BU researcher receives $2.8M grant to review serotonin’s function in persistent stress and despair

Michael Wallace, PhD, assistant professor of anatomy & neurobiology at Boston College Chobanian & Avedisian Faculty of Drugs, was awarded a $2.8 million from the Nationwide Institutes of Well being, Nationwide Institute of Psychological Well being. The award will fund his challenge “Serotonergic modulation of the circuits and cell-types of the lateral habenula.”

The award, which runs from 2023-2028, helps his analysis into the mobile and circuit impacts of serotonin on a mind area implicated in persistent stress and despair known as the lateral habenula. The lateral habenula is a part of the epithalamus and has an necessary function in regulating motivational, cognitive and motor processes.

Launch of neuromodulators, reminiscent of serotonin (5-HT), have profound results on neural circuits and habits, and alter following persistent stress. Wallace will dissect the selective mobile and circuit results of serotonin on particular neuronal subtypes throughout the lateral habenula (LHb) in vitro and in vivo. Dysfunction of the LHb could contribute to the pathophysiology of a number of psychiatric problems, particularly main despair.

“Following persistent stress we’ll study how a typical therapy for despair (administration of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs) modifies the temporal dynamics of 5-HT and results neuronal exercise within the LHb in vivo to know how exercise of particular LHb neuron-types change and impact habits,” he explains.

Wallace research particular genetically outlined circuits throughout the basal ganglia, a bunch of phylogenetically conserved buildings in all vertebrates. His focus is on understanding how these circuits information motivated behaviors, management goal-directed motor actions and the way they’re affected in illnesses, reminiscent of Parkinson’s illness, in addition to despair and drug habit.

With experience in electrophysiology, molecular biology, genetics, in-vivo optogenetics, behavioral and imaging strategies, in addition to computational modeling and programming, we apply a various vary of cutting-edge strategies and data of basal ganglia perform to find out the synaptic and circuit underpinnings of habits.”

Michael Wallace, PhD, assistant professor of anatomy & neurobiology at Boston College Chobanian & Avedisian Faculty of Drugs

Wallace obtained his undergraduate diploma from Rutgers College and his PhD from the College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He got here to the College in 2021 following a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical Faculty.


Boston College Faculty of Drugs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.