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Laboratory of Psychiatric and Molecular Neuroscience

Mailman Research Center

Mailman Research Center

The Laboratory of Psychiatric and Molecular Neuroscience is focused upon characterizing the pre- and post-synaptic mechanisms of glutamatergic neurotransmission and how pathologic dysruption of these processes may lead to selective neuronal degeneration. The focus of research in the laboratory evolved out of our observation in 1976 that intrastriatal injection of the glutamate analog, kainic acid, reproduces in rats many aspects of the neuropathology of Huntington's Disease.

Our investigators recently discovered that an enzyme which regulates an important neurotransmitter, glutamate, is less active in critical brain regions of patients with schizophrenia. They are using recombinant DNA methods to create mice with altered expression of processes that regulate glutamate receptors in the brain. The studies will aid in developing more effective treatments for schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders.