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Marcelo Febo, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Dr. Marcelo Febo
Department of Psychiatry
University of Florida College of Medicine
PO Box 100256
Gainesville, FL 32610-0256
Phone: 294-4911 (office)


Assistant Professor and Director of Translational Research Imaging, Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL.

Research Area

Dr. Febo’s research focuses on brain imaging of cocaine and maternal reward.


1996 B.Sc. in Biology, University of Puerto Rico
2002 Ph.D. in Physiology, University of Puerto Rico
2003-2001 Postdoctoral Fellow, Neuroimaging, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Current Research

Our research focuses on using neuroimaging to study the neural correlates of addiction in rodent models. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allows us to inspect in vivo brain activation in response to a variety of cognitive, emotional and drug stimuli without disrupting the natural organization of the brain. The strength of the technique lies in its non-invasive nature that can permit longitudinal functional studies in the same animal over its adult life. The relatively good spatial and temporal resolution and the ever-growing database on the biological and biophysical basis of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal make it a unique technique in preclinical and translational neuroscience research. Presently we are investigating several areas of interest that include: (i) the long term impact of chronic cocaine exposure on the brain dopaminergic system, (ii) the role of brain oxytocin and vasopressin systems on the processing of social stimuli, and (iii) the specific roles of the medial prefrontal cortex on motivation and emotion.  Our work could contribute significantly to understanding conditions such as addiction and depression.

Recent Publications

Nephew BC, Febo M (2012). Effects of cocaine on maternal care and neurochemistry. Current Neuropharmacology, 10:53-63.

Febo M. (2012). Firing patterns of maternal rat prelimbic neurons during spontaneous contact with pups. Brain Res Bull. 88:534-42.

Felix-Ortiz AC, Febo M. (2012). Gestational valproate alters BOLD activation in response to complex social and primary sensory stimuli. PLoS One. 7:e37313.

Febo, M, Pira, AS (2011) Increased BOLD activation to predator stressor in ventral hippocampus and midbrain of amphetamine-sensitized maternal rats. Brain Research 1382: 118-27.

Febo M, Segarra, AC, Stolberg TS, Ferris CF (2011) BOLD signal response to cocaine varies with sexual receptivity in female rats. NeuroReport 22: 19-22.

Febo, M (2011) Prefrontal cell firing in male rats during approach towards sexually receptive female: interactions with cocaine. Synapse 65: 271-7.

Segarra AC, Agosto-Rivera JL, Febo M, Lugo-Escobar N, Menendez-Delmestre R, Puig-Ramos A, Torres-Diaz YM (2010) Estradiol: a key biological substrate mediating sex differences in response to cocaine in female rats. Hormones and Behavior, 58:33-43.

Nephew BC, Febo M (2010) Effect of cocaine sensitization prior to pregnancy on maternal care and aggression in the rat. Psychopharmacology, 209: 127-35.