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We study sickness symptoms and immune-driven behaviors
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Home: Research
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Why do we feel sick ?

During an infection, animals exhibit a highly stereotyped set of symptoms including fever, fatigue, body aches, changes to appetite, thirst and more. Sickness symptoms are an important part of the immune response and function to activate the immune system, prevent further exposure and increase survival. The goal of the Osterhout lab is to understand the mechanisms controlling sickness. Work from our lab and others demonstrates that the brain plays a key role in generating sickness symptoms, yet how the brain senses an immune response and modulates neural circuits to make us feel sick, is still unclear.  We utilize cutting-edge approaches for behavioral characterization, viral-mediated functional manipulation and single-cell gene expression analyses to better understand how sickness symptoms are controlled and the basic principles governing immune-brain communication.



Danielle Germundson-Hermanson joins the lab as our first postdoc

Welcome Danielle!


Rob Ettaro joins the lab as a Research Scientist

Welcome Rob!


Jackie Nguyen awarded the Neuroimmunology T32

Congrats Jackie!


Michelle Swarovski selected to attend the Cold Spring Harbor Single Cell Analysis Course



Osterhout Lab awarded a Research Instrumentation Fund

We will use this fund to purchase a spatial transcriptomics intstrument from Nanostring. The imager, arriving in late summer, will be housed in the Imaging Core for shared use. Contact us for more details!


Your brain could be controlling how you get sick

A news feature in Nature describes how scientists are deciphering communication in the brain during immune responses, hoping to find treatments for a range of diseases

Open Box Science

See Jessica present her work on the generation of fever and sickness behaviors on Open Box Science!

Brain Explained

Jessica featured on the Brain Explained podcast

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