Research Summaries

Faculty Member Research Summary
Arpana Agrawal, PhD 1) Genetics of cannabis involvement using epidemiological and genomic methods; 2) G x E models; 3) Comorbidity between substance use and mental illness; 4) Methodology; 5) Genomewide association studies; 6) Meta-analysis
Andrey P. Anokhin, PhD 1) Genetic variation in human brain function; 2) Neurobehavioral endophenotypes for psychiatric disorders; 3) Causes and consequences of underage substance abuse; 4) Neurocognitive and genetic predictors of successful smoking cessation versus relapse
Andy Belden, PhD 1) Using a developmental psychopathology framework to conduct interdisciplinary and clinically-relevant research that integrates behavioral and neuroscience techniques to advance our understanding of childhood onset mood disorders; 2) Examining the validity of fMRI as a neurobiological assessment tool of cognitive emotion regulation strategies in early childhood
Laura Jean Bierut, MD 1) Genetic studies of psychiatric illnesses; 2) Genetic studies of alcoholism, smoking behaviors and nicotine dependence and other substance dependence; 3) Studies linking genetics to smoking cessation outcomes, with and without pharmaceutical treatments; 4) Studying genetic risk factors in underserved and understudied populations; 5) Studies of how social media influences substance use behaviors and mental illness ; 6) Long-term implications of policies governing youth access to alcohol and tobacco
Monica Bishop, MD 1) Eating Disorders
Kevin J. Black, MD 1) neuroimaging; 2) Tourette syndrome; 3) movement disorders; 4) clinical neuropsychiatry; 5) deep brain stimulation
Kelly N. Botteron, MD 1) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies of child and adolescent affective and attentional disorders; 2) MRI of very early brain development in infants at risk for autism, Fragile X and Down Syndrome; 3) MRI studies of normal brain development; 4) imaging studies in twin populations; 5) genetics of brain structure and structural correlates of neuropsychiatric disorder; 6) development/implementation of image analysis methods for neuromorphometric analysis of MRI
Kathleen K. Bucholz, PhD 1) Development and course of alcohol and other substance use disorders in general population, family and twin samples; 2) Gene-environment influences in SUD development, persistence and remission; 3) Race/ethnic diferences in development of SUDs and other psychiatric disorders; 4) Maternal v paternal influences on offspring psychopathology and psychosocial outcomes; 5) Psychiatric nosology
Robert M. Carney, PhD 1) the significance of psychiatric and psychosocial factors in patients with heart disease; 2) cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety and affective disorders; 3) psychiatric comorbidity in medical patients
Li-Shiun Chen, MD 1) Our research suggests that a person's genetic makeup can help us better predict who is most likely to respond to drug therapy so we can make sure patients are matched with optimal medication treatments. We are conducting a genetically informed smoking cessation trial to examine the use of genetic markers in identifying medications with maximal efficacy and minimal side effects, ; 2) In order to understand the natural history and public health impact of smoking, we have an ongoing longitudinal follow up study of smoking cessation in the general population.; 3) We lead an international collaborative of research on genetic markers, lung cancer, and smoking cessation success. We are interested in identifying the potential value of genetic markers in helping to identify individuals early on and reduce their risk for tobacco addiction and its related negative health consequences.; 4) We research smoking cessation in different high risk populations such as patients with serious mental illness or cancer.
Vesselin Chorbov, PhD 1) studies of genes and gene-by-environment; 2) epigenetic interdisciplinary traslational research; 3) Analyses of region-specific & genome-wide DNA methylation microarrays
Theodore Cicero, PhD 1) Epidemiology of opioid abuse including post-marketing surveillance, transitions to heroin and abuse-deterrent formulations.; 2) Epigenetic constructs related to substance abuse.
