Cristina M. Alberini has dedicated her career to uncovering the molecular bases of learning and memory. Her studies, utilizing invertebrate (Aplysia californica) and mammalian (rat and mouse) systems, have explored the mechanisms of long-term memory formation, stabilization, persistence and strengthening. The identification of the mechanisms underlying the disruption or enhancement of memories is important for understanding memory in physiological conditions but also for characterizing memory disorders. In recognition for her work, Cristina has received the NIH MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) Award, the McKnight Foundation Cognitive and Memory Disorders Award, the Hirschl-Weill Career Scientist Award, the NARSAD Independent Investigator Award, the Premio ATENA, and the Golgi Medal.
Cristina Alberini graduated with Honors from the University of Pavia in Italy and went on to obtain her Doctorate in Research in Immunological Sciences from the University of Genoa. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship work on long-term synaptic plasticity consolidation in Aplysia californica at Columbia University. Cristina Alberini has previously held faculty positions at Brown University and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and is currently a Professor of Neural Science at New York University.
The major questions investigated in the Alberini lab include the molecular mechanisms underlying memory consolidation and reconsolidation, the stabilization processes occurring after learning and memory recall. These processes allow for the disruption, enhancement and modification of memory.