Silvia Mandillo

Research areas: Neurobiology , Murine Models

Monterotondo Scalo – Campus “A.Buzzati Traverso”
+39 06-90091410 (office)
+39 06-90091205 (Lab)
Research Gate Page

Behavioral Neuroscience

Keywords : Behavioral neuroscience, Mouse phenotyping, Neurodegenerative diseases

I have a multi-year expertise in the field of mouse behavioral analysis as well as in the development and validation of animal models of human neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases. Recently I have been focusing on the study of neurodegenerative and rare disorders (e.g. PD, ALS and Myotonic Dystrophy type 1) with particular attention to sex differences.

Since 2003 I have also been heavily involved in large-scale European/World Wide projects and consortia (EUMORPHIA, EUMODIC, PhenoScale, Infrafrontier, IMPC, COST Action CA20135 TEATIME) on the phenotyping of mouse models of human diseases, working in a fruitful and long lasting collaborative effort among several international partners on the set up, standardization and validation of procedures to be used in behavioral test batteries and more recently on the implementation of home cage monitoring systems.

In our lab we have the availability of a complete set of behavioral assays for the study of motor and cognitive functions as well as emotions and social behaviors using an ethological approach combined with up-to date automated systems. 

Research areas

  • neurobiology: molecular, cellular and behavioral aspects,  neuropathologies and aging;
  • generation, cryopreservation and phenotyping of murine mutants model  of human diseases (Infrafrontier-Emma European infrastructure).



  • 07/1988 Liceo Classico T. Tasso – Rome, Italy , B.A. – Humanities
  • 12/1995 University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, M.S. Italy – Natural Sciences
  • 02/2001 Tufts University, Medford-Boston, MA, US , Ph.D. – Exp. Psychology


  • 1996-2001 Research and Teaching Assistant, Psychology Dept.-Tufts University, MA.
  • 1996-1998 Primate Facility Manager, Psychology Dept.-Tufts University, MA.
  • 2001-2002 Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.
  • 2003-2009 Research Scientist, Institute of Cell Biology, CNR (National Research Council), Monterotondo (Rome), Italy.
  • 2009 -2022 Tenured Research Scientist, CNR (National Research Council), Monterotondo (Rome), Italy.
                        Institute of Cell Biology and Neurobiology (2009-2019), Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (2019-present).
  • 2023-present Senior Research Scientist, CNR (National Research Council), , Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Monterotondo (Rome), Italy

Teaching activity

  • 2001-2003 Lecturer, Teaching Assistant and Tutor, University of Rome, La Sapienza and University “Gabriele D’Annunzio” of Chieti, Italy.
  • 2004 – present Faculty and Tutor (Associate Professor since 2012), Neurobiology Master’s Program at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
  • 2004 – present Faculty: Courses (FELASA, AISAL etc.) on “Lab Animal Science”.
  • 2005-2008 Faculty: -Eumorphia Training Course “Techniques and Approaches in Mouse Behavioural Phenotyping”, Institut Clinic de la Souris (ICS) Strasbourg, France. -First interdisciplinary ‘Neuroschool’, Genetics of behavior and psychiatric disorders: from the lab to society and back. ENSN, European Neuroscience and Society Network, EMBL, Rome, Italy. -Theoretical Course “Mouse Behavioral Phenotyping” ICGEB, Trieste, Italy.
  • 2008 – present Lecturer to High school teachers and students-ELLS European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences, EMBL and ADAMAS, Monterotondo, (Rome) Italy.
  • 2022 – present Member of WG2, Preparatory Action, ETPLAS Education and Training Platform for Laboratory Animal Science


  • 1996-2000 Ph.D. Fellowship, Dept. of Psychology, Tufts University, Medford, MA.
  • 1999 Travel award, International Narcotic Research Conference, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • 2001 Post-doctoral Fellowship of the IRCCS Oasi Maria SS ONLUS, Troina (EN).
  • 2001 Travel award, European Behavioral Pharmacology Society Meeting, Marseille, France.
  • 2002 Travel award, 3rd Forum of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, FENS, Paris.
  • 2004 Travel award Eumorphia training course: Imaging in small animals., ANIMAGE, Lyon (France).
  • 2022 Dissemination Grant – Presentation of COST Action TEATIME CA20135 at Mediterranean Neuroscience Society meeting, Dubrovnik (Croatia)
  1. Golini E, Rigamonti M, Raspa M, Scavizzi F, Falcone G, Gourdon G, Mandillo S. Excessive rest time during active phase is reliably detected in a mouse model of myotonic dystrophy type 1 using home cage monitoring. Front Behav Neurosci. 2023 Mar 2;17:1130055. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2023.1130055.