C. Robert Cloninger, MD, PhD 1) well-being; 2) psychobiology of personality & psychopathology; 3) nosology of psychiatric disorders; 4) genetic epidemiology of psychiatric disorders
John Constantino, MD 1) Cerebrospinal Fluid Monoamine Metabolites as Biomarkers of Inherited Liability to Antisocial Behavior; 2) The Quantitative Nature of Autistic Traits; 3) Validation and Dissemination of the Social Responsiveness Scale; 4) Social Attachment, Psychopathology, and the Prevention of Child Maltreatment; 5) The Genetic Structure of Autism and Related Disorders
Charles Conway, MD 1) treatment-resistant depression; 2) neuroimaging of mood disorders<br>; 3) new treatments for treatment-resistant mood disorders; 4) bipolar disorders
Carlos Cruchaga, PhD 1) My research interests are focused on leveraging multi-omic data (genetic, genomics, proteomics, epigenomics, lipidomis and others) and deep clinical phenotypes from large and well characterized neurodegenerative diseases (i.e: Alzheimer, Parkinson, Frontotemporal dementia) cohorts in order to identify novel genes, pathways, molecular biomarkers and drug targets for these diseases.; 2) In my lab, we generate genetic and omic data for a unique cohorts of Alzheimer and Parkinson disease cohort and we use novel approaches to understand the biological process that lead to disease. Multi-level data integration is already facilitating precision medicine and advancing medicine at the individual patient level. The identification of novel disease- associated genes, linking gene variants to human phenotypes, and the use of Mendelian randomization (a method to estimate causal effects) to predict biomarker validity or drug response are some examples of the kind of data integration of deeply clinical and molecular phenotyped cohorts. These approaches will put us one step closer to not only precision medicine but also precision treatment timing, as we will be able to predict when is the best time for a specific treatment.; 3) In summary, the mission of our lab is to perform a world-class research where genetics, omics and functional genomics studies in neurodegeneration and diseases of the CNS are translated into improvements in human health through better understanding of the molecular underpinnings of disease
Joseph Dougherty, PhD 1) 1. Transcriptomics in the neurosciences<br>During my time as a graduate student in the lab of Dan Geschwind from 1999-2005, our laboratory was at the forefront of bring the then novel ‘microarray’ technologies to bear on problems of the CNS. This work was the beginning of the ‘omics revolution for neuroscience and my role was to develop and adopt strategies for analyzing and interpreting this deluge of data. This resulted in several collaborative publications (e.g. a) providing foundational descriptive resources that formed the basis for a decade of functional follow up papers on individual genes from the collaborating labs. During my postdoctoral studies, with Nathaniel Heintz from 2005-2010, I brought this expertise in vivo, pushing for cell-type specific resolution in ‘omics analysis by applying microarrays to genetically defined populations of cells in the mouse brain with the ‘bacTRAP’ technology. In addition to generating/characterizing about a third of the mouse lines and generating a substantial proportion of the corresponding microarray data for this project, I was the primary lead on the logistics and analytical endeavors for this large collaborative project spanning dozens of cell types across multiple CNS regions including data from half a dozen different researchers b. Seven years later, this is still the largest single description of cell-type specific profiles in the CNS and the data has been incorporated into numerous analytical tools, influencing the interpretation of studies from human postmortem transcriptomics to disease associated GWAS. In addition, either the data or the approaches described here have formed the foundation for dozens of functional studies of individual genes in my lab and others. Since starting my own lab, transcriptional profiling of both targeted and untargeted populations has been a mainstay of our own efforts. We use both bacTRAP derivatives and traditional RNAseq approaches, with a focus on leveraging this data to understand the contributions of particular cell types to neurogenetics of behavior in health and disease(e.g. c,d).<br>a. Geschwind DH, Ou J, Easterday MC, Dougherty JD, Jackson RL, …., Kornblum, H. A genetic analysis of neural progenitor differentiation. Neuron. 