Professor and Cullen Foundation Endowed Chair
Director of Memory and Brain Research Center, Department of Neuroscience
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas


BS from University of the Republic
MS from Pierre et Marie Curie University
PhD from University of Nantes
Post-Doctoral Fellowship at McGill University

Professional Interests

  • Mechanisms underlying complex behaviors

Professional Statement

Broadly, the Mauro Costa-Mattioli laboratory (The MCM Lab) encompasses two complementary lines of research.

The first one, more traditional but very important, aims at unraveling the molecular mechanisms underlying memory formation (e.g., using state-of-the-art molecular and cell-specific genetic approaches). Learning and memory disorders can strike the brain during development (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorders and Down Syndrome), as well as during adulthood (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease). We are interested in understanding the specific circuits and molecular pathways that are primarily targeted in these disorders and how they can be restored.

To tackle these questions, we use a multidisciplinary, convergent and cross-species approach that combines mouse and fly genetics, molecular biology, electrophysiology, stem cell biology, optogenetics and behavioral techniques.

The second line of research, more recent and relatively unexplored, is focused on understanding how gut microbes control CNS driven-behavior and brain function. Our recent discoveries that microbes in the gut could modulate brain function and behavior in a very powerful way, have added a whole new dimension to the classic view of how complex behaviors are controlled. These unexpected findings have opened new avenues of study for us and are currently driving my lab to answer a host of new and very interesting questions (see https://costamattiolilab.org for more detailed information).

Selected Publications

  • Sgritta M, Dooling SW, Buffington SA, Momin EN, Francis MB, Britton RA, Costa-Mattioli M. "Mechanisms Underlying Microbial-Mediated Changes in Social Behavior in Mouse Models of Autism Spectrum Disorder." 2019 January 16;101(2):246-259.e6.
  • Zhu PJ, Chen CJ, Mays J, Stoica L, Costa-Mattioli M.. "mTORC2, but not mTORC1,is required for hippocampal mGluR-LTD and associated behaviors.." Nat Neurosci. 2018 June 21;6(6):799-802.
  • Buffington SA, Di Prisco GV, Auchtung TA, Ajami NJ, Petrosino JF, Costa-Mattioli M.. "Microbial Reconstitution Reverses Maternal Diet-Induced Social and Synaptic Deficits in Offspring." Cell. 2016 June 16;7:1762-1775.
  • Viana Di Prisco G, Huang W, Buffington SA, Hsu C-C, Bonnen P, Placzek A, Sidrauski C, Krnjević K, Kaufman RJ, Walter P, Costa-Mattioli M.. "Translational control of hippocampal mGluR-dependent long-term depression and object-place learning by eIF2." Nat Neuroscience. 2014;8:1073-82.
  • Huang W, Zhu PJ, Zhang S, Zhou H, Stoica L, Galiano M, Krnjevic K, Roman G, Costa-Mattioli M. "mTORC2 controls actin polymerization required for consolidation of long-term memory.." Nat. Neurosci.. 2013 April;16(4):441-8. Pubmed PMID: 23455608
  • Zhu PJ, Huang W, Kalikulov D, Yoo JW, Placzek AN, Stoica L, Zhou H, Bell JC, Friedlander MJ, Krnjevic K, Noebels JL, Costa-Mattioli M. "Suppression of PKR Promotes Network Excitability and Enhanced Cognition by Interferon-γ-Mediated Disinhibition." Cell. 2011 December 9;147(6):1384-96. Pubmed PMID: 22153080
  • Costa-Mattioli M, Gobert D, Stern E, Gamache K, Colina R, Cuello C, Sossin W, Kaufman R, Pelletier J, Rosenblum K, Krnjevic K, Lacaille JC, Nader K, Sonenberg N. "eIF2alpha phosphorylation bidirectionally regulates the switch from short- to long-term synaptic plasticity and memory.." Cell. 2007 April 6;129(1):195-206. Pubmed PMID: 17418795