Giovanni Frazzetto, Ph.D.
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Monterotondo
BIOS Centre, London School of Economcis
Born in 1977 in Ragusa, Italy
Studied Molecular Biology at the University College London and at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Monterotondo
Behavioural Neuroscience, Psychotropic Drugs and EnhancementMy research focuses on behavioural genetics and behavioural neuroscience. I am seeking to reveal gene-environment interactions underlying psychopathology, with special attention to anxiety-related behaviour.
A dynamic feedback loop exists between research in behavioural genetics and a medicalising society. On one hand medicalisation fuels genetics with novel objects for investigation by increasing the number of non-pathological behavioural traits that are being brought under its scrutiny. On the other, ongoing behavioural genetic research reinforces the growing power of the medical gaze. The advent of pharmacological therapies to treat disorders with ambiguous diagnostic criteria and/or individuals without appropriate diagnoses or with mild symptoms has further accelerated the trend toward medicalisation and has raised ethical concerns about whether psychotropic drugs are being employed for treatment of a legitimate disorder or as enhancement of normal functioning.
My project will be dedicated to the study of medicalisation of anxiety in contemporary society and to the ethical and sociological analysis of the escalating consumption of psychotropic drugs to treat it and the relevant enhancement debate. In this context, special attention will be given to the ethics of "authenticity" as revealed by narratives of identity and self-fulfilment in individuals consuming psychotropic drugs.
Carola, V., G. Frazzetto, and C. Gross. "Identifying interactions between genes and early environment in the mouse." Genes, Brain and Behaviour 5 (2006): 189-199.
Frazzetto, G. and C. Gross. "Behavioural genetics: Beyond susceptibility." EMBOreports on Genes, Brain/Mind and Behaviour (special issue), in press for July 2007.