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Alcino Silva was born in Portugal in 1961, but his family moved to Luanda, Angola, when he was 3 years old. He came to the United States to attend Rutgers University in 1979. There, he worked with William Sofer on Drosophila tRNA non-sense suppressors and minored on philosophy (epistemology). In 1983 he joined the graduate program of human genetics at the University of Utah, where he worked with Ray White, a pioneer in Human Genetics, on the inheritance of epigenetic information (Silva et al, 1988; Cell PMID: 2898978). While a graduate student, Dr. Silva organized yearly graduate symposia where leading luminaries from the Arts and Sciences shared their insights on the nature of innovation and creativity. During his post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Nobel Laureate Dr. Susumu Tonegawa (1988-92), Dr. Alcino J. Silva introduced transgenic mice to neuroscience studies of learning and memory and pioneered the field of Molecular and Cellular Cognition (Silva et al, Science 1992, PMIDs 1321493 &1378648). His first independent position (1992) was with the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, where his research group had a key role in the development of Molecular and Cellular Cognition into a mainstream neuroscience field. In 2002 Dr. Silva founded and became the first President of the Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society, an international organization with more than 4000 members and with branches in North America, Asia and Europe. Besides work on molecular and cellular cognition, his laboratory also works on developing approaches for systematic studies of scientific practices. The goal is to develop pragmatic, validated, general principles for increasing the efficiency of science. In 2006/2007 Dr. Silva served as Scientific Director of the Intramural Program of the National Institute of Mental Health. He is currently Professor of Neurobiology, Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, and Psychology. He currently heads the Center for Genetic Studies of Cortical Plasticity, and serves as the co-director of Plasticity and Learning studies at UCLA. He also serves in the Board of Regents of the University of Minho, Portugal. He has been awarded a number of prizes and distinctions, including most recently the Order of Prince Henry (2008), the highest award given by the Portuguese Government to a Private citizen, the Marco Canavezes Medal of Science (2008), and the Senior Roche Award For Translational Neuroscience (2009).
Gdalyahu Amos, Tring Elaine, Polack Pierre-Olivier, Gruver Robin, Golshani Peyman, Fanselow Michael S, Silva Alcino J, Trachtenberg Joshua T Associative fear learning enhances sparse network coding in primary sensory cortex. Neuron, 2012; 75(1): 121-32.
Cho Jeiwon, Bhatt Rushi, Elgersma Ype, Silva Alcino J α-Calcium calmodulin kinase II modulates the temporal structure of hippocampal bursting patterns. PloS one, 2012; 7(2): e31649.
Silva Alcino J A career that transformed neuroscience. Brain research bulletin, 2011; 7(2): .
Lee Yong-Seok, Silva Alcino J Modeling hyperactivity: of mice and men. Nature medicine, 2011; 17(5): 541-2.
Kye Min Jeong, Neveu Pierre, Lee Yong-Seok, Zhou Miou, Steen Judith A, Sahin Mustafa, Kosik Kenneth S, Silva Alcino J NMDA mediated contextual conditioning changes miRNA expression. PloS one, 2011; 6(9): e24682.
Kaneko Megumi, Cheetham Claire E, Lee Yong-Seok, Silva Alcino J, Stryker Michael P, Fox Kevin Constitutively active H-ras accelerates multiple forms of plasticity in developing visual cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2010; 107(44): 19026-31.
Shilyansky Carrie, Karlsgodt Katherine H, Cummings Damian M, Sidiropoulou Kyriaki, Hardt Molly, James Alex S, Ehninger Dan, Bearden Carrie E, Poirazi Panayiota, Jentsch J David, Cannon Tyrone D, Levine Michael S, Silva Alcino J Neurofibromin regulates corticostriatal inhibitory networks during working memory performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2010; 107(29): 13141-6.
Feng Jian, Zhou Yu, Campbell Susan L, Le Thuc, Li En, Sweatt J David, Silva Alcino J, Fan Guoping Dnmt1 and Dnmt3a maintain DNA methylation and regulate synaptic function in adult forebrain neurons. Nature neuroscience, 2010; 13(4): 423-30.
Matynia Anna, Ng Carina Hoi, Dansithong Warunee, Chiang Andy, Silva Alcino J, Reddy Sita Muscleblind1, but not Dmpk or Six5, contributes to a complex phenotype of muscular and motivational deficits in mouse models of myotonic dystrophy. PloS one, 2010; 5(3): e9857.
Zhou Yu, Won Jaejoon, Karlsson Mikael Guzman, Zhou Miou, Rogerson Thomas, Balaji Jayaprakash, Neve Rachael, Poirazi Panayiota, Silva Alcino J CREB regulates excitability and the allocation of memory to subsets of neurons in the amygdala. Nature neuroscience, 2009; 12(11): 1438-43.
Silva Alcino J, Zhou Yu, Rogerson Thomas, Shobe Justin, Balaji J Molecular and cellular approaches to memory allocation in neural circuits. Science (New York, N.Y.), 2009; 326(5951): 391-5.
