Lucia Carvelli, Ph.D.

Lucia Carvelli

Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Wilkes Honors College | FAU Brain Institute Investigator

Associate Professor, Biomedical Science (Secondary)

Department: Biomedical Science


After receiving a Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan (Italy), Dr. Lucia Carvelli pursued postdoctoral studies in molecular neuropharmacology with Aurelio Galli at the University of Texas in San Antonio, followed by studies in membrane physiology with Louis DeFelice at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. At Vanderbilt, she pursued single channel analyses of C. elegans dopamine transporters in cultured neurons using whole cell patch-clamp techniques and evaluated dopamine transporter regulation by synaptic proteins in the nematode in vivo. As an independent investigator, Dr. Carvelli focused her research on the molecular mechanisms of amphetamine action at the dopaminergic synapses. Her current research investigates the long-term effects of embryonal exposure to amphetamine and cocaine and the effects these drugs have in offspring.


  • 1999: Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmacological Research Mario Negri, Milan (Italy)
  • 1995: Laura in Biological Science, University of Calabria (Italy)
  • 1988: B.S. Liceo Scientifico Raffaele Lombardi Satriani (Italy)

Work History

  • 2017-Present: Associate Professor, FAU Schmidt College of Medicine and Investigator, FAU Brain Institute, Florida Atlantic University
  • 2017-Present: Associate Professor, Neuroscience, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University
  • 2016-2017: Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of North Dakota, School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • 2010-2016: Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Physiology & Therapeutic/Biomedical Sciences, University of North Dakota, School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • 2005-2010 Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University Medical School

Scholarly Activity

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Kudumala S, Sossi S, Carvelli L. Swimming Induced Paralysis to Assess Dopamine Signaling in Caenorhabditis Elegans. JoVE 2019
  • Lanzo A, Safratowich BD, Gallotta I, Zampi G, Di Schiavi E, Carvelli L. Silencing of syntaxin 1A in the dopaminergic neurons decreases the activity of the dopamine transporter and prevents amphetamine-induced behavior in C. elegans. Front Physiology 2018; 22(9):576
  • McCowan T, Dhasarathy A and Carvelli L. Epigenetics mechanisms of amphetamine. Journal Addiction and Prevention. 2015; S(1):7
  • Hardaway AJ, Whitaker SM, Snarrenberg CL, Li Z, Xu S, Bermingham DP, Odiase P, Spencer WC, Miller DM III, Carvelli L, Hardie SL, Blakely RD. Glia expression of the Caenorhabditis elegans gene Swip-10 supports glutamate dependent control of extrasynaptic dopamine signaling. J. Neurosci.2015;35(25):9409-23
  • Carvelli L. Amphetamine activates/potentiates a ligand-gated ion channel. Channels 2014; 8(4): 294-5
  • Safratowich BD, Hossain M, Bianchi L and Carvelli L. Amphetamine potentiates the effects of β-Phenylethylamine through activation of an amine-gated chloride channel. J. Neurosci. 2014; 34(13):4686-91
  • Hossain M, Wickramasekara RN and Carvelli L. β-phenylethylamine requires the dopamine transporter to increase extracellular dopamine in C. elegans dopaminergic neurons. Neurochem Internat 2014 Jul;73:27-31
  • Safratowich BD, Lor Chee, Bianchi L and Carvelli L. Amphetamine activates an amine-gated chloride channel to generate behavioral effects in Caenorhabditis elegans. J Biol Chem. 2013 Jul 26;288(30)21630-7
  • Akula Bala P, Foster J, Carvelli L and Henry LR. SLC6 Transporter: Structure, Function, Regulation, Disease Association and Therapeutics. Molecular Aspect of Medicine. 2012 Jul.

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Honors and Awards

  • 2018 Regular Member of Neurotransporters, Receptors and Calcium Signaling Study Section, National Institute of Health
  • 2017 Ad hoc Member of Avenir Program for Genetics or Epigenetics of Substance Use Disorders
  • 2014 Editor in Chief of the special issue Epigenetic Mechanisms of Drugs Addiction at the Journal Addiction and Prevention
  • 2014 Elected Councilor for the International Transmembrane Transporter Society
  • 2012 Ad hoc Member, Biophysics of Neuronal System Study Section, National Institute of Health
  • 2012 Elected Councilor for Catecholamine Society
  • 1999 Best PhD Student/Alfredo Leonardi Award. Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacology Research Milan (Italy)

Professional Societies

  • International Transmembrane Transporter Society
  • Catecholamine Society
  • Genetic Society of America
  • Biophysical Society
  • Society for Neuroscience

Active Funding

  • NIH/R01 (DA042156) Grant Title: AMPHETAMINE CAUSES TRANSGENERATIONAL EFFECTS PI: L Carvelli Project Period: 2016-2021 The goal of this grant is to characterize the long-term and transgenerational effects of chronic amphetamine exposure during early development.

Additional Information
The Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine offers students a variety of educational programs and degrees.
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road, BC-71
Boca Raton, FL 33431