University of Colorado School of Medicine Names David DiGregorio, PhD, New Chair of Physiology and Biophysics

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University of Colorado School of Medicine Names David DiGregorio, PhD, New Chair of Physiology and Biophysics

18 Nov, 2022

David DiGregorio, PhD, head of the neuroscience department at Institute Pasteur in Paris, has been named chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, effective Jan. 1, 2023.


At the Institute Pasteur, DiGregorio leads a multidisciplinary research team of neurophysiologists, computational neuroscientists, and physicists specializing in optics and statistical analyses. His research program identifies the biological rules governing how synaptic function and integration contribute to the temporal dynamics of neural circuit activity underlying precisely timed behaviors.


“Dr. DiGregorio brings an impressive research program that will integrate well with the work of other scientists and program leaders at the School of Medicine,” said Dean John J. Reilly, Jr., MD. “We are pleased to bring a world leader in his field to join with our talented faculty. His work will strengthen connections between teams at our school and lead to breakthroughs that improve our understanding of human health. We look forward to his contributions.”


DiGregorio’s laboratory is searching for the biological rules governing how communication between neurons at synapses sculpt brain activity underlying temporally precise behaviors. His team also brings expertise in advanced optical and electrophysiological methods that are essential for monitoring, interpreting, and predicting neural circuit function.


The combination of theoretical neuroscience, careful laboratory experimentation using advanced technology, and precise measurement and analysis of DiGregorio’s research program will build on other investments, such as the creation of the new CU Department of Biomedical Informatics, that have been made by the CU School of Medicine in recent years to advance scientific discovery and understanding.

DiGregorio earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford University in 1992 and his doctorate in neuroscience from UCLA in 2000. He then performed a postdoctoral fellowship at University College London, focused on the biophysical mechanisms determining synaptic strength and short-term plasticity at central nervous system synapses. In 2005, DiGregorio was recruited by the French National Center for Research (CNRS) to head an independent research team. In 2010, DiGregorio joined the Institute Pasteur to lead a research unit.


“At the Pasteur Institute, I have had the privilege of directing an initiative designed to leverage multiple disciplines, including immunology, microbiology, cell and infection biology, to explore holistic approaches to understanding the nervous system and its associated diseases,” DiGregorio said. “I’m pleased that the University of Colorado School of Medicine emphasizes such collaboration too because working together creates new opportunities for discovery.”


DiGregorio will succeed Angie Ribera, PhD, who has been a member of the School of Medicine faculty since 1990 and has led the department since 2012. She also serves as associate dean for research education, providing leadership for the School of Medicine’s PhD-granting programs in the basic sciences.




About SCHOOL: 


“The Office of Continuing Medical Education is a strategic asset of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  Our mission is to enhance learners’ knowledge, competence, performance, or patient outcomes through continuing medical education activities that are linked to practice and focused on health care quality gaps.  We expect learners apply new knowledge and skills in order to improve performance and patient outcomes in their practice settings.


The University of Colorado School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


The University of Colorado School of Medicine is pleased to announce Accreditation with Commendation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). Our term expires July 31, 2027.


ACCME accreditation seeks to assure both physicians and the public that continuing medical education activities provided by the University of Colorado School of Medicine meet the high standards of the Essential Areas, Elements and Policies for Accreditation as specified by the ACCME.


The ACCME rigorously evaluates the overall continuing medical education programs of institutions according to standards adopted by all seven sponsoring organizations of the ACCME. These are: the American Board of Medical Specialties; the American Hospital Association; the American Medical Association; the Association for Hospital Medical Education; the Association of American Medical Colleges; the Council of Medical Specialty Societies; and the Federation of State Medical Boards of the U.S., Inc.


The University of Colorado School of Medicine is pleased to join an elite group of organizations in the United States that have been awarded this 6-year accreditation. The Office of Continuing Medical Education offers a full range of continuing medical education courses, printed and other forms of enduring materials, rural outreach, and web-based education to physicians and other healthcare professionals at the University of Colorado, within the State of Colorado, and nationally through partnerships with organizations throughout the U.S. and worldwide.”




About David DiGregorio, PhD: 


Present and Previous Positions

  • Since 2019 Director of research (DR-1, Equivalent to Full Professor), CNRS, UMR 3571
  • Since 2018 Director (Head) of the Department of Neuroscience, Institut Pasteur
  • Since 2018 Director of the Strategic Research Axis: Brain Connectivity and Neurodegenerative Disorders, Institut Pasteur
  • Since 2011 Director of the “Department of Neuroscience Two-photon imaging facility”
  • Since 2009 Director of Research Unit at the Institut Pasteur
  • 2016 – 2018 Director/founder of Masters/PhD course at Pasteur, “Principles of fluorescence microscopy”
  • 2012 – 2018 Director of research (DR-2), CNRS, UMR 3571
  • 2011 – 2013 Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories Course: Imaging the Nervous System
  • 2005 – 2009 Research Associate (CR-1), CNRS, UMR 8118, Paris Descartes
  • 2000 – 2005 Postdoctoral fellow, Dr. R. A. Silver, Dept. of Physiology, UCL, London, UK



Fields of Scholarship

  • Synaptic physiology
  • Dendritic integration
  • Neural circuit computations
  • Optical imaging (in vitro and in vivo)
  • Neurotransmitter uncaging
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Calcium dynamics
  • Voltage imaging


Honours and Awards

  • 2017 Chair of Excellence, Institut Pasteur
  • 2016 Pasteur Vallery-Radot Prize
  • 2015 Prime d’encadrement doctoral et de recherche (PEDR), CNRS
  • 2005 CNRS ATIP award for Young Independent Researchers
  • 1999 UCLA Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate Student








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