I am a psychiatrist and neuroscientist with an interest in understanding the neural basis of behavior. My work focuses on the neural circuitry underlying stress, resilience and animal models of affective disorders. Stress frequently precipitates depressive disorders, yet some people show remarkable resilience to stress. To study how stress changes neural circuits in resilient and susceptible individuals, we use in vivo recordings and optogenetic circuit modulations in the reward pathway of mice as they undergo stress and engage in social and rewarding behavior. I am particularly interested in how dynamic communication in this pathway differs between susceptible and resilient individuals as well as between males and females.
I did my graduate work with Diana Pettit at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, examining the role extrasynaptic NMDA receptors play in normal synaptic transmission and plasticity, using calcium imaging, laser photolysis and patch-clamp recordings of hippocampal neurons in acute slices. I then moved to Weill Cornell Medical Center for residency training in psychiatry. After residency, I moved to Columbia Medical Center to study circuit neurophysiology with Josh Gordon.