Ferrario Lab

Our goal is to understand the neuro-biological mechanisms that contribute to drug addiction and obesity. Our current focus is on identifying and understanding alterations in excitatory transmission and plasticity within the brain's "reward pathway" that contribute to these conditions. To accomplish this, we use a variety of approaches including: behavioral pharmacology to identify alterations in motivated behaviors; biochemistry to examine alterations in receptor expression, phosphorylation and signaling; and slice electrophysiology to examine changes in neuronal function and plasticity after in vivo manipulations (e.g., exposure to high fat diet or cocaine self-administration).

 

We are currently pursuing several lines of research related to obesity including: determining neural and behavioral differences that contribute to the development of obesity, determining how a prolonged state of obesity alters excitatory transmission and plasticity in key reward areas such as the nucleus accumbens, and examining potential roles for leptin and insulin signaling in the regulation of glutamate transmission.

 

Visit our positions page to see available jobs and the student resources page to find out more about graduate and undergraduate research opportunities.

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