Roberto De Filippo

Neuroscience PhD

About Me

Hi, my name is Roberto De Filippo, I am a neuroscientist interested in neuromodulation and sensory perception. Currently my main focus is serotonin, in vivo recordings with high-density probes (Neuropixel) and Machine Learning in the context of neural decoding. I have experience working with: Python, Matlab, Tensorflow, Max/MSP, Pure Data and git.


Schmitz lab, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin

PhD student

January 2016 - 2021

My PhD project is focused on serotonergic modulation of slow oscillations in entorhinal cortex, it led to the publication “Somatostatin interneurons activated by 5-HT2A receptor suppress slow oscillations in medial entorhinal cortex (Elife, 2021)”. We identified a novel mechanism by which serotonin is able to alter cortical network activity. During the course of this project I employed the following techniques: in vitro patch clamp, silicone probe recording in anesthetized mice, optogenetics, pharmacology, immunohistochemistry and confocal imaging. I also became proficient with Matlab and Python for data analysis.

Poulet lab, Max Delbrück Center (MDC)

PhD student

February 2015 - December 2015

I worked under the supervision of Nevena Milenkovic investigating temperature perception in mice, a follow-up to her work “A somatosensory circuit for cooling perception in mice (Nature Neuroscience, 2014)”. I have performed in vivo whole cell patch clamp recording from anesthetized mice, thalamic drug injections and behavioral training.

Brecht lab, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience (BCCN)

Lab rotation

October 2014 - January 2015

During my lab rotation in the Brecht lab I assisted Dr. Shimpei Ishiyama in his project later published as “Neural correlates of ticklishness in the rat somatosensory cortex (Science, 2016)”. The aim of his project was to understand the neurophysiological basis of ticklishness. My work was to assess if rats, like humans, have body areas more susceptible to tickling compared to others. A Matlab-based system was used to record 50-kHz USVs (ultra-sonic vocalization). USVs emission rate was used as a measure of ticklishness. In addition to this psychophysics experiment I assisted to in vivo tetrodes recording and electrical microstimulation in S1.

Cherubini lab, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA).

Master student

July 2012 - October 2013

I did my internship in Professor Enrico Cherubini’s lab working as an in vitro electrophysiologist. My thesis focused on the cis-trans isomerase Pin1 role in excitatory synaptic signaling. I recorded, using the whole-cell configuration of the patch clamp technique, CA1 pyramidal cells in mouse brain slices while stimulating the Schaffer collaterals and applying selective blockers of GABAA, AMPA and NMDA receptors. I performed post-hoc morphological reconstruction on a subset of neurons using biocytin and confocal microscopy. My experiments contributed to the publication of “Pin1 Modulates the Synaptic Content of NMDA Receptors via Prolyl-Isomerization of PSD-95 (Journal of Neuroscience, 2016)”


University of Trieste

Bachelor's degree in Biology

October 2011 - October 2013

110/110 cum laude

University of Milan

Bachelor's degree in Biology

October 2008 - October 2011



  • Somatostatin interneurons activated by 5-HT2A receptor suppress slow oscillations in medial entorhinal cortex.
    Elife. 2021 Mar 31;10:e66960. doi: 10.7554/eLife.66960. PMID: 33789079; PMCID: PMC8016478.
    de Filippo R*, Rost BR, Stumpf A, Cooper C, Tukker JJ, Harms C, Beed P, Schmitz D*.
    * = corresponding authors

  • Layer 3 Pyramidal Cells in the Medial Entorhinal Cortex Orchestrate Up-Down States and Entrain the Deep Layers Differentially.
    Cell Rep. 2020 Dec 8;33(10):108470. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108470. PMID: 33296656.
    Beed P*, de Filippo R*, Holman C*, Johenning FW, Leibold C, Caputi A, Monyer H, Schmitz D.
    * = equal contribution

  • Pin1 Modulates the Synaptic Content of NMDA Receptors via Prolyl-Isomerization of PSD-95.
    J Neurosci. 2016 May 18;36(20):5437-47. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3124-15.2016. PMID: 27194325; PMCID: PMC6601765.
    Antonelli R, De Filippo R, Middei S, Stancheva S, Pastore B, Ammassari-Teule M, Barberis A, Cherubini E, Zacchi P.


  • 2019 INSIGHT, Berlin. Poster ‘Serotonergic modulation of slow oscillations’
  • 2018 FENS, Berlin. Poster ‘Serotonergic modulation of slow oscillations’


  • 2015 Neurocure fellowship

Various interests