Neural mechanisms behind reward and aversion

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The goal of our research is to identify the neural circuits and the molecular mechanisms that underlie aversion and reward.

 In particular we are interested in the circuits mediating aversionin response to systemic inflammation and pain. Along the same line, we study other central nervous symptoms of inflammatory disease such as loss of appetite and fever.

We are also interested in reward related signaling that is important for drug addiction, focusing on drug-induced changes in the mesolimbic dopaminergic system. Our experiments are to a large extent carried out using genetic mouse models. In particular, we use various approaches to delete genes in specific cell types (Cre/loxP) and then analyze the resulting alterations in behavior and gene expression.

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