Welcome to the Lab of Flexibility in Circuits & Behaviour team!

We're located at SISSA in the beautiful Italian town of Trieste at the Adriatic Sea and close to Slovenia, Austria and Croatia.

Current group members:

Katja Reinhard (Group Leader)

Lorenza Tortella (PhD candidate)

Katja Reinhard, Group Leader

Understanding how our body works always fascinated me, so I decided to study Biomedical Sciences (Fribourg & Bern, Switzerland). A transforming lecture about electrophysiology by Hugues Abriel led to a clear decision: I wanted to learn how to record cellular activity and use this knowledge to study the brain. I first went to the Abriel lab for my Master thesis and learned patch clamp, and then joined the lab of Thomas Münch in Tübingen, Germany, to study the retina in various species and in different contexts. Like many other retina scientists, I decided that everything after the retina might actually be an interesting black box and hence joined Karl Farrow in Leuven, Belgium, to gain insights into how information from the retina is used to guide innate behaviors. Connecting what I learned about adaptation in the retina with my knowledge about circuits through the superior colliculus that mediate innate behaviors, is the basis of my research program on flexibility in the visuo-motor system.

When I'm not in the lab or writing grants, I like to dance salsa and forro, hike or ski in the mountains, and discuss everything and nothing over delicious food.

email: katja.reinhard[at] CV ResearchGate Twitter Mastodon GoogleScholar

Lorenza Tortella, PhD candidate

Since I was a teenager I’ve always been interested in science and I decided to study Biological Sciences (University of Urbino, Italy). During the third year of my bachelor, the first class of neurophysiology held by Professor Stefano Sartini was revealing. Therefore, I decided to do an internship in his laboratory in which I discovered electrophysiology, and it was actually love at first sight. Having the possibility to record cellular activity while neurons are communicating with each other was over my expectation. I moved to Trieste (Italy) to study Neuroscience and during my master thesis I learned patch clamp in vitro in the lab of Professor Laura Ballerini at SISSA. I enjoyed the beautiful scientific environment and decided to apply for a PhD in Neurobiology in SISSA. After having graduated in July 2022, I’m currently a PhD student in the Flexibility in Circuits & Behaviour lab of Professor Katja Reinhard in which I’ll have the opportunity to study how brain circuits work also in vivo and how they are used to adapt and to mediate innate behaviours.

When I’m not in the lab, I like cooking, play boardgames and go out for a tea with good friends. I’m also a cat lover.

email: lorenza.tortella[at]