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Research Areas of Focus

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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 BLACKMORE LAB

Molecular Advances to Heal the Injured Spinal Cord

The Blackmore lab discovers novel molecular mechanisms that control nerve regeneration, and they use this information to promote repair after spinal cord injury.

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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.

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THE CHOI LAB

 Neural Regulation of Feeding & Obesity

The Choi lab investigates how novel peptides regulate energy homeostasis as it relates to the obesity and eating disorders using a variety of behavioral assays, neuroanatomical mapping techniques, and brain site- specific manipulations. 

THE CULLINAN LAB

Research in my laboratory is directed at understanding the neurobiology of stress and the link between stress and psychiatric illness.

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THE EVANS LAB

Our laboratory investigates the functional organization of the circadian system in mammals, with the ultimate goal of gaining mechanistic insight that can be used to develop new therapeutic approaches for these health risks.

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THE GHASEMZADEH LAB

Research in my laboratory focuses on understanding the neurobiology of addiction and schizophrenia. These pathologies involve long-lasting changes in brain function and behavior with devastating personal and social consequences. 

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. 

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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 SAVTCHOUK LAB

Our core competences include two-photon imaging, electrophysiology, and signal processing. We are interested in understanding how astrocytes and GABAergic interneurons contribute to functioning of the cerebellum and of the rest of the brain.

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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 GASSER LAB

Cellular Mechanisms of Stress & Addiction

The Gasser Lab focuses on understanding how stress hormones interact with monoamines like dopamine to regulate neuronal and glial function. They examine the role of a high capacity monoamine transporter in neural signaling.

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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.

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THE HEARING LAB

Cognition, Opioids, & Plasticity

The Hearing Lab reveals how mental illness and addiction modify circuit dynamics to uncover novel methods to prevent pathological behavior.