2017-present Associate principal investigator at the Champalimaud Foundation Neuroscience Programme at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal
2011-2017 Assistant principal investigator at the Champalimaud Foundation Neuroscience Programme at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal
2009-2011 Assistant principal investigator at the Champalimaud Foundation Neuroscience Programme at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, Portugal
2004-2009 Postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Barry J. Dickson’s group at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) and Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria
2003-2004 Postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Dr. M. Affolter’s group at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland
Education and Training
2003 Graduation as “Dr. phil.” with summa cum laude
1999-2003 PhD thesis in Prof. Dr. M. Affolter‘s group at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland Topic: Cellular and molecular analysis of branching morphogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster
1999 Graduation as “Diplom biologie II” (Master of Science)
1997-1999 Diploma thesis under the supervision of and Dr. M. Affolter at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland Topic: Molecular and genetic analysis of the requirement of the Mad binding sites for the Dpp responsiveness of the labial homeotic response element
1994-1999 Diploma studies in biology II at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland
1994 Matura nach Typus B (Graduation) at the Gymnasium Bäumlihof in Basel, Switzerland
General administrative and organisational experience
I have participated in the organization of 7 meetings including the Champalimaud Neuroscience Symposium of which I was the chair. As one of the first recruited PIs I have been very actively involved in building up the Champalimaud Centre of the Unknown. I have also participated in building up the new Biology of Systems and Metastasis Programme at the Centre. This included organizational, recruitment and technical building planning. Furthermore I am an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple scientific journals including Nature, Science magazine, and the European Journal of Neuroscience as well as granting agencies including, the ERC, HFSP, SNF, ANR, and the BBSRC. I also serve as a member of the commission for the evaluation of the life sciences and health sciences strategic projects for the Portuguese FCT. I am a board member and the head of the Science Policy section of the FENS Kavli Scholars and as such I have been actively advising the EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.
During my career, I have focused on discovering and characterizing conserved mechanisms regulating complex neuronal, nutritional, physiological and developmental processes at the level of the whole animal. My key contributions include: Using in vivo imaging in the embryo I have shown that the axon guidance receptor Robo is sorted differentially in neurons depending on the presence of Commissureless, providing in vivo evidence of how axon guidance is regulated at the midline. In the first-ever whole genome neuronal RNAi screen I co-discovered the receptor for the Drosophila Sex Peptide providing an entry step into a circuit-level understanding of how postmating responses are coordinated within the female nervous system. I have established a value-based, nutritional paradigm in Drosophila and showed that flies homeostatically balance specific nutrients such as amino acids. I have shown that nutrient decisions are regulated by mating status, characterized the molecular and circuit underpinning of this internal state input and shown that the nutrientsensitive TOR pathway can change these feeding decisions when manipulated in the nervous system. My laboratory has developed novel, quantitative and automated behavioral setups which are allowing us to characterize the behavioral components of feeding and foraging as well as similarities of food intake regulation across species, pointing to a common strategy in how the nervous systems of different animals control food intake.
We have discovered and characterized the gustatory basis for protein and amino acid feeding and homeostasis. We have identified that specific commensal microbes regulate feeding decisions and reproduction, highlighting a novel function for the microbiome in nutrient homeostasis. Currently, the lab is focusing on understanding how internal states (mainly nutritional, microbial, organ metabolic states, and mating states) interact to shape molecular, physiological and circuit mechanisms controlling food selection and nutrition.
The lab is tackling these questions using 4 integrated approaches: We survey and manipulate specific neuronal circuits to understand how they control specific modules of the feeding and foraging program. We use different neurogenetic and genomics approaches to identify and study the molecular mechanisms allowing the brain to sense internal states and alter neuronal processes guiding feeding decisions. We use metabolomics, transcriptomics, and bacterial genetics approaches to understand how specific gut microbes alter food choice and nutrition. We use genetic and molecular approaches to identify and manipulate populations of cells with special metabolic needs to understand how nutrition affects their function and how the needs of these cells affect feeding decisions.