2001 Feb;29(2):325-39. PubMed PMID: 11239426. <br>b. Doyle JP*, Dougherty JD*, Heiman M, Schmidt EF, Stevens TR, …, Heintz, N. Application of a translational profiling approach for the comparative analysis of CNS cell types. Cell. 2008 Nov 14;135(4):749-62. PMCID: PMC2763427<br>c. Dalal J, Roh JH, Maloney SE, Akuffo A, Shah S, … Dougherty JD. Translational profiling of hypocretin neurons identifies candidate molecules for sleep regulation. Genes Dev. 2013 Mar 1;27(5):565-78. PMCID: PMC3605469 <br>d. Dougherty JD, Maloney SE, Wozniak DF, Rieger MA, Sonnenblick L, et al. The disruption of Celf6, a gene identified by translational profiling of serotonergic neurons, results in autism-related behaviors. J Neurosci. 2013 Feb 13;33(7):2732-53. PMCID: PMC3711589 <br>; 2) 2. Glial and stem cell biology<br>The first analysis I worked on in the Geschwind lab was to apply these transcriptomic methods described above as a screen to identify robustly expressed in neural stem and progenitors cells (a, above) – populations that were at that time mysterious and lacking markers in the CNS. An important theme to my ‘omics work throughout my career has been independent biological validation and functional analysis of candidates arising from high-throughput studies. In my graduate work this led to the characterization of kinases and phosphatases that regulated different aspects of progenitor biology and differentiation in vitro and in vivo (e.g. e,f). This gave me substantial expertise in culture of stem cells, neurons, and glia that we still use to address a wide variety of experimental questions in primary culture. It was also during this period that it became clear that progenitor cells are subpopulations of specialized glia in the nervous system, and as part of the bacTRAP team I led the generation of all of the glial cell lines for that project (b, above), which have turned out to be amongst the most popular mouse reagents generated by the project and they have subsequently been distributed to over a dozen labs. Since starting my independent laboratory, these lines have also been used by me and others to understand the relationships between glial progenitors and gliomas in the brain, and to generate a test novel hypothesis about key regulators of glial and progenitor cell biology(e.g.g), or identify new species of ncRNA expression in glia(h).<br>e. Dougherty JD, Garcia AD, Nakano I, Livingstone M, Norris B, Polakiewicz R, Wexler EM, et al. PBK/TOPK, a proliferating neural progenitor-specific mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase. J Neurosci 2005; 25, 10773-785, PMID: 16291951 <br>f. Nakano I, Dougherty JD, Kim K, Klement I, Geschwind DH, et al. Phosphoserine phosphatase is expressed in the neural stem cell niche and regulates neural stem and progenitor cell proliferation. Stem Cells. 2007 Aug; 25(8):1975-84. PMID: 17495110<br>g. Dougherty JD, Fomchenko EI, Akuffo AA, Schmidt E, Helmy KY, et al. Candidate pathways for promoting differentiation or quiescence of oligodendrocyte progenitor-like cells in glioma. Cancer Res. 2012 Sep 15; 72(18):4856-68. PMCID: PMC3543775 <br>h. Reddy, A., O’Brien, David R., Pisat, N, Weichselbaum, CT, … Dougherty, JD (in press). A comprehensive analysis of cell-type specific nuclear RNA from neurons and glia of the brain. Biological Psychiatry.<br>; 3) 3. Generation of genetic resources and toolkits for the neuroscience community<br>An aspect of the transcriptional survey of cell types in the CNS described above(b) was the generation of a number of different BAC transgenic mouse lines. In my own work, we continue to generate and find new applications for our mouse reagents – both transgenics for the manipulation of particular, clinically relevant cell types, such as CRE lines for glia and bacTRAP lines for neuromodulatory cells (e.g.c,d,g,i, j), as well as knockout and flox alleles for functional analyses (e.g. d) We have also continued to innovate in genetic methods, for example testing methods for independent regulation of multiple transgenes from a single locus,k or porting the TRAP method into other species,l or modifying it to access RNA from other subcellular fractions(h). I believe in widespread sharing of these reagents, often even before I publish them myself, and many of the mouse lines I generated and characterized have been widely distributed. <br>i. Gorlich A, Antolin-Fontes B, Ables JL, Frahm S, Slimak MA, Dougherty JD, Ibanez-Tallon I. Reexposure to nicotine during withdrawal increases the pacemaking activity of cholinergic habenular neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012; 110, 17077-17082. PMCID: PMC3800986<br>j. Foo LC, Dougherty JD. Aldh1L1 is expressed by postnatal neural stem cells in vivo. Glia. 2013 Sep; 61(9):1533-41. PMCID: PMC3777382 <br>k. Dougherty JD, Zhang J, Feng H, Gong S, Heintz N. Mouse transgenesis in a single locus with independent regulation for multiple fluorophores. PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e40511. PMCID: PMC3395707 <br>l. Tryon RC, Pisat N, Johnson SL, Dougherty JD. Development of translating ribosome affinity purification for zebrafish. Genesis. 