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Dr. Giardino is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Principal Investigator of the Giardino Laboratory, and faculty member of the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, Center for Sleep and Circadian Sciences, Bio-X, and Maternal Child and Health Research Institute at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He earned a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Washington, a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Oregon Health & Science University, and completed postdoctoral training at Stanford.Dr. Giardino’s research program is funded by federal NIH and private foundation grants that aim to uncover the neurobiological mechanisms driving maladaptive changes in stress reactivity and sleep/wake architecture that facilitate substance use disorders. He previously received F31 and F32 NIH NRSA fellowships and a K99 NIH Pathway to Independence career development award to fund training on the neural circuit mechanisms of peptide signaling molecules in stress and addiction. Dr. Giardino serves as an academic and research mentor for numerous undergraduate, graduate level, and postdoctoral trainees, and is active in teaching neuroscience coursework at Stanford. In addition, he serves as faculty chair of the committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging for the Stanford Neurosciences PhD program.The Giardino Laboratory aims to decipher the neural mechanisms underlying psychiatric conditions of stress, addiction, and sleep disturbances. To accomplish this, our work is distinguished by expert proficiency with genetic, physiological, neuroanatomical, viral, pharmacological, and computational approaches applied in rodent animal models. We leverage these strategies to monitor, manipulate, and map the neural circuits, synapses, and signaling mechanisms that drive approach/avoidance behaviors, drug-seeking, food intake, social interactions, and sleep/wake arousal states. We are especially focused on the behavioral functions of modulatory neuropeptide molecules acting throughout the circuitry of the extended amygdala, particularly in a heterogeneous region called the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST).
The Giardino Laboratory of Circuits and Systems Neuroscience in Stanford's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute. We aim to decipher the neural mechanisms underlying psychiatric conditions of stress, addiction, and sleep disturbances. Our work uses genetic, pharmacological, physiological, anatomical, optical, and computational approaches in freely-behaving mice to monitor, manipulate, and map the neural circuits, synapses, and signaling mechanisms that drive approach/avoidance behaviors, drug-seeking, food intake, social interactions, and sleep/wake cycles.Research Topics:Stress & RewardAlcohol AddictionSex DifferencesWakefulness/ArousalNeuropeptide Release & SignalingFeeding & MetabolismResearch Approaches:Neuromodulation (optogenetics, chemogenetics)Neurophysiological recordings (fiber photometry, calcium imaging, EEG/EMG)Neurogenetics (CRISPR/Cas9 editing, Cre/loxP recombination, viral gene transfer, mouse genetics)Neuroanatomy (circuit tracing, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, confocal & light sheet microscopy)Neuropharmacology (alcohol & drug self-administration, receptor mechanisms)Computation (neural circuit modeling, machine learning analysis of behavioral & physiological datasets)Behavior and Evolution (rodent model organisms, cross-species comparisons)Translation (interdisciplinary and clinical collaborations, mental health treatment development)