1. Moreira, J.-M. †, Itskov, P.M. †, Goldschmidt, D., Steck, K., Walker, S.J., and Ribeiro, C. * (2018). optoPAD: a closed-loop optogenetics system to study the circuit basis of feeding behaviors. BioRxiv 485110.
2. Steck, K. † , Walker, S.J. † , Itskov, P.M., Baltazar, C, Ribero C.* (2018) Internal Amino Acid State Modulates Yeast Taste Neurons to Support Protein Homeostasis in Drosophila, eLife, 7. pii: e31625. doi: 10.7554/eLife.31625
3. Leitão-Gonçalves, R. † , Francisco, A. P. † , Carvalho-Santos, Z. † , Fioreze, G. T., Anjos, M, Baltazar, C., Elias, A.P., Itskov, P.M., Piper, M. D., Ribero C.* Commensal bacteria control food choice behavior and reproduction by buffering the effect of essential amino acids availability, PLoS Biology, 15(4): e2000862. 3
4. Piper, M.D.W. †*, Soultoukis, G.A. † , Blanc, E., Mesaros, A., Herbert, S.L., He, X., Juricic, P., Salmonowicz, H., Yang, M., Simpson, S.J., Ribero, C., Partridge, L. * (2017), Exome matching: a novel in silico approach to optimise dietary amino acid balance for growth and reproduction, Cell Metabolism, 25,610-621
5. Corrales-Carvajal, V.M., Faisal, A.A., Ribero C.* Internal states drive nutrient homeostasis by modulating exploration-exploitation trade-off, eLife, 5:,e19920
6. Walker, S.J., Corrales-Carvajal, V.M., Ribero C.* (2015) Postmating circuitry modulates salt taste processing to increase reproductive output in Drosophila. Curr. Biol., 25(20), 2621-2630
7. Oest, A. * † , Lempradl, A. † , Casas, E., Weigert, M., Tiko, T., Deniz, M., Pantano, L., Boenisch, U., Itskov, P.M., Stoeckius, M., Ruf, M., Rajewsky, N., Reuter, G., Iovino, N., Ribeiro, C., Alenius, M., Heyne, S., Vavouri, T., Pospisilik, J.A. * (2014) Paternal diet defines offspring chromatin state and intergenerational obesity. Cell, 156(6):1352-1364
8. Itskov, P.M., Moreira, J-M, Vinnik, E., Lopes, G., Safarik, S., Dickinson, M.H., Ribeiro C.* (2014) Automated monitoring and quantitative analysis of feeding behavior in Drosophila., Nature Commun., 5:4560
9. Piper, M.D.W. *, Blanc, E., Leitão-Gonçalves, R., Yang, M., He, X., Hoddinott, M.P., Niemeyer, C., Kerr, F., Ribeiro, C. and Partridge, L. * (2013) A holidic medium for Drosophila melanogaster, Nature Methods, 11(1):100-5
10. Ribeiro, C.* and Dickson, B.J. (2010). Sex peptide receptor and neuronal TOR/S6K signaling modulate value-based feeding decisions in Drosophila, Curr. Biol., 20(11), 1000-1005.
11. Yapici, N.† , Kim, Y.-J. † , Ribeiro, C., Dickson, B.J. * (2008). A receptor that mediates the post-mating switch in Drosophila reproductive behaviour. Nature, 451(7174):33-7.
12. Ribeiro, C. † , Neumann, M. † , Affolter, M. * (2004). Genetic control of cell intercalation during tracheal morphogenesis in Drosophila. Curr. Biol., 14(24), 2197-2207.
13. Ribeiro, C., Ebner, A. and Affolter, M. * (2002). In vivo imaging reveals different cellular functions for FGF and Dpp signaling in tracheal branching morphogenesis. Dev. Cell. 2, 677-683. * author of correspondence, † authors contributed equally to this work