Dr. Antonello Bonci is the President and Founder of GIA Miami and one of the Founders and Scientific Director of Brain&Care. Before moving to GIA Miami, he served for nearly a decade at the National Institute of Health (NIH) as Scientific Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the NIH. Between 1999 and 2010, he was Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the highest ranked Department of Neurology in the world. At UCSF, he also held the Howard J. Weinberg Endowed Chair in Addiction Research.
Dr. Bonci is known worldwide for his pioneering studies on the long-term effects of stress and drug exposure on the brain. Bonci's laboratory was the first to demonstrate that drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, modify the strength of the connections between neurons and produce brain plasticity. This study, published in Nature, cast a new light on the phenomenon of drug addiction, as a process where maladaptive learning plays a central role.
Subsequent studies from his laboratory, published in the most prestigious scientific magazines such as Nature, Science, Cell, Neuron, PNAS, Nature Neuroscience, have combined electrophysiological, optogenetic, molecular, and behavioral techniques to determine the long-term effects that are produced by chronic exposure to stress, cocaine or ethanol, with the goal of creating novel therapeutic avenues to decrease the devastating effects of these conditions.
In 2013, a pioneering study published in Nature by his team, provided the scientific rationale for the use of non-invasive brain stimulation, such as repeated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), in patients with cocaine use disorders and other types of addictions. Subsequent clinical studies from Bonci and collaborators have indeed shown the therapeutic relevance of TMS in the treatment of cocaine use disorders and other types of addiction. Based on this work, in 2021 the TMS company Mag Venture received CE approval for the treatment of addictions, which makes TMS the first approved neurobiological treatment for substance use disorders such as psychostimulants addiction and pathological gambling.
Dr. Bonci has received numerous international awards, such as the D. Efron Award at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Jacob P. Waletzky Memorial Award at the Society for Neuroscience, and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) European Journal of Neuroscience (ENJ) Research Award.
His work has been featured worldwide in the media such as NPR, NBC news, CBS news and so on.
He is an active member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Physicians, the American Neurological Association, the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and a Member of the Advisory Council at Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, for which he is a regular Grant Reviewer.