My primary interests are centered on the functional organization and
physiological properties of neural networks involved in
processing and the chemical senses (i.e., olfaction and gustation). My
research utilizes an integrative, multidisciplinary approach combining
tract tracing, immunocytochemistry, immediate early gene expression and
electrophysiology to delineate cellular and circuit properties of
defined networks. The major current projects in my laboratory are:
•Regulation of Brainstem Opioid Analgesic Circuits.
defined brainstem-spinal cord circuit is known to play a key role in
opioid-mediated analgesia. We are investigating how higher levels of
the CNS (cortical
and subcortical sites) involved in emotions, motivational state and
cognitive processing can regulate this brainstem analgesic circuit to
allow for state-dependent modulation of pain thresholds. We are also
investigating how sweet and
fatty components of mothers milk produces profound opiate
analgesic and calming effects in newborn rats and humans.
•Synaptic Integration and Information Processing in the Olfactory Bulb.
We are investigating how neuronal membrane properties and
extrinsic/intrinsic neurotransmitter systems modulate information
processing and output from the olfactory bulb circuit using functional
imaging and neurophysiology
approaches in vivo and in vitro.
•Integration in the Olfactory Bulb (OB)-Piriform Cortex (PC) Circuit.
Olfactory receptor neurons that express a single common odorant
receptor project to one glomerulus in the OB. The glomeruli thus form a
mirrors receptor activity. Different odors stimulate different patterns
of glomerular activity. The OB and PC comprise the major
of the neural network that decipher such patterns to arrive at the
of an odor. The goal of this research is to understand how glomerular
is relayed to, and processed within PC using neuroanatomical and
(1) Intracellular and extracellular recordings
in vivo and in vitro preparations; (2) Functional imaging using
voltage-sensitive dyes; (3) Electrical and chemical brain
(1) Microiontophoretic and
micropressure drug application with multibarrel pipettes; (2)
Intravenous and intracerebroventricular drug injection; (3) High
pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) combined
with in vivo microdialysis to determine the steady state and evoked
release of neurotransmitters.
(1) Anterograde and retrograde axonal tract
tracing; (2) Immunocytochemistry and histochemistry; (3)
Computer-based image analysis.
Ph.D. in Neuroscience from New York University in 1988 and
postdoctoral training in the Departments of Physiology & Biophysics
& Cell Biology at The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.