Columbia University Medical Center


Gilbert Di Paolo, PhD

Gilbert Di Paolo, PhD
  • Department of Pathology & Cell Biology
  • Associate Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology (in the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain)


Research in Dr. Di Paolo’s lab focuses on the analysis of major bioactive phospholipids, such as phosphoinositides and phosphatidic acid, and their role in the regulation of membrane trafficking to and from the plasma membrane as well as along the endolysosomal and autophagy pathways. Lipid-mediated signaling regulates a plethora of cellular processes, including organelle trafficking, signal transduction and cytoskeletal dynamics. Consistent with a central role of intracellular regulatory lipids in cell physiology, dysregulation of their metabolism has been implicated in a growing number of diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Di Paolo’s lab studies intracellular lipid signaling primarily in neurons in order to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling normal synaptic function. They also study how perturbations in such signaling can lead to synaptic malfunction, neurodegeneration and cognitive decline in Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. To tackle these fundamental questions, they employ multidisciplinary approaches, which range from molecular and cell biology, protein and lipid biochemistry (including 'lipidomics') to mouse genetics and behavioral assessments of genetically-modified mice.

Lab Members


  • Di Paolo G, Moskowitz H, Gipson K, Wenk MR, Voronov S, Obayashi M, Flavell R, Fitzsimonds R, Ryan TA, De Camilli P. Impaired PtdIns(4,5)P(2) synthesis in nerve terminals produces synaptic vesicle trafficking defects. Nature 2004; 431: 415-22.
  • Di Paolo G, De Camilli P. Role of phosphoinositides in cell regulation and membrane dynamics. Nature, 2006; 443, 651-657.
  • Landman N, Jeong SY, Shin SY, Voronov SV, Serban G, Kang MS, Park MK, Di Paolo G, Chung S, Kim TW. Presenilin mutations linked to familial Alzheimer’s disease cause an imbalance in phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate metabolism. PNAS, 2006; 103, 19524-19529.
  • Berman DE, Dall'Armi C, Voronov SV, McIntire LB, Zhang H, Moore AZ, Staniszewski A, Arancio O, Kim TW, Di Paolo G. Oligomeric amyloid-beta peptide disrupts phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate metabolism. Nature Neurosci. 2008; 11; 521-617.
  • Voronov SV, Frere SG, Giovedi S, Pollina EA, Borel C, Zhang H, Schmidt C, Akeson EC, Wenk MR, Arancio O, Davisson MT, Antonarakis SE, Gardiner K, De Camilli P, Di Paolo G. Synj1-linked PI(4,5)P2 Dyshomeostasis and Cognitive Deficits in Genetic Models of Down Syndrome. PNAS 2008; 105, 9415-9420.
  • Oliveira TG, Chan RB, Tian H, Laredo M, Shui G, Staniszewski A, Zhang A, Wang L, Kim TW, Duff KE, Arancio O, Di Paolo G. Phospholipase D2 ablation ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease-linked synaptic dysfunction and cognitive deficits. J. Neurosci. 2010; 16419-28.
  • Dall’Armi C, Hurtado-Lorenzo A, Tian H, Morel E, Nezu, A, Chan RB, Yu WH, Robinson KS, Yeku O, Small SA, Duff K, Frohman MA, Wenk MR, Yamamoto A, Di Paolo G. Phospholipase D1 modulates macroautophagy. Nature Communications 2010; 1:142.
  • Chang-Ileto B, Frere SG, Chan RB, Voronov SV, Roux A, Di Paolo G. Synaptojanin 1-mediated PI(4,5)P2 hydrolysis is modulated by membrane curvature and facilitates membrane fission. Developmental Cell 2011; 20, 206–9.
  • Di Paolo G, Kim TW. Linking Lipids to Alzheimer’s Disease: Cholesterol and Beyond. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2011; 12: 284-96
  • Chan RB, Oliveira TG, Duff K, Small SA, Wenk MR, Shui G, Di Paolo G. Comparative lipidomic analysis of mouse and human brain with Alzheimer's disease. J. Biol Chem 2012; 287: 2678-88.