  2. Golini E, Rigamonti M, Iannello F, De Rosa C, Scavizzi F, Raspa M, Mandillo S (2020). A non-invasive digital biomarker for the detection of rest disturbances in the SOD1G93A mouse model of ALS. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 14: 896.

  3. Garbugino L, Golini E, Giuliani A, Mandillo S (2018). Prolonged voluntary running negatively affects survival and disease prognosis of male SOD1G93A low-copy transgenic mice. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 12: 275.

  4. Meehan TF et al. […], International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (2017). Disease model discovery from 3,328 gene knockouts by The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium. Nature Genetics, 49(8):1231-1238. doi: 10.1038/ng.3901.

  5. Mandillo S, Heise I, Garbugino L, Tocchini-Valentini GP, Giuliani A, Wells S, Nolan PM (2014). Early motor deficits in mouse disease models are reliably uncovered using an automated home-cage wheel-running system: a cross-laboratory validation. Disease Models and Mechanisms. 7(3):397-407. doi: 10.1242/dmm.013946

  6. Mandillo S, Golini E, Marazziti D, Di Pietro C, Matteoni R, Tocchini-Valentini GP (2013). Mice lacking the Parkinson’s related GPR37/PAEL receptor show non-motor behavioral phenotypes: age and gender effect. Genes Brain Behav. 12(4):465-77. doi: 10.1111/gbb.12041.

  7. Mandillo S, Tucci V, Holter SM, Meziane H, Al Banchaabouchi M, Kallnik M, Lad HV, Nolan PM, Ouagazzal AM, Coghill EL, Gale K, Golini E, Jacquot S, Krezel W, Parker A, Riet F, Schneider I, Marazziti D, Auwerx JH, Brown SD, Chambon P, Rosenthal N, Tocchini-Valentini G, Wurst W (2008) Reliability, Robustness, and Reproducibility in mouse behavioral phenotyping: a cross-laboratory study. Physiological Genomics, 34: 243-255. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.90207.2008.


View all Publications from People -CNR  or Go to the publications page:

  • Research Grant of the Italian National Research Council-CNR (2002). Project: Study of the neurobiological basis of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia: learning deficits and role of the nicotinic system. Role: PI
  • EUMORPHIA (2003-2006) “Understanding human disease through mouse genetics”, European Commission funded program (FP5), # QLG2-CT-2002- 00930. Role: Participant
  • EUMODIC (2007-2011) “The European Mouse Disease Clinic: a distributed phenoptyping resource for studying human disease”, European Commission funded program (FP6-Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health), # LSHG-CT-2006- 037188. Role: Participant
  • PhenoScale (2009-2011) “Large-scale, high-throughput automated systems for phenotyping mouse models of human disease”. European Commission funded program (FP7-Health) # 223263. Role: Workpackage Coordinator
  • Research Grant of the Italian National Research Council-CNR (2012-2017). Project “Invecchiamento” (Ageing), Subproject 1-Molecular mechanisms of aging and neurodegeneration. WP1.8 Transgenic models of brain ageing and longevity. Role: Participant
  • INFRAFRONTIER-I3 (2013-2016). Development of mouse mutant resources for functional analyses of human diseases-Enhancing the translation of research into innovation. European Commission FP7-Health. Role: Participant
  • INFRAFRONTIER2020 (2017-2020). Towards enduring mouse resources and services advancing research into human health and disease. European Commission H2020. Role: Participant
  • International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium-IMPC (2012- ). “Building a truly comprehensive functional catalogue of a mammalian genome”. Role: Participant and Co-Chair “Behavior and Sensory” Workgroup.
  • PRIN 2017Sensory Decays and Aging” (SensAging). Role: Responsible of Olfaction and Taste Tests.
  • Project Telethon 2019 #GGP19035 Gene editing in Myotonic Dystrophy type 1: assessment of efficiency, safety and therapeutic effect of CTG-repeat deletion in a mouse model of disease. PI: G. Falcone (IBBC). Role: Participant.
  • COST Action CA20135 –TEATIME (2021-2025). “Improving biomedical research by automated behaviour monitoring in the animal home-cage”. Role: Proposer and Management Committee Member; WG2 Co-Leader; Core Group Member;