Connecting European Neuroscience

Rui M. Costa

Chair, Programme Committee for the FENS Forum (2014 - 2016)

Curriculum Vitae

Professional and academic career


PhD in Neuroscience, UCLA/University of Porto, Portugal
DVM, Veterinary Medicine, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal


Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. M. Nicolelis, Duke University, USA
Chief, Section of In-Vivo Neural Function, NIAAA, NIH, USA
Investigator, Champalimaud Neuroscience Program, Portugal

Honours and awards

Young Investigator Award, National Neurofibromatosis Foundation, NY, USA
ERC Starting Grant, European Research Council, Brussels, Belgium
Seeds of Science Prize for Life Sciences 2010, Portugal
IECS, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, MD, USA
Young Investigator Award, Society for Neuroscience, USA

Administrative and organisational experience

Member of the “Intramural Roadmap Committee”, NIH
Associate Editor, Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
President, American-Portuguese Biomedical Research Fund, NY, USA
Vice-President, Portuguese Society for Neuroscience
Deputy Director, Champalimaud Neuroscience Program
Editor, Genes, Brain and Behaviour
Scientific Council, Bial Foundation

Previous position as FENS officer
Member, Programme Committee for the FENS Forum (2012 - 2014)

Research interests

General goal:
Integrative approach to investigate the neurobiology of action
Research areas:
Molecular, cellular, and systems mechanisms of action generation; sequence and skill learning, goal-directed actions versus habits. Across-level approach to study cognitive and sensorimotor disorders in mouse models - PD, OCD, NF1, autism.
Major Tools:
Gene targeting in mice Neuronal ensemble electrophysiology in behaving mice, Slice electrophysiology in mice Optogenetics and molecular imaging in mice Mouse behavioural analysis.

Selected Publications

  • Cui, G*, Jun SB*, Jin, X, Pham, MD, Vogel SS, Lovinger DM & Costa RM. (2012) In-Vivo Optical Measurements Reveal Concurrent Activation of Striatal Direct- and Indirect-Pathway Neurons During Movement Initiation. Nature. doi: 10.1038/nature11846
  • Koralek, AC*, Jin, X*, Long II, JD, Costa RM*, Carmena JM*. (2012). Corticostriatal plasticity is necessary for learning intentional neuroprosthetic skills. Nature, 483(7389): 331-5. doi: 10.1038/nature10845
  • French CA, Jin X, Campbell TG, Gerfen E, Groszer M, Fisher SE, Costa RM (2011). An Aetiological Foxp2 Mutation Causes Aberrant Activity and Synchrony of Striatal Circuits. Molecular Psychiatry. doi: 10.1038/mp.2011.105
  • Costa, RM (2011). A selectionist account of de novo action learning. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 21(4): 579-86
  • Jin X & Costa RM (2010). Start/stop signals emerge in nigrostriatal circuits during sequence learning. Nature; 466(7305): 457-62
  • Dias-Ferreira, E., Sousa, J.C., Melo I., Morgado P., Mesquita, A.R., Cerqueira J.J., Costa, R.M.*, Sousa N. * (2009). Chronic stress causes frontostriatal reorganization and impairs decision-making. Science; 325(5940): 621-5.
  • Yin, H.H., Prasad-Mulcare, S., Hilario, M.R.F., Clouse, E., Davis, M. I., Lovinger, D.M., Costa, R.M. (2009). Dynamic reorganization of striatal circuits during the acquisition and consolidation of a skill. Nature Neuroscience, 12:3
  • Cui, Y., Costa R. M., Murphy G. G., Elgersma, Y., Zhu, Y., Gutmann, D.H., Parada, L.F., Mody, I., Silva A. J. (2008). Neurofibromin regulation of Ras/ERK signaling modulates GABA release and learning. Cell, 31; 135(3): 549-60
  • Costa, R.M., Lin, S.C., Sotnikova, T.D., Cyr, M., Gainetdinov, R.R., Caron, M.G., Nicolelis M.A.L. (2006). Rapid alterations in corticostriatal ensemble coordination during acute dopamine-dependent motor dysfunction. Neuron, 52(2): 359-69
  • Costa, R.M.*, Cohen, D. *, Nicolelis M.A.L. (2004). Differential corticostriatal plasticity during fast and slow motor skill learning in mice. Current Biology, 14(13): 1124-34
  • Costa, R.M., Federov, N.B., Kogan, J.H., Murphy, G.G., Stern, J., Ohno, M., Kucherlapati, R., Jacks, T. and Silva, A.J. (2002). Mechanism for the learning deficits in a mouse model of neurofibromatosis type 1. Nature, 415 (6871): 526-30
  • Costa, R.M.*, Yang, T. *, Huynh, D.P., Pulst S.M., Viskochil, D.H., Silva, A.J. and Brannan, C.I. (2001). Learning deficits, but normal development and tumour predisposition, in mice lacking exon 23a of the Neurofibromatosis type I gene. Nature Genetics, 27, 399-405

Rui Manuel Marques Fernandes da Costa D.V.M., Ph.D.

Champalimaud Neuroscience Program
Champalimaud Center for the Unknown
Av. De Brasília, Doca de Pedrouços
1400-038 Lisbon