Department of Molecular Neuropharmacology

Our research focuses on neuronal mechanisms underlying the activity of the brain’s reward system. We investigate how plasticity in the reward system controls reinforcement learning and how the systems adapts to stress or the effects of drugs of abuse. Additionally, a considerable part of our research involves analysis of gene expression induced by psychoactive substances in the brain structures associated with the reward system. We hope that elucidating molecular signatures of drug action will lead to identification of mechanisms essential for their therapeutic effects.

We conduct behavioral testing on animals with altered neuronal activity by means of genetic modifications or viral transduction. Our laboratory uses a wide variety of behavioral testing methods, including assessment of motor activity, anxiety-like behaviors, memory and all forms of instrumental and pavlovian learning. In the analysis of gene expression we employ several approaches ranging from quantitative PCR to next generation sequencing. Due to the wealth of data generated through gene expression analyses our work has been shifting towards methods data mining and analyses. We had developed and made available to the scientific community several tools that aggregate experimental data and annotations to identify common features among sets of transcript or genes.

More publications
  • Jerzy Konorski Award, Jan Manuel Rodriguez Parkitna, PhD
    Monday, 30 November -0001