Pedro Rada is a holder of both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Physiology Department, School of Medicine, University of los Andes (Mérida, Venezuela). He completed his medical training in 1982 at the University of Los Andes (Mérida, Venezuela) and an internship next 2 years at the University Hospital and simultaneously started to work in neuroscience (Laboratory of Behavioral Physiology, Physiology Department, University of Los Andes) under the guidance of Dr. Luis Hernández. He finished specialty training in 1988 (neurology, University Hospital). In 1990, he was invited to do his postdoctoral training under the guidance of Dr. Bartley Hoebel, at Princeton University, where he worked mainly in trying to understand the function of the cholinergic interneuron in the nucleus accumbens in feeding behavior as well as in drug addiction. At the end of 1994, he returned to Mérida, Venezuela, where he started to work with Dr. Hernandez in analytical chemistry and neurochemistry using capillary zone electrophoresis and laser-induced fluorescence coupled to brain microdialysis. Since 1994, he has worked as a Visiting Researcher at Princeton University maintaining interest in the cholinergic interneuron and dopamine input into the accumbens and possible role of acetylcholine in this nucleus in the development and appearance of depressive-like behaviors in animal models. Since 1999, his work has centered in coupling feeding behavior research and drug addiction under the presumption that both share common brain circuits. This is how they started to work on the idea of addiction to a natural reinforcer like sugar.
Biography Updated on 30 January 2012