Hutnick Leah K, Golshani Peyman, Namihira Masakasu, Xue Zhigang, Matynia Anna, Yang X William, Silva Alcino J, Schweizer Felix E, Fan Guoping DNA hypomethylation restricted to the murine forebrain induces cortical degeneration and impairs postnatal neuronal maturation. Human molecular genetics, 2009; 18(15): 2875-88.
Ehninger Dan, Silva Alcino J Genetics and neuropsychiatric disorders: treatment during adulthood. Nature medicine, 2009; 15(8): 849-50.
Silva Alcino J, Ehninger Dan Adult reversal of cognitive phenotypes in neurodevelopmental disorders. Journal of neurodevelopmental disorders, 2009; 1(2): 150-7.
Lee Yong-Seok, Silva Alcino J The molecular and cellular biology of enhanced cognition. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 2009; 10(2): 126-40.
Ehninger Dan, Li Weidong, Fox Kevin, Stryker Michael P, Silva Alcino J Reversing neurodevelopmental disorders in adults. Neuron, 2008; 60(6): 950-60.
Cui Yijun, Costa Rui M, Murphy Geoffrey G, Elgersma Ype, Zhu Yuan, Gutmann David H, Parada Luis F, Mody Istvan, Silva Alcino J Neurofibromin regulation of ERK signaling modulates GABA release and learning. Cell, 2008; 135(3): 549-60.
Ehninger Dan, Han Sangyeul, Shilyansky Carrie, Zhou Yu, Li Weidong, Kwiatkowski David J, Ramesh Vijaya, Silva Alcino J Reversal of learning deficits in a Tsc2+/- mouse model of tuberous sclerosis. Nature medicine, 2008; 14(8): 843-8.
Matynia Anna, Anagnostaras Stephan G, Wiltgen Brian J, Lacuesta Maress, Fanselow Michael S, Silva Alcino J A high through-put reverse genetic screen identifies two genes involved in remote memory in mice. PloS one, 2008; 3(5): e2121.
Won Jaejoon, Silva Alcino J Molecular and cellular mechanisms of memory allocation in neuronetworks. Neurobiology of learning and memory, 2008; 89(3): 285-92.
Zhou Yu, Takahashi Eiki, Li Weidong, Halt Amy, Wiltgen Brian, Ehninger Dan, Li Guo-Dong, Hell Johannes W, Kennedy Mary B, Silva Alcino J Interactions between the NR2B receptor and CaMKII modulate synaptic plasticity and spatial learning. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2007; 27(50): 13843-53.
Li Weidong, Zhou Yu, Jentsch J David, Brown Robert A M, Tian Xiaoli, Ehninger Dan, Hennah William, Peltonen Leena, Lönnqvist Jouko, Huttunen Matti O, Kaprio Jaakko, Trachtenberg Joshua T, Silva Alcino J, Cannon Tyrone D Specific developmental disruption of disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 function results in schizophrenia-related phenotypes in mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2007; 104(46): 18280-5.
Silva Alcino J The science of research: the principles underlying the discovery of cognitive and other biological mechanisms. Journal of physiology, Paris, 2007; 101(4-6): 203-13.
Wiltgen Brian J, Silva Alcino J Memory for context becomes less specific with time. Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), 2007; 14(4): 313-7.
Murphy Geoffrey G, Rahnama Nancy P, Silva Alcino J Investigation of age-related cognitive decline using mice as a model system: behavioral correlates. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2006; 14(12): 1004-11.
Murphy Geoffrey G, Shah Vaibhavi, Hell Johannes W, Silva Alcino J Investigation of age-related cognitive decline using mice as a model system: neurophysiological correlates. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2006; 14(12): 1012-21.
Chen Adele P, Ohno Masuo, Giese K Peter, Kühn Ralf, Chen Rachel L, Silva Alcino J Forebrain-specific knockout of B-raf kinase leads to deficits in hippocampal long-term potentiation, learning, and memory. Journal of neuroscience research, 2006; 83(1): 28-38.
Li Weidong, Cui Yijun, Kushner Steven A, Brown Robert A M, Jentsch J David, Frankland Paul W, Cannon Tyrone D, Silva Alcino J The HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor lovastatin reverses the learning and attention deficits in a mouse model of neurofibromatosis type 1. Current biology : CB, 2005; 15(21): 1961-7.
Kushner Steven A, Elgersma Ype, Murphy Geoffrey G, Jaarsma Dick, van Woerden Geeske M, Hojjati Mohammad Reza, Cui Yijun, LeBoutillier Janelle C, Marrone Diano F, Choi Esther S, De Zeeuw Chris I, Petit Ted L, Pozzo-Miller Lucas, Silva Alcino J Modulation of presynaptic plasticity and learning by the H-ras/extracellular signal-regulated kinase/synapsin I signaling pathway. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2005; 25(42): 9721-34.
Costa Rui M, Drew Camilla, Silva Alcino J Notch to remember. Trends in neurosciences, 2005; 28(8): 429-35.
Ehninger Dan, Matynia Anna, Silva Alcino J Trafficking in emotions. Nature neuroscience, 2005; 8(5): 548-50.