51; 187-192, (2013). PMCID: PMC3638809<br>; 4) 4. Development of novel analytical approaches to molecular neurogenetics<br>Tools in science are built to subserve particular scientific questions. The scientific focus of my lab has been on understanding the neurobiological and genetic mechanisms of autism. Most of the cell types we have profiled in the brain were selected because of their suspected relationship to neurogenetic disease. Using these tools, we have piloted novel approaches using transcriptomic data from a candidate cell type (e.g. serotonin neurons), in a joint analysis with human genetic data to identify disease candidates from human autism patients(d). Thus, we have developed approaches to merging transcriptomic analysis and human statistical genetics both for this ‘candidate’ cell type approach, as well as unbiased tools for discovery-driven analyses. This includes defining statistical measures of specificity or uniqueness(o), and developing systems biology approaches for mapping new phenotypes to particular cell types or tissues using joint analysis from genetics and transcriptomics(m,n). To implement these approaches on real data, we work collaboratively with clinicians and large research consortia, often re-analyzing large human genetics datasets to offer unique perspectives, interpretations, or insights informed by our understanding of gene expression and the nervous system(e.g. p).<br>m. Xu X, Wells AB, O'Brien DR, Nehorai A, Dougherty JD. Cell type-specific expression analysis to identify putative cellular mechanisms for neurogenetic disorders. J Neurosci. 2014 Jan 22; 34(4):1420-31. PMID: 24453331; PMCID: PMC3898298 <br>n. Wells, A., Kopp, N., Xu, X., O’Brien, D. R., Yang, W., Nehorai, A.,…, Dougherty JD. (2015). The anatomical distribution of genetic associations. Nucleic Acids Res. 43, 10804–10820. PMCID: PMC4678833<br>o. Dougherty JD, Schmidt EF, Nakajima M, Heintz N. Analytical approaches to RNA profiling data for the identification of genes enriched in specific cells. Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Jul; 38(13):4218-30. PMID: 20308160; PMCID: PMC2910036 <br>p. Ouwenga, R. Dougherty, J.D. Fmrp targets or not: long, highly brain expressed genes tend to be implicated in autism and brain disorders. Mol. Autism. 2015; 6: 16. PMCID: PMC4363463 <br>; 5) 5. Functional genetic analysis in rodents<br> Finally, it is a tenet of my lab’s work that we don’t just make systems biology type predictions from human genetics and transcriptomic data, but also to test these hypotheses using a variety of empirical analyses. In addition to methods in primary culture for examining cellular phenotypes, a drive to understand how genes impact entire functional circuits in the brain has lead us to develop expertise in mouse phenotyping. We are particularly strong in gene expression, neuroanatomy, and behavioral analysis. Gene expression is well described above, and neuroanatomical studies, particularly with in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence have been a consistent part of confirming data from our ‘omics approaches (b,c,d,e,f) or our defining potential cellular mechanisms for disease (e.g.q). In behavioral analysis, we have the ability to go ‘broad,’ and conduct thorough characterization of a range of mouse behavior as a manner for identifying abnormalities in the functioning of particular circuits in the brain (e.g. c,d). We also have the ability to go ‘deep’ with assays we believe are particularly germane at assessing circuits related to social and communicative behavior such as those that may be disrupted in autism. In particular, we have developed a special expertise for data rich assays, such automated scoring of mouse vocal behavior, allowing us to apply our computational skills to the assessment of a circuit mediating mammalian social communication. We have numerous collaborations, ongoing and published (e.g. r, s.), with other labs interested in the genes and circuits mediating these behaviors. In total, the contributions from my lab to science have focused on bringing innovative ‘omics’ approaches to bear in the nervous system to generate new hypothesis, which we then test rigorously in the lab with a range of empirical methods. Thus we both distribute new methods and analytical approaches broadly that can be applied to many scientific questions, and in parallel focus our own efforts on addressing a subset of these questions focused on understanding the neurogenetic mechanisms regulating mammalian behavior.