Prof. Fernanda Tovar-Moll, MD, PhD

Brain Connectivity Unit

D'Or Institute for Research and Education and

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

About Prof. Tovar-Moll

Fernanda Tovar-Moll earned her MD degree from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. She completed a Medical Residency program in Radiology, with an emphasis in Neuroradiology, and obtained a PhD in Morphological Sciences at UFRJ. Her PhD thesis explored the use of MR tractography in assessing neuroplasticity in children with callosal dysgenesis. She was a postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, National Institutes of Health (USA), from 2004-2007, where she investigated MRI anatomical biomarkers in demyelinating and neurodegenerative central nervous system disorders.


Dr Tovar-Moll is currently an adjunct professor (licensed) at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (Neuroplasticity Lab) and the director of the Bioimaging Unit for Small Animals (CENABIO) at UFRJ. In addition, she also holds a position as the President of the D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR), a private not-for-profit research institute, which she co-founded in 2009. She has been working in projects related to basic, clinical and translational research in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental conditions. Her main research interest is to employ novel in vivo imaging techniques in human and rodents to map brain circuits in order to improve the understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms related to functional and structural brain connectivity and brain plasticity in normal and pathological conditions. Another focus of interest is to employ neuromodulatory techniques, such as tDCS, TMS and MRI neurofeedback to induce changes in brain circuits to improve neurological function in stroke and other abnormal conditions.


news and media



Professor Tovar-Moll promotes translational research leading several studies conducted in both healthy volunteers, patients and animal models. Several of these studies run in collaboration with researchers from different institutions. To know more about them, see Collaborators.

Human Brain Studies

Neuromodulation and brain connectivity

The main goal of this topic is to investigate brain changes induced by neuromodulation in healthy volunteers, amputees and some neurological diseases, such as stroke.

Here we are applying fMRI neurofeedback training and other neuromodulatory techniques, such as TDCS.

Imaging Brain Plasticity

Here, we employ MRI techniques (and clinical and neurophysiological correlations) to investigate brain plasticity in patients with neurodevelopmental diseases.

Neurobiology and imaging investigation of neuropsychiatric disorders and aging 

In this research line we investigate brain changes associate with aging, Alzheimer disease and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Animal Models' Studies

Brain Plasticity 

Using animal models for neurodevelopmental diseases, amputees and psychiatric disorders, here we investigate the brain "disconnectome" applying MR imaging and histological techniques. 



To develop all of the clinical, basic and translation research, Prof. Tovar-Moll heads a team made up by post-docs and students. Besides that, some studies which are in collaboration with D' Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) are strongly supported by a multidisciplinary team. To see both teams in detail, see below.



Some researches developed by her group are result of fruitful collaboration with high level scientists.


key publications

Martine Hoogman , Ph.D., Ryan Muetzel , Ph.D., Joao P. Guimaraes , M.Sc., Elena Shumskaya , Ph.D., Maarten Mennes , Ph.D., Marcel P. Zwiers , Ph.D., Neda Jahanshad , Ph.D., Gustavo Sudre, et al.

The American Journal of Psychiatry, 10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.18091033

M Monteiro, R Oliveira-Souza, J Andrade, T Marins, E Rodrigues, I Bramati, RobertoLent, J Moll, F Tovar-Moll

NeuroImage: Clinical, 10.1016/j.nicl.2019.101808

T Marins, EC Rodrigues, T Bortolini, B Melo, J Moll, F Tovar-Moll

NeuroImage, 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.03.027

Ivanei E. Bramati, Erika C. Rodrigues, Elington L. Simões, Bruno Melo, Sebastian Höfle, Jorge Moll, Roberto Lent & Fernanda Tovar-Moll

Scientific Reports, volume 9, Article number: 2518 (2019)

Mychael V. Lourenco, Rudimar L. Frozza, Guilherme B. de Freitas, Hong Zhang, Grasielle C. Kincheski, Felipe C. Ribeiro, Rafaella A. Gonçalves, Julia R. Clarke, Danielle Beckman, Agnieszka Staniszewski, Hanna Berman, Lorena A. Guerra, Letícia Forny-Germano, Shelby Meier, Donna M. Wilcock, Jorge M. de Souza, Soniza Alves-Leon, Vania F. Prado, Marco A. M. Prado, Jose F. Abisambra, Fernanda Tovar-Moll, Paulo Mattos, Ottavio Arancio, Sergio T. Ferreira & Fernanda G. De Felice

Nature Medicinevolume 25, pages165–175 (2019)

Dalboni da Rocha JL, Coutinho G, Bramati I, Moll FT, Sitaram R

Brain Imaging and Behavior, 10.1007/s11682-018-0002-2

C Pacheco Bahia, R Vianna-Barbosa, F Tovar-Moll R Lent

Cerebral Cortex,


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@2023 by Prof. Fernanda Tovar-Moll, MD, PhD | Brain Connectivity Unit - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.