Giovanna Maria Spano, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher


I am currently working on testing the Synaptic Homeostasis Hypothesis (SHY) carrying out ultrastructural studies using a novel technique of three-dimensional imaging (Scan Block Face Electron Microscope (SBEM)) quantifying changes in synaptic size across sleep and wake, in presence or absence of learning in several brain regions. In a different line of work I am investigating the effects of GABAergic agents on slow-wave at the local and cortical level.

Research Interests: Synaptic plasticity, Sleep, Neuroanatomy, Neuropharmacology, Microdialysis

Selected Publications

Bourdon AK, Spano GM, Marshall W, Bellesi M, Tononi G, Serra PA, Baghdoyan HA, Lydic R, Campagna SR, Cirelli C. Metabolomic analysis of mouse prefrontal cortex reveals upregulated analytes during wakefulness compared to sleep. Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 25;8(1):11225. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29511-6.

Spano GM, Weyn Banningh S, Marshall W,de Vivo L, Bellesi M,S. Loschky S,Tononi G and Cirelli C. Sleep Deprivation by Exposure to Novel Objects Increases Synapse Density and Axon–Spine Interface in the Hippocampal CA1 Region of Adolescent Mice. Journal of Neuroscience, 21 August 2019, 39 (34) 6613-6625; DOI:

de Vivo L, Nagai H, De Wispelaere N, Spano GM, Marshall W, Bellesi M, Nemec KM, Schiereck SS, Nagai M, Tononi G, Cirelli C. Evidence for sleep-dependent synaptic renormalization in mouse pups. Sleep, Volume 42, Issue 11, November 2019, zsz184,