Andrea Contestabile graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology at the University of Bologna in 1996, studying the expression of N-type voltage-gated calcium channels in the differentiation process of a neuroblastoma cell line. In 1997 he underwent is post-degree training at the Biotechnology Department of the Alfa-Wasserman laboratory. In 1998 he moved, with a EU Leonardo project fellowship, to the Glaxo-Wellcome research center in Stevenage (UK) to study gene expression profiles during Rheumatoid Arthritis disease progression by microarray screening. In 1999 he obtained a fellowship from the San Raffaele Research Institute (DIBIT, Milan, Italy) to study the role of protein phosphorylation in synaptic maturation and function. From 2003 to 2007 he accomplished his PhD studies in Neurophysiology at the Human Physiology Department, University of Bologna, to study the role of transcription factors and signaling molecules in the regulation of neuronal precursors proliferation. During the same period he also started a research project to studying the altered neurodevelopmental process and neurodegenerative phenotype found in Down syndrome (DS).
Currently, he has a researcher position at Italian Institute of Technology (IIT). The general focus of his research is the understanding of the molecular determinants of cognitive disabilities in developmental disorders such as Down syndrome. To this aim, he adopts a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches based on molecular, neuroanatomical, electrophysiological techniques and behavioral tests.