Murphy Geoffrey G, Fedorov Nikolai B, Giese K Peter, Ohno Masuo, Friedman Eugenia, Chen Rachel, Silva Alcino J Increased neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity, and learning in aged Kvbeta1.1 knockout mice. Current biology : CB, 2004; 14(21): 1907-15.
Israely Inbal, Costa Rui M, Xie Cui Wei, Silva Alcino J, Kosik Kenneth S, Liu Xin Deletion of the neuron-specific protein delta-catenin leads to severe cognitive and synaptic dysfunction. Current biology : CB, 2004; 14(18): 1657-63.
Wiltgen Brian J, Brown Robert A M, Talton Lynn E, Silva Alcino J New circuits for old memories: the role of the neocortex in consolidation. Neuron, 2004; 44(1): 101-8.
Suzuki Akinobu, Josselyn Sheena A, Frankland Paul W, Masushige Shoichi, Silva Alcino J, Kida Satoshi Memory reconsolidation and extinction have distinct temporal and biochemical signatures. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2004; 24(20): 4787-95.
Frankland Paul W, Bontempi Bruno, Talton Lynn E, Kaczmarek Leszek, Silva Alcino J The involvement of the anterior cingulate cortex in remote contextual fear memory. Science (New York, N.Y.), 2004; 304(5672): 881-3.
Frankland Paul W, Josselyn Sheena A, Anagnostaras Stephan G, Kogan Jeffrey H, Takahashi Eiki, Silva Alcino J Consolidation of CS and US representations in associative fear conditioning. Hippocampus, 2004; 14(5): 557-69.
Brown Robert, Silva Alcino J Molecular and cellular cognition; the unraveling of memory retrieval. Cell, 2004; 117(1): 3-4.
Costa Rui M, Honjo Tasuku, Silva Alcino J Learning and memory deficits in Notch mutant mice. Current biology : CB, 2003; 13(15): 1348-54.
Frankland Paul W, Ohno Masuo, Takahashi Eiki, Chen Adele R, Costa Rui M, Kushner Steven A, Silva Alcino J Pharmacologically regulated induction of silent mutations (PRISM): combined pharmacological and genetic approaches for learning and memory. The Neuroscientist : a review journal bringing neurobiology, neurology and psychiatry, 2003; 9(2): 104-9.
Dhaka Ajay, Costa Rui M, Hu Hailiang, Irvin Dwain K, Patel Apoor, Kornblum Harley I, Silva Alcino J, O'Dell Thomas J, Colicelli John The RAS effector RIN1 modulates the formation of aversive memories. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2003; 23(3): 748-57.
Silva Alcino J Molecular and cellular cognitive studies of the role of synaptic plasticity in memory. Journal of neurobiology, 2003; 54(1): 224-37.
Costa Rui M, Silva Alcino J Mouse models of neurofibromatosis type I: bridging the GAP. Trends in molecular medicine, 2003; 9(1): 19-23.
Anagnostaras Stephan G, Murphy Geoffrey G, Hamilton Susan E, Mitchell Scott L, Rahnama Nancy P, Nathanson Neil M, Silva Alcino J Selective cognitive dysfunction in acetylcholine M1 muscarinic receptor mutant mice. Nature neuroscience, 2003; 6(1): 51-8.
Elgersma Ype, Fedorov Nikolai B, Ikonen Sami, Choi Esther S, Elgersma Minetta, Carvalho Ofelia M, Giese Karl Peter, Silva Alcino J Inhibitory autophosphorylation of CaMKII controls PSD association, plasticity, and learning. Neuron, 2002; 36(3): 493-505.
Costa Rui M, Silva Alcino J Molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the cognitive deficits associated with neurofibromatosis 1. Journal of child neurology, 2002; 17(8): 622-6; discussion 627-9, 646-51.
Silva Alcino J, Josselyn Sheena A The molecules of forgetfulness. Nature, 2002; 418(6901): 929-30.
Ohno Masuo, Frankland Paul W, Silva Alcino J A pharmacogenetic inducible approach to the study of NMDA/alphaCaMKII signaling in synaptic plasticity. Current biology : CB, 2002; 12(8): 654-6.
Kida Satoshi, Josselyn Sheena A, Peña de Ortiz Sandra, Kogan Jeffrey H, Chevere Itzamarie, Masushige Shoichi, Silva Alcino J CREB required for the stability of new and reactivated fear memories. Nature neuroscience, 2002; 5(4): 348-55.
Givogri Maria I, Costa Rui M, Schonmann Vilma, Silva Alcino J, Campagnoni Anthony T, Bongarzone Ernesto R Central nervous system myelination in mice with deficient expression of Notch1 receptor. Journal of neuroscience research, 2002; 67(3): 309-20.
Matynia Anna, Kushner Steven A, Silva Alcino J Genetic approaches to molecular and cellular cognition: a focus on LTP and learning and memory. Annual review of genetics, 2002; 36(6871): 687-720.
Costa Rui M, Federov Nikolai B, Kogan Jeff H, Murphy Geoffrey G, Stern Joel, Ohno Masuo, Kucherlapati Raju, Jacks Tyler, Silva Alcino J Mechanism for the learning deficits in a mouse model of neurofibromatosis type 1. Nature, 2002; 415(6871): 526-30.