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Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology

Our primary goal is to achieve a better understanding of the neural circuits that drive goal-directed behaviors, reward learning, & movement. We focus on glutamate and dopamine neurotransmission to and from midbrain neurons of particular importance to mental illness, including drug addiction, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s Disease. Our core approaches leverage the power of modern molecular genetic tools and mouse models to visualize, manipulate, or control discrete neural circuit elements so that we may better define their roles in physiology, behavior & disease.

Techniques & Approaches

  • Generation of genetically modified mouse models
  • Viral-mediated gene transfer
  • Optogenetics
  • Behavioral analyses
  • Patch-clamp electrophysiology
  • Immunohistochemistry & Microscopy
  • Biochemical assays
  • Neuronal tract tracing
  • Cell culture