Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center


Silva, Alcino J., Ph.D.


Molecular and cellular and systems mechanisms of learning and memory


  • Distinguished Professor– Neurobiology, Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences and Psychology
  • Director–Integrative Center for Learning and Memory
  • Tennenbaum Center for the Biology of Creativity
  • Brain Research Institute
  • Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology GPB Home Area
  • Neuroscience GPB Home Area


The Silva laboratory is studying the biology of learning and memory. They are interested in the molecular, cellular and circuit processes that underlie the allocation, encoding and storage of information. To accomplish this they are using a variety of techniques including sophisticated molecular and genetic approaches, optical physiology, optogenetics, in vivo imaging and behavioral analysis.

Silva and colleagues have also studied the impact of these mechanisms in animal models of cognitive disorders, including intellectual disabilities. Based on these mechanistic studies, they have developed treatments for Neurofibromatosis type I and Tuberous Sclerosis, that are currently being tested in clinical trials.

The Silva laboratory is also developing bioinformatic strategies for tracking and planning experiments (


  1. Oliveira, EMG, Amaral, ACC, Oliveira, PMC, Lanzoni, VP, Perez, RM, Narciso-Schiavon, JL et al.. Clinical Characteristics of Genuine Acute Autoimmune Hepatitis. GE Port J Gastroenterol. 2024;31 (3):173-181. doi: 10.1159/000531018. PubMed PMID:38757065 PubMed Central PMC11095594.
  2. de Almeida, MA, Haupenthal, LG, Silva, AN, Schneider, GM, Maria da Silva Rosa, P, César de Andrade, AF et al.. A longer period of epididymal sperm interaction with extender components during cryopreservation improves sperm quality, decreases the size of sperm distal cytoplasmic droplets, and changes the number of nanoparticles in the extender. Cryobiology. 2024; :104901. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2024.104901. PubMed PMID:38754687 .
  3. Lopes-Pinto, M, Lacerda-Nobre, E, Silva, AL, Tortosa, F, Marques, P. The role of PD-L1 expression in pituitary tumours: lessons from the current literature. Neuroendocrinology. 2024; :. doi: 10.1159/000539345. PubMed PMID:38754394 .
  4. de Souza, MR, Silva, AÉVN, de Faria Silva Souza, R, Fernandes, AWC, de Moraes Peixoto, R, Rosa, DS et al.. Treatment of subclinical mastitis in dairy goats experimentally infected with Staphylococcus aureus using natural therapeutic protocol. Trop Anim Health Prod. 2024;56 (5):165. doi: 10.1007/s11250-024-04026-7. PubMed PMID:38753181 .
  5. da Silva, AR, Gunawan, F, Boezio, GLM, Faure, E, Théron, A, Avierinos, JF et al.. egr3 is a mechanosensitive transcription factor gene required for cardiac valve morphogenesis. Sci Adv. 2024;10 (20):eadl0633. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.adl0633. PubMed PMID:38748804 PubMed Central PMC11095463.
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