Associate Professor of Pharmacology
dopamine, hippocampus, schizophrenia, drug abuse, electrophysiology, neuroscience
In a broad sense, my laboratory is interested in better understanding the mechanisms underlying psychiatric disease with the goal of developing novel therapeutic approaches. To do this we utilize a number of different approaches including optogenetics, in vivo electrophysiology, behavioral and molecular methods. Using such an approach, we have identified what we believe to be a key pathology in schizophrenia, specifically a loss of interneuron function in the ventral hippocampus. This has led to a hypothesis that restoring interneuron function may be a novel therapeutic approach for schizophrenia. Specifically, we are currently investigating the utility of stem cell derived interneuron transplants in rodent models of schizophrenia and autism.
This figure depicts transplanted inhibitory neurons in the ventral hippocampus. These transplanted neurons were sufficient to reverse aberrant neurophysiology and behavior in a rodent model of schizophrenia.