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Examining neural circuit mechanisms that lead to psychiatric disease

Horizontal section through ventral hippocampus. Cells that project to the medial prefrontal cortex are labeled green. Cells that project to the nucleus accumbens are labeled red.

The Donegan Lab investigates how stress throughout the lifespan affects neural circuit function and leads to behaviors associated with psychiatric disease. Previously, we have identified specific pathways from the ventral hippocampus associated with discrete symptoms of schizophrenia. Using cutting edge techniques, such as eGRASP and fiber photometry, we have characterized the anatomy and function of these circuits in the healthy brain. Currently, our lab is examining the effect of chronic adult stress on these ventral hippocampal circuits.

The ultimate goal of the Donegan Laboratory is to understand how neural circuit function is altered in psychiatric disease in order to find new and more effective therapeutic strategies.