Ricardo C. Araneda

Associate Professor

Dr. Araneda is an Associate Professor in Biology Department of the University of Maryland at College Park. He received his PhD in Neuroscience from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York (1997). He completed his postdoctoral training at Columbia University, where he was also an Associate Research Scientist (1997-2006). 


Personal Website:
  • PhD 1997 Albert Einstein College of Medicine

My long-term research goal is to understand the mechanisms by which neuromodulation drives the activity of neurons, and ultimately behavior. Specifically, we use olfaction as a model system to learn how neuromodulators such as noradrenaline and acetylcholine influence sensory processing.  Using several techniques, including electrophysiology, imaging, and the targeted expression of optogenetic and chemogenetics tools, we  control the activity of neuromodulatory systems that regulate olfactory circuits. One of our aims is to determine how these neuromodulators influence odor-guided behaviors. Interestingly, olfactory circuits are exceptionally plastic; they are among the few in the brain  known to be replenished with adult born neurons. This gives us the unique opportunity to study how neuromodulators influence the integration of adult born neurons in a preexisting brain circuit.

Since 2003 Dr. Araneda has received continuous funding support from the National Institute of Health.

In the classroom, as in the lab, my teaching philosophy is to guide and inspire the scientific curiosity in my students by actively engaging them in an intellectually enriching environment. I believe basic principles in any scientific field need to be stated in a clear way, therefore I focus on basic concepts as the backbone of my lectures. However, my primary role as a science teacher is not only to teach facts, but also to encourage students, through active discussions, to question and discover.
"Biology of Chemosensory Systems"  (BIOL708, NACS728J, BSCI339D)
"Neural Systems" (BSCI446)
"Gemstone: Team Dream" (GEMS296)
"Seminar in Physiology" (BSCI279)
Past courses:
"Introduction to Neuroscience" (NACS641)
"Neuroscience Cognitive Seminar" (NACS608)
"Mammalian Physiology" (BSCI440)

In additon to his partcipation in several departamental and University committees, Dr. Araneda has an extensive record of training undergraduate and graduate students at UMD.  Graduate students in the lab have performed exceptionally in several fronts, including obtaining fellowships from the National Foundation of Science, French and Chilean Government.

In 2014, Dr. Araneda received the Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award from the UMD Graduate School and the The Winston Family Academic Excellence Faculty Mentor Award from the UMD Honors College.

Former Students
  • Alexia Nunez
    Assistant Professor, Universidad Autónoma de Chile
1114 Bioscience Research Building
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
Phone: (301) 405-5540
Email: raraneda@umd.edu
Office Hours:
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