Dr. Marcelo Febo
Welcome to Marcelo Febo’s laboratory webpage.
Our research objective is to determine the in vivo neurobiological actions of psychostimulant drugs of abuse. To achieve this, we utilize several magnetic resonance imaging modalities in rodent models of psychostimulant exposure (e.g., diffusion, functional and manganese enhanced MRI). Synthetic cathinone derivatives share biochemical and behavioral properties with cocaine, methamphetamine and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ‘Ecstacy’). The popularity of synthetic psychoactive chemicals that substitute for these illegal drugs is a growing public health concern. Recent results from our lab show that the synthetic psychoactive cathinone derivative 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) causes widespread disruption of functional connectivity networks in rat brain. Ongoing work by our group is focused on understanding the deleterious neurotoxic and neuroinflammatory effects of MDPV and the long-term neuroadaptions with chronic abuse of synthetic cathinones and other psychostimulants. We are a laboratory dedicated to the preclinical study of neuropsychiatric disorders. We employ a wide array of methods ranging from MRI, histopatholgy, immunohistochemistry and behavioral assays to investigate the effects of neuropsychiatric disorders in the brain.