Carlos Ribeiro is a principal investigator at the Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme in Lisbon, Portugal. He was born in Basel, Switzerland and performed his PhD in the lab of Markus Affolter in the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, where he used in vivo imaging to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms used to sculpt the tubular breathing network of the fruit fly. For his postdoc he joined the lab of Barry Dickson at the IMP in Vienna, Austria where he first worked on embryonic axon guidance. Witnessing the power of Drosophila neurogenetics in furthering our understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of behavior, he became interested in decision-making and nutrition in the adult fruit fly. In 2009 he moved to Lisbon to join the newly founded Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme. His lab works at the interface of behavior, metabolism and physiology and studies how nutrients and internal states act at the level of neuronal and physiological systems to generate the correct behavioral decisions needed for the survival and reproduction of organisms. You can follow his activities on Twitter @RibeiroCarlitos
Nutrition is a key determinant of health, wellbeing and aging. We work at the interface of behavior, metabolism and physiology to understand nutritional decision making. More specifically we want to understand how the internal metabolic and mating states of the adult Drosophila affect its feeding decisions and how these nutritional decisions in turn affect life history traits of the animal. Starting from novel behavioral paradigms we use molecular genetic techniques to identify and characterize genes and neuronal populations involved in producing the appropriate behavioral response to a specific need of the fly. We use tissue-specific whole-genome behavioral RNAi screens to identify molecular processes. Neuronal substrates are identified by screening for fly lines marking neuronal populations necessary to produce correct behavioral outputs. The identified molecular mechanisms and circuits are then analyzed using quantitative behavioral observations, state-of-the-art genetic and molecular techniques, as well as imaging approaches. We aim at an integrated, whole-animal understanding of how nutrition affects the behavior of the animal in the context of its fitness.