Areas of interest
Specific neural populations are capable of detecting and responding to immune signals. We use mouse models to uncover the molecules, cells and circuits that detect these immune signals and generate sickness symptoms. We utilize single-cell sequencing and spatial transcriptomics to identify specialized immune-sensitive neurons. We use targeted, viral-mediated neural manipulation techniques to test their function and a wide array of behavioral assays to carefully measure and analyze specific changes in behavior and physiology.
The neural basis of
Using multiple models for acute or chronic infection we identify the cells and circuits that generate sickness behaviors such as fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, sleep disturbances, increased pain sensitivity, anxiety and depression
We aim to understand how sexually dimorphic immune responses impact sickness behavior in males and females and how pregnancy-induced immune signals induce specific behavioral patterns
Impact of early inflammation on brain development
We uncover how early infection impacts the formation of brain circuits that control behavior