Our lab is working towards understanding how brain cells communicate with each other to evoke different behaviors, in normal and pathological conditions. We are particularly interested in neural mechanisms altered by stress and environmental factors such as dietary habits and exercise. We are also interested in uncovering how these mechanisms can sometimes lead to unhealthy cognitive aging and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Stress is a crucial contributing factor to the development of neuropsychiatric disorders including anxiety, depression, drug addiction, and schizophrenia and chronic pain. Stress has also been linked to neurodegeneration. Thus, investigating mechanisms underlying stress and resilience to stress will contribute to find alternatives for prevention and/or treatment of these mental health problems.
To tackle these important questions, we use animal models (rodents) and a combination of techniques including electrophysiology, behavioral analysis, viral genetic manipulation and pharmacology.