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Associate Professor
M.D., Medical School of Charles University, Prague, 1991
Ph.D., SUNY Downstate Brooklyn, 1995

Gene expression-based mapping of brain activity; anatomical mapping of brain connectivity; neurobiology of autism and schizophrenia

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The brain is composed of distinct neuronal circuits which can be classified by specific types of neurotransmission (e.g. excitatory, inhibitory, and modulatory), anatomical connectivity (e.g. cortico-cortical and cortico-subcortical), and system function (e.g. sensory, motor, and associative).  Autism, schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders are likely caused by subtle disruptions in some of these circuits, but our understanding of which circuits are affected is rudimentary at best. 

We focus on the identification and analysis of brain regions, neuronal circuits and connectivity pathways that drive complex behaviors and may be disrupted in autism and schizophrenia. We use serial two-photon (STP) tomography, an automated two-photon microscopy for imaging entire mouse brains, to map brainwide neuronal activation evoked by various behaviors, including social behavior. Such brain activation maps are then interrogated by cellular and systems methods with the aim to identify the specific cell types in the brain regions involved, and test the causality of the cell type and brain regions in mediating specific aspects of the behaviors.  We hypothesize that systematic comparisons of wildtype brain circuits and those in genetic mouse models will allow us to determine neural circuit-based classification of autism and schizophrenia and to provide key circuit targets for therapeutic development.


Selected Publications

Ragan, T., Kadiri, L.R., Venkataraju, K.U., Bahlmann, K., Sutin, J., Taranda, J., Arganda-Carreras, I., Kim, Y., Seung, H.S., and Osten, P. 2012. Serial two-photon tomography for automated ex vivo mouse brain imaging. Nat. Meth. 9: 255–258.

Glajch, K.E., Fleming, S.M., Surmeier, D.J., and Osten, P. 2012. Sensorimotor assessment of the unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine mouse model of Parkinson's disease. Beh. Brain Res. 230: 309–316.

Chan, C.S., Glajch, K.E., Gertler, T.S., Guzman, J.N., Mercer, J.N., Lewis, A.S., Goldberg, A.B., Tkatch, T., Shigemoto, R., Fleming, S.M., Osten, P, and Surmeier, D.J. 2010. HCN channelopathy in external globus pallidus neurons in models of Parkinson's disease. Nat. Neurosc. 14: 85–92.

Cetin, A., Komai, S., Eliava, M., Seeburg, P.H. and Osten, P. 2007. Stereotaxic gene delivery in the rodent brain. Nat. Protoc. 1: 3166–3173.

Komai, S., Licznerski, P., Cetin, A., Waters J., Denk, W., Brecht, M. and Osten P. 2006. Postsynaptic excitability is necessary for strengthening of cortical sensory responses during experience-dependent development. Nat. Neurosci. 9: 1125–1133.