Gian Michele Ratto graduated in Physics in Genova at the end of 1984 and right afterward he joined Roger Tsien laboratory in Berkeley as a post doc where he employed the newly synthetized dye fura2 to measure calcium dynamics in vertebrate photoreceptors during photo response.
After a brief period in Pisa with a fellowship from the Accademia dei Lincei, he moved to Cambridge (UK) until 1992 where he studied the cellular mechanisms of the early development of light sensitivity of mammalian photoreceptors.
He returned to Pisa in 1993 where he eventually joined Lamberto Maffei’s laboratory, and finally he became tenured scientist in 1997 at the Institute of Neuroscience. In 2007 he joined the Institute of Nanoscience CNR located in the applied Physics lab of the Scuola Normale Superiore. There he directed the in vivo physiology lab until 2022, when he joined the Neuroscience Institute in Padua.
His current research interests are relative to the role of circadian rhythm in shaping fast synaptic inhibition and neuronal activity in physiological conditions and in murine models of diseases of the autistic spectra. His tools of the trade includes the development of novel genetically encoded sensor for the study of neuronal function and multielectrode in vivo electrophysiology.
In the last 15 years, he have supervised 12 PhD students at Scuola Normale Superiore and 34 master thesis. Most of these young scientists are still in Academia and some of them have started their own independent lab. Alumni from his lab moved to different positions outside of Italy including University of Wisconsin, Harvard University (Boston, USA), Columbia University (NYC, USA), University College London, Oxford University, Amsterdam University, Yale University, Max Plank Institute (Munich), Umea University (Sweden), Lund University (Sweden), Radboud University, Nijmegen (Netherland).