Davide Comoletti

Dr Davide Comoletti profile picture

Neuroscience and Structural Biology School of Biological Sciences


Teaching in 2020

Personal Bio

Postdoc University of California, San Diego | PhD Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Milan

I always loved science! I grew up in Milan (Italy) where I obtained a high school diploma in Agricultural Sciences, I graduated in Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and then obtained a PhD in Pharmacology. In 1998 I moved to La Jolla at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) as a Postdoc (and later junior faculty) with the great Dr. Palmer Taylor where I learned molecular neuroscience and how to study the three-dimensional structure of proteins. In 2011, I moved to Rutgers University (NJ, USA) as a resident scientist of the Child Health Institute of New Jersey (CHINJ), and Assistant Professor in the Depts. of Neuroscience and Cell Biology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS). In October of 2018 I accepted a new faculty position here at Victoria University of Wellington where I will continue to study molecular aspects of how synaptic adhesion proteins interact to each-other and how they function in health and disease

Research Interests

In my Lab we study the structural basis of synapse formation and connectivity. Over the years, we have published the three-dimensional structures and subcellular trafficking of several trans-synaptic adhesion molecules such as the neuroligins, neurexins, CASPR2, LPHN3, and others (see selected publications). We have a robust research program aimed at discovering other novel trans-synaptic associating proteins and we are working on obtaining the structures of these new synaptic adhesion proteins, their binding partners, and their complexes. We use a variety of biophysical techniques such as small angle x-ray scattering, protein crystallography, isothermal titration calorimetry, and many other biophysical and cell biological techniques.


Ranaivoson FM, Turk LS, Ozgul S, Kakehi S, von Daake S, Lopez N, Trobiani L, De Jaco A, Denissova N, Demeler B, Özkan E, Montelione GT, Comoletti D. (2019) A Proteomic Screen of Neuronal Cell-Surface Molecules Reveals IgLONs as Structurally Conserved Interaction Modules at the Synapse. Structure. pii: S0969-2126(19)30082-6.

Rice HC, de Malmazet D, Schreurs A, Frere S, Van Molle I, Volkov AN, Creemers E, Vertkin I, Nys J, Ranaivoson FM, Comoletti D, Savas JN, Remaut H, Balschun D, Wierda KD, Slutsky I, Farrow K, De Strooper B, de Wit J. (2019) Secreted amyloid-β precursor protein functions as a GABA(B)R1a ligand to modulate synaptic transmission. Science. 363(6423). pii: eaao4827.

Ozgul S, von Daake S, Kakehi S, Sereni D, Denissova N, Hanlon C, Huang YJ, Everett JK, Yin C, Montelione GT, Comoletti D. (2019) An ELISA-Based Screening Platform for Ligand-Receptor Discovery. Methods Enzymol. 615:453-475.

Vieth JA, Das J, Ranaivoson FM, Comoletti D, Denzin LK, Sant'Angelo DB. (2017) TCRα-TCRβ pairing controls recognition of CD1d and directs the development of adipose NKT cells. Nat Immunol. 18:36-44.

Ranaivoson FM, von Daake S, Comoletti D. (2016) Structural Insights into Reelin Function: Present and Future. Front Cell Neurosci. 10:137.

Rubio-Marrero EN, Vincelli G, Jeffries CM, Shaikh TR, Pakos IS, Ranaivoson FM, von Daake S, Demeler B, De Jaco A, Perkins G, Ellisman MH, Trewhella J, Comoletti D. (2016) Structural Characterization of the Extracellular Domain of CASPR2 and Insights into Its Association with the Novel Ligand Contactin1. J Biol Chem. 291:5788-802.

More publications on GoogleScholar.


Teaching in 2020