Arnaldo Carreira-Rosario, Ph.D.Stanford University
Arnaldo Carreira-Rosario grew up in Puerto Rico. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in industrial biotechnology at the University of Puerto Rico. During college, he had his first research experience and decided to pursue a career in biological research. He went to the University of Texas-Southwestern where he earned a Ph.D. studying stem cell differentiation. He learned a bit about neuroscience in graduate school and became fascinated by neurodevelopment. Currently, he is particularly interested in how neuronal activity during nervous system development shapes circuit function and behavior for the entire life of the organism. His favorite aspect of research is to observe something in nature that no one else in humanity has seen.
Principal Investigator: Thomas Clandinin
Fellow: Brianna Garcia
Project: The central question of Arnaldo’s research is how innate behaviors form. In contrast to learned behaviors such as riding a bike, a baby knows how to suckle and feed as soon as being born. Such innate behaviors occur intrinsically, without learning by observing another animal. It turns out that embryos practice innate behaviors before they are born. This practice occurs spontaneously and is generated by a spontaneous, yet patterned, neuronal network activity (PaSNA). He is using a powerful genetic model organism, the fruit fly, to study how PaSNA emerges and how it shapes innate behaviors. He live-images and manipulates neuronal activity in the embryo and assesses how this impacts innate behaviors using behavioral assays and computational analyses.