<br><br>q. Maloney SE, Khangura E, Dougherty JD. The RNA-binding protein Celf6 is highly expressed in diencephalic nuclei and neuromodulatory cell populations of the mouse brain. Brain Struct Funct. 2015 Feb 15. PMCID: PMC4537696<br>r. Tupal, S., Rieger, M.A., Ling, G, Park, T.J., Dougherty, J.D., Goodchild, A.K., Gray, P.A., Testing the role of preBötzinger Complex somatostatin neurons in respiratory and vocal behaviors. Eur J Neurosci. 2014; 40(7):3067-77. PMCID: PMC4383657<br>s. Araujo, DJ., Anderson, AG., Berto, S., Runnels, W., Harper, W., Ammanuel, S., Rieger, MA., Huang, HC., Rajkovich, K., Loerwald, K., Dekker, JD., Tucker, HO., Dougherty, JD., Gibson, JR., Konopka, G. FoxP1 orchestration of ASD-relevant signaling pathways in the striatum. Genes and Development; 2015; 29(20):2081-96. PMC4617974<br>
Nuri B. Farber, MD 1) pharmacological, neuroanatomical, histochemical, and cognitive/behavioral evaluation of neurodegeneration; 2) Treatment Resistant Depression; 3) developmental disorders; 4) neurostimulation; 5) glutamate, GABA receptors; 6) glucocorticoids; 7) psychotic disorders
Kenneth E. Freedland, PhD 1) psychiatric comorbidity in coronary heart disease and heart failure; 2) cognitive-behavioral treatment of depression, stress, and anxiety; 3) RCT methodology for behavioral intervention research
Anne Glowinski, MD, MPE 1) Genetic epidemiology of adolescent depression & suicidality & other disorders of childhood; 2) Parental alcoholism or depression as models of high risk g-e interplay; 3) Medical education; 4) Improvement of community systems of care for youth psychopathology treatment and prevention; 5) Youth at high risk for familial Bipolar Disorder; 6) Developmental Study of Toddler Twins; 7) Refugee Mental Health
Richard Grucza, PhD, MPE 1) Epidemiology of alcohol, nicotine, and other drug dependence. ; 2) Policy influences in substance misuse.; 3) Health outcomes in relation to alcohol, tobacco and drug policy; 4) Pharmacoepidemiology of opioid use disorder treatment
Oscar Harari, PhD 1) My research is focused towards the identification of omics factors implicated in complex neurodegenerative and behavioral traits.; 2) Proteomic, Transcriptomic and Genomic profiling of health and disease; 3) Identification of novel biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease
Michael Harms, PhD 1) Advanced structural, functional, and diffusion MR acquisitions and analyses to study brain networks in healthy individuals and those with psychiatric conditions; 2) Endophenotypes (biological markers) of schizophrenia, psychosis, and early onset (pediatric) depression.; 3) Quality control of MR data, including multi-site studies; 4) Temporal dynamics of the fMRI response
Sarah Hartz, MD, PhD 1) Psychiatric Genetics; 2) Return of Genetic Results; 3) Comorbidity between substance use and severe mental illness
Andrew Heath, DPhil 1) alcoholism etiology and consequences; 2) genetic studies of alcoholism, smoking, and drug dependence; 3) genetic studies of depression, suicidality and anxiety disorders; 4) genetic studies of personality and personality disorder; 5) methodological research in genetic epidemiology; 6) genetic studies of child and adolescent psychopathology
Tamara Hershey, PhD 1) neural underpinnings of cognitive dysfunction in diseases relevant to dopamine and the basal ganglia; 2) effects of metabolic dysfunction on the brain and cognitive function
Barry Hong, PhD, ABPP 1) psychological and psychiatric aspects of chronic illness in particular renal failure, liver disease; 2) behavior effecting organ donation; 3) disaster research and training; 4) follow-up studies of living donors; 5) functional pain in IBS and chronic bladder pain
Yukitoshi Izumi, MD, PhD 1) Hippocampal synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity.; 2) Energy metabolism in the hippocampus. ; 3) Excitotoxicity in the retina and experimental retinopathology. ; 4) Pharmacological modulation of hippocampal function. ; 5) Ethanol intoxication and neurosteroids.
