In 2008, Dr. Santini joined Nova Southeastern University, Ponce Site as an assistant professor in the department of pharmaceutical sciences. He taught in the Pharm.D. program and provided mentorship to students enrolled in the graduate program as well. Dr. Santini was involved in many committees at the departmental and college levels, including curriculum, admissions and recruitment. He was also able to establish and maintain research collaborative projects with the faculty members at the Ponce School of Medicine. In regard to research, Dr. Santini combines his expertise in behavior neuroscience with patch-clamp electrophysiology to study the cellular mechanisms of fear conditioning and extinction. He focuses on the infralimbic (IL) sub-region of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a structure necessary for inhibiting conditioned fear responses following fear extinction. He has found that fear extinction enhances the intrinsic excitability of IL neurons. Changes in IL excitability appear to be necessary for reducing conditioned fear, perhaps by inhibiting amygdala output. Since extinction-based exposure psychotherapy is being used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and phobias, understanding the cellular mechanisms of extinction will likely lead to new strategies for treating these disorders. Dr. Santini has an excellent publication record with papers in high-impact journals in the field of behavioral neuroscience. He joins the Gregory School of Pharmacy at PBA to pursue his passion for teaching, research and service. Dr. Santini and his wife Vilmarie have two beautiful daughters. They have been involved for many years in the creative arts ministry and they look forward to continue to serve the Lord in the area of West Palm Beach, FL.
PHD in Biomedical Sciences, Ponce School of Medicine | BS in Biology, Interamerican University of Puerto Rico