Bianca Silva is junior group leader at Humanitas Research Hospital, where she leads the Circuits neuroscience Lab, and tenured PI at the Italian National Research Council (CNR).

After a master degree in medical biotechnology at the University of Milan, she joined Cornelius Gross’ group at EMBL-Rome for her doctoral training.  During her PhD, she investigated how the brain processes innate fear. Using chemogenetic manipulations she discovered that social and predator fear, two evolutionarily conserved and highly ethologically relevant stimuli, are not mediated by classic amygdalar fear circuits, but depend instead on distinct hypothalamic networks.

For her postdoctoral research she started investigating how long-lasting fear memories can be attenuated in Johannes Gräff’s group of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), that she joined with an EMBO postdoctoral fellowship. There, she used chemogenetics, optogenetics, functional connectivity analysis, calcium imaging and viral tracing and uncovered a thalamo-amygdalar circuit mediating attenuation of remote (i.e. 30 days old) but not recent (i.e. 1 day old) fear memories.

Since February 2021, Bianca returned to Italy as a principal investigator at the Institute of Neuroscience of the National Research Council of Italy and junior group leader at Humanitas Research Hospital.

Her research is founded, among others, by the Cariplo Foundation, the Alzheimer Association, Airalzh and by the European Research Council, that granted her an ERC Starting Grant. Since 2021 she is a scholar of the FENS Kavli Network of excellence, a prestigious network of 30 outstanding early career European neuroscientists aimed to improve Neuroscience in Europe and beyond.