Research Interests


Our lab holds to a dopaminocentric view of the universe, focusing on the involvement of central dopamine systems in neuropsychiatric disorders. We are interested in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and Parkinsons Disease, with a particular interest in cognitive dysfunction in these disorders. Long-term changes in dendritic spines, the gateway for excitatory transmission onto neurons, in these disorders occupies much of our attention, both in animal and post-mortem studies. The loss of dendritic spines on prefrontal cortical pyramidal cells and striatal medium spiny neurons in schizophrenia and Parkinsons Disease, respectively, have led us to defining subsets of neurons are vulnerable to the pathological process; these studies include the use of targeted approaches and unbiased methods, including the use of imaging proteomic methods to interrogate subsets of neurons. Recent attempts to answer the question where do the lost spines go? have revealed microglial involvement during adolescence.


dendritic spine
Parkinsons Disease
prefrontal cortex
pyramidal cell hetereogeneity