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Research interests

Research in our lab focuses on how chronic pain, stress and addictive drugs induces changes in neural circuits that underlie symptoms of psychiatric disorders. We use a range of techniques including in vivo and patch clamp electrophysiology, genetic sequencing, neuroanatomy, optogenetics and behavior to study changes in function in the ventral basal ganglia in models of addiction, mood and chronic pain disorders. The main goal of the lab is to leverage insight from circuit studies to develop novel neuromodulation therapies for these disorders, including deep brain stimulation (DBS) and targeted drug delivery and neurostimulation with focused ultrasound (FUS). By first establishing links of causality between changes in circuit function and maladaptive behavior, we first establish a rationale for targeted circuit manipulation in a disease state. We then design novel neuromodulation paradigms ex vivo and validate their efficacy in vivo to provide novel, effective neuromodulation strategies for neurological and psychiatric disease.


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