrelli Laboratory study on dopamine interactions with neural pathways appears in the journal, Neuron


Professor Emiliana Borrelli has been knighted by the French Republic with the ‘Legion d’Honneur’, the highest recognition in France 


Professor Emiliana Borrelli was awarded the prestigious ‘Golgi Medal’ for her studies in neuroscience


Emiliana Borrelli’s French connection aids brain research


UCI researchers find epigenetic tie to neuropsychiatric disorders


Peut-on éliminer les effets indésirables des antipsychotiques?