Michael Jarvis, MD, PhD 1) psychopharmacology; 2) emergency and inpatient psychiatry; 3) psychiatric education; 4) suicide
Eric Lenze, MD 1) Incomplete Response in Late-Life Depression: Getting to Remission; 2) Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Cognitive Function in Stress and Aging; 3) Enhanced Medical Rehabilitation for Older Adults; 4) Bioequivalence and Clinical Implications of Generic Bupropion; 5) Buprenorphine for Treatment Resistant Late-Life Depression; 6) Exercise and MBSR for Cognitive Function; 7) Pharmacogenetics of Anti Depressants in Older Adults; 8) Optimizing Depression Treatment in Older Adults
Joan Luby, MD 1) Preschool mood disorders; 2) Infant/preschool psychopathology and nosology; 3) Social/emotional development of the infant and toddler; 4) Treatment of childhood affective disorders; 5) Brain development in early onset depression; 6) Early experience and brain development
Patrick Lustman, PhD 1) examination of the interaction of mental and physical illness, including studies of the prevalence, course, and treatment of psychiatric illness in patients with diabetes mellitus and/or gastrointestinal disorders
Pamela Madden, PhD 1) genetic studies on nicotine use and dependence; 2) the relationship between genetic influences on smoking behavior, and genetic factors responsible for the use and dependence on other substances (using alcohol as a model system); 3) genetic studies of possible mediators of genetic influence on cigarette use and the development of dependence on nicotine and other substances
Daniel Mamah, MD, MPE 1) Functional Connectivity MRI in Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and High Risk States; 2) Diffusion Imaging and Neuromorphometry ; 3) Assessment of Bipolar and Psychosis Risk in the U.S., Kenya and Rwanda; 4) Cognitive Training in High Risk Youth
Vivia V. McCutcheon, PhD 1) alcohol use disorders, remission and relapse ; 2) trauma
Steven Mennerick, PhD 1) physiology of glutamate and GABA signaling; 2) axonal physiology; 3) synaptic modulation
Elliot Nelson, MD 1) twin study of social phobia; 2) genetic epidemiology of childhood abuse; 3) case-control candidate gene study of opioid dependence
Ginger Nicol, MD 1) Prevention of cardiometabolic risk in mentally ill persons across the lifespan; 2) psychopharmacology; 3) Obesity treatments in mentally ill populations
Bruce Nock, PhD 1) transgenerational effects of morphine
Michele Pergadia, PhD 1) Nicotine withdrawal and major depressive disorder; 2) Dissemination of smoking cessation treatment; 3) Weight gain after quitting smoking
Rumi Kato Price, PhD, MPE 1) Long-term effects of early trauma, substance abuse, posttraumatic stress disorder; 2) Deployment and reintegration mental health and substance abuse prevention in military members and veterans; 3) Epidemiology of domestic human trafficking; psychiatric and medical outcomes of victims of trafficking and violence; health care's response; 4) Mobile and wearable technology for prevention and intervention of posttraumatic stress disorder syndrome and anxiety triggers.; 5) Implementation of innovative technology platform to assist victims of human trafficking and domestic violence
John Pruett, Jr., MD, PhD 1) Functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) studies of autism; 2) The development of visual attention to social and non-social stimuli in autistic and non-autistic individuals; 3) Visual form processing, as related to social perception and cognition; 4) Comparative cognition of reasoning and social functioning
Tahir Rahman, MD 1) Antipsychotics and Breast Cancer-Pharmacoepidemiology study.
Angela M. Reiersen, MD, MPE 1) Autistic traits and motor problems in children with ADHD; 2) Neurodevelopmental precursors of schizophrenia; 3) Psychiatric and neurological symptoms in Wolfram Syndrome; 4) Association of ADHD and autistic traits with substance use; 5) Gene-environment interaction effects in neurodevelopmental disorders
John Rice, PhD 1) method development in genetic epidemiology; 2) quantitative genetics; 3) genetics of affective disorders; 4) linkage analysis; 5) diagnostic stability/validity; 6) analysis of multivariate data, especially survival and logistic analyses; 7) analysis of whole genome association data
Eugene Rubin, MD, PhD 1) Dementia; 2) Depression; 3) Trends in psychiatric education; 4) History of psychiatry
Chad Sylvester, MD, PhD 1) Functional brain networks are groups of brain regions that work together to carry out particular functions, such as cognitive control or self-reflection. Dr. Sylvester uses computer games and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study alterations in functional brain networks associated with pediatric anxiety disorders. A long term goal is to develop new treatments (using, for example, computer games) that directly target alterations in functional brain networks.
