Assistant Professor of Biology
B.A., Western Connecticut State University
M.S., Ph.D. Fordham University
Postdoctoral training: The Rockefeller University
Science Building 110
Areas of Expertise
The mechanisms by which animals adapt to an ever-changing environment have longfascinated scientists. Our laboratory is particularly interested in the neural mechanisms by which animals sense changes in resource (food) availability in their environment and change their behavior to take advantage of these temporally restricted resources.
Our Laboratory is also interested in the signaling molecules and neural pathways by which estrogens promote behavioral arousal. Estrogen-treated mice have more than double the amount of running wheel activity, compared to non-treated animals, and we have shown that these changes in behavior are accompanied by changes in the expression of sleep-related gene-products in areas of the brain involved in sleep regulation.
External Research Support
Murakami, G., Hunter, R.G., Fontaine, C., Ribeiro, A., Pfaff, D. Relationships among estrogen receptor, oxytocin and vasopressin gene expression and social interaction in male mice. Eur J Neurosci. 34(3):469-77, 2011
Spiteri T, Musatov S, Ogawa S, Ribeiro A, Pfaff DW, Agmo A. The role of the estrogen receptor alpha in the medial amygdala and ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus in social recognition, anxiety and aggression. Behav. Brain Res. 2010; 210(2):211-20.
Spiteri T, Musatov S, Ogawa S, Ribeiro A, Pfaff DW, Agmo A. Estrogen-induced sexual incentive motivation, proceptivity and receptivity depend on a functional estrogen receptor alpha in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus but not in the amygdala. Neuroendocrinology. 2010; 91(2):142-54.
Westberg, L., E. Sawa, A. Wang, L. Gunaydin, A. Ribeiro and D. Pfaff. Co-localization of connexin 36 and corticotropin-releasing hormone in the mouse brain. BMC Neuroscience, 10(1):41, 2009.
Ribeiro, A. C., J. LeSauter and D. W. Pfaff. Relationship of arousal to circadian anticipatory behavior: Ventromedial hypothalamus - One Node in a Hunger/Arousal Network. Eur J Neurosci. 30(9):1730-8, 2009.