Nadia Lunardi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA. She received her M.D. cum lauda degree, completed residency in Anesthesiology and earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Padova, Padova, Italy.
During her Ph.D. studies, she focused on characterizing the neurotoxic mechanisms of commonly used intravenous and inhaled anesthetics during early stages of brain development, under the guidance of Dr. Vesna Jevtovic-Todorovic and Dr. Alev Erisir at the University of Virginia. Early in her Ph.D., she developed a special interest in the use of quantitative electron microscopy to study the deleterious effects of anesthetics on the ultrastructure of the neuropil, synapse density and morphology, mitochondria and other cytoplasmic organelles.
After completing a fellowship in Critical Care, Dr. Lunardi was recruited as faculty in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Virginia. Since then, she has pursued the goal of complementing her earlier quantitative ultrastructural findings of altered synaptic morphology with the study of synapse function, by developing skills in electrophysiology recording of synaptic transmission and electroencephalography measurement of cortical oscillations.
Dr. Lunardi received a K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award
from the NIH in 2017. Her research program encompasses the use of electroencephalography, electrophysiology and electron microscopy in neonatal rats and elderly mice to investigate how anesthetic drugs induce synaptic dysregulation and affect circuit-level brain function, ultimately leading to postoperative cognitive dysfunction.