About the Psychiatry Neuroscience Division

Psychiatry Neuroscience Division Focus

Research on the fundamental processes controlling brain function at the molecular, genetic and cellular levels focuses on abnormalities in various neuropsychiatric disorders. Studies investigate how alterations in genes, gene expression, signal transduction pathways, and neuroplasticity  contribute to mental illness including schizophrenia, autism, depression, anxiety and addiction.

Other research investigates brain circuit-specific pathways in the regulation of complex behavior including learning and memory, mood and motivation. 

The studies make prominent use of transgenic mouse models, viral mediated gene transfer, DNA/RNA profiling, protein biochemistry, and optogenetics.  Defining aspects of the Division's research feature the integration of molecular, cellular, and systems level investigation with the availability of sophisticated animal models of specific disorders.

Involvement in Education and Training

The Division of Psychiatry Neuroscience provides predoctoral training opportunities in basic and translational neuroscience for students admitted through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Investigators examine the neurobiological basis of numerous mental disorders including depression and anxiety, substance abuse, schizophrenia, autism, and neurodegeneration.

We also provide postdoctoral training opportunities to individuals interested in pursuing careers in the neurobiological basis of mental illness. In conjunction with the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, postdoctoral researchers will receive rigorous training in advanced neuroscience techniques with a focus on developing an independent research program.

Because the research conducted within the Department of Psychiatry places a strong focus on clinically informed basic and translational neuroscience, we provide research opportunities to clinicians at all stages of training including medical students, residents, and clinical fellows. In addition, the Research Track within the Psychiatry Residency Program offers formal didactics, mentoring, and protected time.