Bruno Ceccarelli (1939-1988) was a brilliant, rigorous and active Italian scientist who suddenly left us 10 years ago. After his pioneering works on nerve regeneration, Bruno focussed his scientific interests on synapsese, that he investigated by an ever-growing variety of approaches and techniques. After his stage in Alex Mauro’s laboratory in New York, where his life-long collaboration with Paul Hurlbut began, he set up his own lab in Milano.  There he developed and applied - as a pioneer in our Country - electrophysiology, biological electron-microscopy, E.M.-level extracellular tracers, freeze-fracture, immunocytochemistry and quick-freezing, to build a comprehensive approach to the investigation of synaptic structure and function.
Bruno’s studies of synaptic vesicle exocytosis are now "classics", quoted not only in textbooks but also in many advanced research studies. Already from his initial results he conjectured that discharged vesicles underwent direct and local recycling and rapid reloading with neurotransmitter, to be reused in multiple secretion cycles, a view that is now becoming (over 25 years later!) generally accepted [kiss-and-run].  In his quick-freezing studies he showed images of "incomplete" fusion, not followed by a vesicle collapse, that he interpreted as images of a reversible opening of synaptic vesicles to discharge their content.  The importance of such a process, now often referred to as kiss-and-run, is emerging today in the general literature on exocytosis.  In the course of his scientific career, Bruno contributed to the understanding of several further aspects of exo-endocytosis and its regulation.

List of Bruno's main publications

Versione in Lingua Italiana


In order to keep memory of Bruno’s personality and work, based on scientific excellence combined with high-standard technological approaches, his friends have established a free Association, whose aim is to increase awareness in the Italian society about modern Neurosciences.
The Association is recognized by the Italian Society of Neurosciences.
During the last few years the Association has supported a few joung researchers and has organized the 1st Bruno Ceccarelli International Symposium one year after Bruno's death (Milano, 1989;  Bruno Ceccarelli Memorial Symposium "Neurotransmitter Release: the Neuromuscular Junction"), and a Meeting in Rome (1994).
Thanks to the generous support by Italian Schering Plough, the Association has recently become able to pursue a further objective: to spread the interest for Neurosciences out of the small circle of the students, by organizing Bruno Ceccarelli Lectures, which are held - twice a year - by renouned scientists who have brought significant contributions on themes of wide cultural interest.
In june 1998, in the 10th anniversary of Bruno's death, the Association has organized, in collaboration with the University of Milano and the XII Directorate General, Medical Research, of the European Commission, the 2nd Bruno Ceccarelli Symposium: "Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Exocytosis" (Milano, june 24-25, 1998), a satellite meeting of the Forum of European Neurosciences. The proceedings have been published in Philos. Trans. Royal Soc. London B, vol. 354, no. 1381, pp. 237-416, Feb. 1999 (ISSN 0962-8436).

If you are interested in receiving information on our activities, we would welcome your joining the Bruno Ceccarelli Association for Research in the Neurosciences

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