Research at the molecular and cellular levels focuses on the fundamental processes controlling neuronal function and their abnormalities in various neuropsychiatric disorders. Studies of signal transduction pathways, gene expressions, and genetic contributions to mental illness are among the major areas of investigation. The studies make prominent use of transgenic mouse models, viral mediated gene transfer, DNA array profiling, and protein biochemistry.
Other areas of focus include neural circuits and the neurobiological substrates of complex behavior. Defining features of this work include its integration with molecular and cellular investigations and the availability of sophisticated animal models of specific disorders. A major interest is detailed neural and behavioral phenotyping of genetic mutant mice.
Involvement in Education and Training
Our Division provides pre-doctoral 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 offers formal didactics, mentoring, and protected time as part of the Residency Education.