Research Areas of Focus
THE BAKER LAB
Role of Astrocytes in Psychiatric Disease
The Baker Lab has revealed that glutamate release from astrocytes is involved in the etiology and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders using preclinical models of cocaine addiction and schizophrenia. Leveraging this new insight,
Drs. Baker and Mantsch launched a pharmaceutical company that develops novel therapeutics to target this cellular mechanism to treat cognitive disorders.
THE CHARLES E. KUBLY MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER
Collaborative efforts to uncover the neural basis of disease
Supported by the Kubly family, the goal of the center is to accelerate insights into depression and related mental illnesses. This research environment fosters basic science and discoveries that will lead to new treatments by encouraging endeavors to creatively pursue quality science and cutting-edge techniques. Its collaborative strengths arise from our talented neuroscientists who have complementary expertise and work closely as an interactive team.
THE LOBNER LAB
The primary focus of my research is on determining the mechanism of cell death in neurodegenerative diseases. The neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are all similar in that the disease is usually caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors.
THE PEOPLES LAB
Research in my laboratory has focused on defining the molecular mechanisms and sites of action of alcohols and other CNS depressants on the NMDA receptor. Research in my laboratory has also included investigation of novel mechanisms of intracellular regulation of receptors activated by the inhibitory amino acid glycine, the alcohol sensitivity of purinergic receptors activated by extracellular ATP, and the relation between binding and ion channel gating in 5-HT3 serotonin receptors.
THE WHEELER LAB
I examine the role of brain nuclei in hedonic and motivational processing by recording changes in neuronal cell firing rates. These studies have revealed that patterned firing rate changes of nucleus accumbens neurons reflect the devaluation of a natural reward as it comes to predict, and is devalued by, future cocaine availability.
THE GILMARTIN LAB
Neural Circuits of Emotional Learning and Memory
Memories make up our personal narrative and are central to adaptive behavior. Healthy emotional learning allows us to avoid danger and predict reward. The Gilmartin lab deciphers the neural circuits that encode experience into memory, and how dysfunction in these circuits may lead to maladaptive behavior and mental health disorders.