About Marcelo Febo
Marcelo Febo completed his PhD at the University of Puerto Rico Medical School and postdoctoral studies at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. His work focuses on measuring in vivo functional and structural changes in the rat brain following chronic drug exposure. Over the past decade he has pursued this goal through the use of high field functional magnetic resonance imaging in awake rats and mice. He has been funded early in his career by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to examine the relationship between cocaine sensitization and alterations in maternal brain activity. He is presently Program Director of Translational Research Imaging at the University of Florida Brain Institute and is also a faculty member of the Department of Psychiatry.
Dr. Febo’s work focuses on using neuroimaging to study the neural correlates of addiction in rodent models. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allows us to inspect in vivo brain activation in response to a variety of cognitive, emotional and drug stimuli without disrupting the natural organization of the brain. The strength of the technique lies in its non-invasive nature that can permit longitudinal functional studies in the same animal over its adult life. The relatively good spatial and temporal resolution and the ever-growing database on the biological and biophysical basis of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal make it a unique technique in preclinical and translational neuroscience research. Presently we are investigating several areas of interest that include: (i) the long term impact of chronic cocaine exposure on the brain dopaminergic system, (ii) the role of brain oxytocin and vasopressin systems on the processing of social stimuli, and (iii) the specific roles of the medial prefrontal cortex on motivation and emotion. Our work could contribute significantly to understanding conditions such as addiction, depression.