Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Anderson, David J.
Location California Institute of Technology
Primary Field Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Secondary Field Cellular and Developmental Biology
 Election Citation
Anderson's lab uses molecular genetic techniques to map neural circuits for innate behaviors, in both flies and mice. In mice, he has worked on the neural circuits underlying fear, anxiety and pain. He is currently using genes expressed in subsets of neurons within the amygdala, a structure implicated in fear, to genetically silence and activate these neurons, as well as to trace their connectivity.
 Research Interests
Research interests in my laboratory focus on using molecular genetic techniques to map neural circuits for innate behaviors, in both flies and mice. In mice, our primary focus is on neural circuits underlying fear, anxiety and pain. We are using genes expressed in subsets of neurons within the amygdala, a structure implicated in fear, to genetically silence and activate these neurons, as well as to trace their connectivity. A similar approach is being applied to studying the function of subsets of nociceptive primary sensory neurons. We are also collaborating with the laboratory of Henry Lester to develop techniques for reversible genetic neuronal silencing in mice. Our research in flies is focused on applying analogous approaches to dissecting the neural circuitry underlying simple "models" of innate olfactory avoidance behavior, agitation/arousal and "behavioral inhibition," a correlate of anxiety in mammalian species.

 
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