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Child Health Institute of New Jersey


Dr. Davide Comoletti is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Cell Biology at the Rutgers Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. 

Dr. Comoletti grew up in Milan (Italy) where he obtained a high school diploma in Agricultural Sciences amd graduated in Veterinary Medicine (DVM).  He obtained a PhD in Pharmacology and earned his PhD degree from the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy. 

In 1998 he 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 he learned molecular neuroscience and how to study the three-dimensional structure of proteins.

In 2011, Dr. Comoletti 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).  His research focused on the structure and function of synaptic cell adhesion proteins linked to autism..

In October of 2018, Dr. Comoletti accepted a new faculty position at Victoria University of Wellington where he continues to study molecular aspects of how synaptic adhesion proteins interact to each-other and how they function in health and disease

Research Interests

Synaptic biology, protein structure and function, protein:protein interaction

Dr. Davide Comoletti studies the structural and molecular basis of synapse formation and neuronal connectivity.

  • He has worked for over a decade on the structure and function or Neuroligins and Neurexins in the context of autism spectrum disorder.
  • Dr. Comoletti has used small angle-X-ray scattering to solve or validate the structure of several glycoproteins, including the Neuroligin-1/Neurexin-1 complex, CASPR2, IgLONs, Reelin, and other synaptic adhesion proteins.
  • In collaboration with Vaccine Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand – Ohu Kaupare Huaketo (VAANZ), Dr. Comoletti has successfully designed, engineered, and patented a number of protein-based vaccine to combat SARS-CoV-2.


Research Summary

The Comoletti laboratory focuses on the three-dimensional structure of cell surface adhesion molecules such as Neuroligins, CASPR2, latrophilin, lgLONs, and other neuronal and immune proteins and their complexes.

The laboratory studies the structural and molecular basis of synapse formation and connectivity. They focus on the atomic structure and cellular functions of trans-synaptic adhesion molecules such as CASPR2, latrophilin, lgLONs, and other related proteins and their complexes.

The lab also uses structural biology and other molecular neuroscience tools to gain insights into how mutations of these proteins associate with autism and other common neurodevelopmental disorders.


Featured Publications

  • Martín-de-Saavedra MD, Dos Santos M, Culotta L, Varea O, Spielman BP, Parnell E, Forrest MP, Gao R, Yoon S, McCoig E, Jalloul HA, Myczek K, Khalatyan N, Hall EA, Turk LS, Sanz-Clemente A, Comoletti D, Lichtenthaler SF, Burgdorf JS, Barbolina MV, Savas JN, Penzes P. (2022) Shed CNTNAP2 ectodomain is detectable in CSF and regulates Ca2+ homeostasis and network synchrony via PMCA2/ATP2B2. Neuron. 110:627-643.e9. 
  • Cui W, Gao N, Dong Z, Shen C, Zhang H, Luo B, Chen P, Comoletti D, Jing H, Wang H, Robinson H, Xiong WC, Mei L. (2021) In trans neuregulin3-Caspr3 interaction controls DA axonal bassoon cluster development. Curr Biol. 31:3330-3342.e7.
  • Turk LS, Kuang X, Dal Pozzo V, Patel K, Chen M, Huynh K, Currie MJ, Mitchell D, Dobson RCJ, D'Arcangelo G, Dai W, Comoletti D. (2021) The structure-function relationship of a signaling-competent, dimeric Reelin fragment. Structure. 29:1156-1170.e6.
  • 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. A Proteomic Screen of Neuronal Cell-Surface Molecules Reveals IgLONs as Structurally Conserved Interaction Modules at the Synapse. Structure. 2019 Jun 4;27(6):893-906.e9.
  • 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 GABABR1a ligand to modulate synaptic transmission. Science. 363(6423):eaao4827.