Rodrigo Pena


  • Assistant Professor
  • FAU Biological Sciences
  • 561-799-8514 (Jupiter)
  • Jupiter - MC-19, 109


  • Ph.D., University of Sao Paulo, 2018

Research Interests

  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Deep Learning
  • Complex Networks
  • Information Theory

Research Description

I have always worked on communication between the different levels of organization in the brain with Computational Neuroscience. My research focuses on the computational modeling of ion channels, synapses, neurons, networks, and systems, which involve many spatial scales and their interactions. Throughout my career, I have also acquired expertise in Dynamical Systems, Stochastic Processes, Information Theory, and Deep Learning. Quantitative analysis, which requires Data Science, is also a part of my daily work. I completed a postdoctoral training at NJIT and Rutgers University, and I received my Ph.D. in the field of Physics Applied to Medicine and Biology from the University of Sao Paulo. Additionally, I participated in a partnership with the International Research Training Group IRTG 1740 between Brazil and Germany, and I was a visiting scientist at the Humboldt University of Berlin and at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience. I have also received training and worked at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne as an undergraduate. My research is highly collaborative, and I invest a significant amount of effort into bridging the gap between theory and experimentation. Recently, I have been investigating novel neuron-glial interactions to enhance artificial intelligence capabilities.

Recent Publications

  • Lowet, E., Sheehan, D. J., Chialva, U.,  Pena, R. F. O.,  Mount, R. A., Xiao, S., Zhou, S. L.,, Tseng, H., Gritton H., Shroff, S., Kondabolu, K., Cheung, C., Wang, Y., Piatkevich, K. D., Boyden, E. S., Mertz, J., Hasselmo, M. E., Rotstein, H. G., Han, X. (2023). Theta and gamma rhythmic coding through two spike output modes in the hippocampus during spatial navigation. Cell Reports, 42:112906
  • Pena, R. F. O.,  Ceballos C. C., Deus, J. L., Roque, A. C., Garcia-Cairasco, N., Leão, R. M., Cunha, A. O. (2020). Modeling hippocampal CA1 GABAergic synapses of audiogenic rats. International Journal of Neural Systems, 30:2050022
  • Pena, R. F. O.,  Zaks, M., Roque, A. C. (2018). Spontaneous activity dynamics in random networks of spiking neurons with synaptic noise. Journal of Computational Neuroscience, 45:1-28
  • Pena, R. F. O.,  Vellmer, S., Bernardi, D., Roque, A. C., and Lindner, B. (2018). Self-Consistent Scheme for Spike-Train Power Spectra in Heterogeneous Sparse Networks. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 12:9

Scholarly Acitivites