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Ana Ribeiro, PhD

Ana Ribeiro

Professor of Biology
PhD, Fordham University
MS, Fordham University
BA, Western Connecticut State University

Areas of Interest 

  • Sleep disorders and physiology
  • Hormonal regulation of behavior
  • Hormonal imbalances and obesity

The mechanisms by which animals adapt to an ever-changing environment have long fascinated scientists. Dr. Ribeiro’s 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.

Her 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.

Dr. Ribeiro received a National Research Service Award from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to study the mechanisms underlying estrogen-mediated increases in behavioral arousal.


  • BIOL 111 General Biology Lecture I
  • BIOL 111 General Biology Laboratory I
  • BIOL 112 General Biology Lecture I
  • BIOL 112 General Biology Laboratory II
  • BIOL 320 Systemic Physiology Lecture
  • BIOL 320 Systemic Physiology Laboratory
  • BIOL 310, 410 Research in Biology
  • BIOL 360/460 Independent Study in Biology
  • BIOL 404 Biological Colloquium
  • BIOL 405 Neurobiology Lecture
  • BIOL 405 Neurobiology Laboratory

Ribeiro, A. C., Musatov, S., Shteyler, A., Simanduyev, S., Arrieta-Cruz, I., Ogawa, S., and Pfaff, D. W., “siRNA silencing of estrogen receptor-α expression specifically in medial preoptic area neurons abolishes maternal care in female mice,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(40):16324-9, 2012

Ribeiro, A. C., Ceccarini, G., Dupré, C., Friedman, J. M., Pfaff, D. W., and Allyn, M., “Contrasting Effects of Leptin on Food Anticipatory and Total Locomotor Activit,” PLOS ONE 6(8), 2011

Ribeiro, A. C., Murakami, G., Hunter, R. G., Fontaine, C., and Pfaff, D. W., “Relationships among estrogen receptor, oxytocin and vasopressin gene expression and social interaction in male mice,” European Journal of Neuroscience. 34(3):469-77, 2011

Ribeiro, A. C., Spiteri, T., Musatov, S., Ogawa, S., Pfaff, D. W., and 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,” Behavioral Brain Research Journal; 210(2):211-20, 2010

Ribeiro, A. C. and Pfaff, D. W., “Theoretical consequences of fluctuating versus constant liganding of oestrogen receptor-alpha in neurons,” Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 22(6):486-91, 2010

Ribeiro, A. C., Spiteri, T., Musatov, S., Ogawa, S., Pfaff, D. W., and 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,” Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 2010; 91(2):142-54, 2010

Ribeiro, A. C., Pfaff, D. W., and Devidze, N., “Estradiol modulates behavioral arousal and induces changes in gene-expression profiles in brain regions involved in the control of vigilance,” European Journal of Neuroscience. 29(4):795-801, 2009

Ribeiro, A. C., Westberg, L., Sawa, E., Wang, A., Gunaydin, L., and Pfaff, D. W., “Co-localization of connexin 36 and corticotropin-releasing hormone in the mouse brain,” BMC Neuroscience, 10(1):41, 2009

Ribeiro, A. C., LeSauter, J., and Pfaff, D. W., “Relationship of arousal to circadian anticipatory behavior: Ventromedial hypothalamus – One Node in a Hunger/Arousal Network,” European Journal of Neuroscience. 30(9):1730-8, 2009