Marino Pagan

Marino Pagan

Postdoctoral researcher in Neuroscience

Princeton University

My research focuses on the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive flexibility, our remarkable ability to rapidly switch our thoughts and actions across different tasks.

I received my B.S. in Computer Engineering and my M.S. in Control Engineering from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and University of Pisa in Italy. I completed my Ph.D. in Neuroscience at University of Pennsylvania in the lab of Nicole Rust, where I studied the circuits responsible for our ability to switch between different sought visual targets.

Joining the laboratory of Carlos Brody at Princeton University for my postdoctoral studies, I aimed to train rats to solve complex rule switching tasks traditionally studied in primates, while leveraging the powerful experimental tools available in rodents. First, in collaboration with Ann Duan and Alex Piet, I studied the neural mechanisms in the superior colliculus underlying rapid sensorimotor remapping.

Then, with the support of a SCGB postdoctoral Fellowship, I developed a novel behavioral paradigm requiring context-dependent decision-making in rats, and a high-throughput platform for the execution of electrophysiology and optogenetics experiments in freely-moving, behaving rats.

As a SFARI Bridge to Independence Fellow, I plan to leverage this experimental and computational toolkit to dissect the neural substrates of flexible behavior, and to study how the relevant circuits are altered by genetic mutations associated with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Download my CV.

  • Laurea (B.S.) in Computer Engineering, 2006

    University of Pisa (Italy)

  • Laurea Specialistica (M.S.) in Control Engineering, 2009

    University of Pisa (Italy)

  • Diploma in Engineering, 2009

    Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Italy)

  • Ph.D. in Neuroscience, 2014

    University of Pennsylvania

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