Sidarta Tollendal Gomes Ribeiro (Brasília, April 16, 1971) is a Brazilian neuroscientist and Director of the Brain Institute at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), which he joined in 2008 as Full Professor. From 2009-2011, he served as Secretary of the Brazilian Society for Neuroscience and Behavior. Sidarta Ribeiro is currently the Chair of the Regional Committee in Brazil of the Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences. He is also member of the Steering Committee of the Latin American School for Educational, Cognitive and Neural Sciences .
Gathering Neuroscientists in Natal
In the 1990s, Sidarta Ribeiro and fellow neuroscientists Claudio Mello, Sergio Neuenschwander, Antonio Pereira, Cecília Hedin-Pereira, Claudia Vargas and Mário Fiorani, began the repatriation project that gave origin to the International Institute for Neuroscience of Natal (ELS-IINN), founded by Sidarta Ribeiro, Miguel Nicolelis and Claudio Mello in 2003. This initiative was promoted by the public sector, with decisive support from the Ministries of Education and Science. As a consequence, the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) undertook the creation of a world-class neuroscience research center in Natal as part of its strategic plan for future development. In order to implement the project in a solid manner, the university engaged since 2008 in a major recruitment effort, publicized internationally in venues such as Nature and Science magazine, to recruit a group of faculty with international training in some of the most prestigious research centers in the world. The group currently includes 18 faculty duly selected by public contests: Adriano Tort, Antonio Pereira, Maria Bernardete de Sousa, Claudio Queiroz, Diego Laplagne, Draulio de Araujo, Lia Bevilaqua, Katarina Leão, Kerstin Schmidt, Marcos Costa, Martin Cammarota, Richardson Leão, Rodrigo Pereira, Sandro de Souza, Sergio Neuenschwander, Sidarta Ribeiro, and Tarciso Velho. On May 13, 2011, Sidarta Ribeiro took part in the inauguration of the Brain Institute (Instituto do Cérebro - ICe), together with Ivonildo do Rego and Angela Paiva, former and current Presidents of UFRN, academic leaders, faculty, technicians and students. On July 26, 2011, the newspaper Folha de São Paulo published an article reporting the split between Miguel Nicolelis and the faculty of UFRN recruited for the Natal Neuroscience project. The main reason cited for the split was the lack of access of the University’s faculty to the equipment at IINN-ELS. This information was confirmed by Science magazine. An article in the Brazilian magazine Piauí further clarified that the faculty exodus from the ELS-IINN was caused by widespread dissatisfaction with Nicolelis’ management.
- Bachelor of Biological Sciences by Universidade de Brasília (1989–1993)
- Master's in Neurobiology by Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (1994)
- Ph.D. in Animal Behavior by Rockefeller University (1995–2000)
- Postdoctoral research with a "Pew Latin-American Fellowship in the Biomedical Sciences" at Duke University (2000–2005)
Selected scientific publications
- Mota, NB, Vasconcelos NAP, Lemos N, Pieretti AC, Kinouchi O, Cecchi GA, Copelli M, Ribeiro S. Speech Graphs Provide a Quantitative Measure of Thought Disorder in Psychosis. PLoS ONE 7(4): e34928. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034928, 2012.
- Ribeiro S. Sleep and plasticity. Pflugers Arch. 463(1):111-20, 2012.
- de Araujo DB, Ribeiro S, Cecchi GA, Carvalho FM, Sanchez TA, Pinto JP, de Martinis BS, Crippa JA, Hallak JEC, Santos AC. Seeing with the eyes shut: Neural basis of enhanced imagery following ayahuasca ingestion. Human Brain Mapping (Print), doi:10.1002/hbm.21381, 2011.
- Vasconcelos N, Pantoja J, Belchior H, Caixeta FV, Faber J, Freire MAM, Cota, VR, de Macedo EA, Laplagne DA, Gomes HM, Ribeiro S. Cross-modal responses in the primary visual cortex encode complex objects and correlate with tactile discrimination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108: 15408-15413, 2011.
- Ribeiro TL, Copelli M, Caixeta F, Belchior H, Chialvo DR, Nicolelis MAL, Ribeiro S. Spike Avalanches Exhibit Universal Dynamics across the Sleep-Wake Cycle. Plos One 5:e14129, 2010.
- Simões CS, Vianney P, Freire MAM, de Moura MM, Mello LE, Sameshima K, Araujo JF, Nicolelis MAL, Mello CV, Ribeiro S. Activation of frontal neocortical areas by vocal production in marmosets. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 4: 123, 2010.
- Ribeiro S, Pereira CM, Faber J, Blanco W, Nicolelis MAL. Downscale or emboss synapses during sleep. Frontiers in Neuroscience 3: 420-421, 2009.
- Ribeiro S, Shi X, Engelhard M, Zhou Y, Zhang H, Gervasoni D, Lin SC, Wada K, Lemos NA, Nicolelis MAL. Novel experience induces persistent sleep-dependent plasticity in the cortex but not in the hippocampus. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 1: 43-55, 2007.
- Ribeiro S, Loula AC, Araujo I, Gudwin RR, Queiroz J. Symbols are not uniquely human. Biosystems 90: 263-272, 2006.
- Ribeiro S, Nicolelis MAL. Reverberation, storage and post-synaptic propagation of memories during sleep. Learn. Mem. 11(6): 686-696, 2004.
- Gervasoni D, Lin SC, Ribeiro S, Soares ES, Pantoja P, Nicolelis MAL. Global forebrain dynamics predicts animal behavioral states and their transitions. J. Neurosci. 24: 11137-11147, 2004.
- Ribeiro S, Gervasoni D, Soares ES, Zhou Y, Lin SC, Pantoja P, Lavine M, Nicolelis MAL. Long-lasting novelty-induced neuronal reverberation during slow-wave sleep in multiple forebrain areas. PLoS Biology 2: 126-137, 2004.
- Ribeiro, Sidarta. Sonho, memória e o reencontro de Freud com o cérebro. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatria, 2003.
- Ribeiro S, Mello CV, Velho T, Gardner TJ, Jarvis ED, Pavlides C. Induction of hippocampal long-term potentiation during waking leads to increased extra-hippocampal zif-268 expression during ensuing rapid-eye-movement sleep. J. Neurosci. 22: 10914-10923, 2002.
- Jarvis ED, Ribeiro S, Silva ML, Ventura D, Vielliard J, Mello CV. Behaviourally driven gene expression reveals song nuclei in hummingbird brain. Nature, v. 406, p. 628-632, 2000.
- Ribeiro S, Cecchi, Magnasco, Mello CV. Towards a song code: evidence for a syllabic representation in the canary brain. Neuron, v. 21, p. 359-371, 1998.
- Maconha, Cérebro e Saúde in co-authorship with Renato Malcher-Lopes (Editora Vieira e Lent, 2007).
- Articles published monthly since 2004 in the Brazilian magazine Mente e Cérebro (Editora Duetto).
- Entendendo as Coisas, collection of short stories including the winner of the Guimarães Rosa Prize 1996 by Radio France Internationale (Puslisher L&PM, 1998).