Mini Tandon, DO 1) childhood ADHD and disruptive disorders; 2) characterization of disorders in preschool period; 3) empirically-supported psychotherapies for preschoolers
Alexandre Todorov, PhD 1) Psychiatric genetics; 2) Study design and methods for genetic; 3) epidemiological studies
Denise Wilfley, PhD 1) etiology, prevention, and treatment of obesity and eating disorders in children and adults.; 2) development of evidence-based psychological treatments for children and families that reduce obesity, improve nutrition and physical activity, augment quality of life, and promote positive body image; 3) prevention and treatment of eating disorders and obesity in at-risk populations; 4) collaboration with multi-sector stakeholders including care providers, employers, policy makers, and transdisciplinary scientists to accelerate the adoption of evidence-based treatments in practice settings (e.g., community settings, schools, college campuses, community mental health agencies, primary care, and employee wellness programs); 5) use of technology for addressing gaps in the prevention and treatment of eating disorders and obesity
David Wozniak, PhD 1) the role of excitatory amino acids in aging and development, Alzheimer;s disease, schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders; 2) the involvement of glutamate receptors in learning and memory, and neuronal injury and degeneration; 3) rodent models of developmental neuropsychiatric syndromes such as the fetal alcohol syndrome and Neurofibromatosis - Type 1; 4) behavioral phenotyping of mutant mice and the development of rodent models of human diseases
Carla M. Yuede, PhD 1) The rapidly increasing incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in our society highlights the necessity for a more complete understanding of its development and progression so effective treatments can be designed. My approach to AD research involves combining techniques to find novel ways to uncover aspects about the disease process. Using an interdisciplinary approach to study biological processes from different angles gives us a more complete picture and will facilitate strategies to minimize or eliminate the symptoms of the disease. <br>Accumulation of toxic Aß in the brain is believed to be the primary cause of the cognitive and behavioral symptoms of AD. Synaptic activity is responsible for at least 70% of Aß production in the brain, however the mechanisms underlying this relationship are not fully understood. Our research focuses on the factors influencing brain Aß dynamics in mouse models of AD, particularly in relation to synaptic activity. We have developed novel micro-immunoelectrodes to measure Aß with increased temporal resolution in the brains of living mice. Like the in vivo microdialysis technique developed in our lab, these methods provide unique routes to address issues concerning how Aß levels change over time and with different conditions. Using these techniques we can monitor Aß kinetics in the context of aging, behavior, drug treatment and genetic manipulation to identify mechanisms governing the relationship between synaptic activity and Aß production in vivo. Our long-term goal is to understand the pathways and risk factors involved in Aß generation and accumulation in the brain, with the hope of identifying effective therapeutic targets.; 2) Results from both human and animal studies over the last decade have identified a clear increase in the rate of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in women compared to men, even after controlling for life expectancy. The rates of many disorders are different between men and women. Of the disorders that are more prevalent in females, the common underlying feature is an association with stress, such as in anxiety and depression. Stress increases glucocorticoids (GC) in the brain, and the link between GCs and AD has been confirmed by several studies. In AD patients, elevated GC levels are correlated with dementia severity. The female brain is more sensitive to chronic impairment from stress, making the pathways involved in stress particularly important to the differences between men and women in risk for AD. We have previously found that acute stress rapidly increases levels of Aß (the protein the builds up in the brains of people with AD) in the mouse brain and have recently found that this increase is greater in female mice compared to males. ; 3) As Co-Director of Animal Behavior Core, I help investigators design and interpret behavioral function in many animal models of disease. Coming from a behavioral neuroscience background, I have been involved with many different animal models and tests of behavioral function, specifically analyzing ways in which cognitive function can be altered by manipulating brain function through neurotransmitter systems using genetics or pharmacology. This approach gives us opportunities to understand genetic involvement in behavioral function and to screen treatments that will influence the symptoms of the disease under investigation. My research interests involve behavioral phenotyping of new genetic models, as well as evaluating functional effects of specific treatment strategies on diverse models of neurological disorders. <br>
Charles Zorumski, MD 1) mechanisms regulating the actions of glutamate and GABA in the hippocampus; 2) short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus; 3) mechanisms involved in CNS neurodegeneration; 4) modulation of brain function by neurosteroids and oxysterols