Staff of Dr. Lovinger's laboratory

David M. Lovinger PhD, Chief

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism LIN logo shows neuron and mouse
National Institutes of Health
5625 Fishers Lane, Room TS-13A:MSC 9411
Bethesda, MD 20892-9412                                                                                          

telephone: 301.443.2445                                      
fax: +1 301.480.8035
e-mail: lovindav@mail.nih.gov

CV (pdf-file 488 kB); other web page: Lovinger at Neuroscience @ NIH

 

MISSION STATEMENT

1) Research in SSP focuses on examination of the mechanisms involved in synaptic plasticity related to habit formation and addiction, with particular emphasis on the striatum. 2) Studies in this section also examine the function and roles of cortico-basal ganglia circuits in habit formation and addiction, using a combination of behavioral and in vivo physiological techniques. Genetically engineered mice are employed to help determine the roles of particular molecules and neurons in behavior and the underlying physiology. 3) Research in the section also explores effects of alcohol and other drugs of abuse on synaptic transmission. Different in vitro preparations, including single cells and brain slices are used to accomplish this aim. 4) In addition, we are interested in determining the molecular mechanisms underlying these drug actions, through the combined use of molecular biological and physiological techniques

 

Scientific images of cell components in flourescent colors

Images courtesy of Dr. Davis 

CURRENT LAB MEMBERS 

 

Margaret Davis, PhD

Margaret Davis, PhD

Staff Scientist

midavis@mail.nih.gov

Telephone: (301)443-4108

My research focuses on the anatomy, development, and function of the striosome-matrix system in the basal ganglia and the role of endocannabinoids in this system.  I also provide training to students and postdocs in LIN on techniques in biochemistry, neuroanatomy, and microscopy.  See my brain art here and on Twitter @BrainsRus

 

Yolanda Mateo, PhD

Yolanda Mateo, PhD

Staff Scientist

mateoy@mail.nih.gov 

Telephone: (301) 443-3754

My research investigates how dopamine influences behavioral output by modulating basal ganglia circuit function. We use fast-scan cyclic voltammetry and optogenetics to elucidate the importance of local presynaptic control at striatal dopaminergic terminals and modulation of this dynamic system by endocannabinoids. We also use in vivo voltammetry to capture subsecond dopamine release. 

 

Karina Abrahao, PhD

Karina Abrahao, PhD

IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow 

karina.abrahao@nih.gov

I study acute and chronic effects of ethanol on specific types of neurons and synapses of the Basal Ganglia circuitry, focusing on the striatal indirect and direct pathways targets: the globus pallidus and the substantia nigra reticulata. I use transgenic mice, optogenetics, photometry and chemogenetic approaches to target specific circuits and test how in vitro and in vivo ethanol exposure can affect in vitro and in vivo intrinsic firing and synaptic transmission.  I`ve been also working on an operant behavior paradigm to study variables that could bias habitual learning and ethanol habitual seeking behavior. 

 

Shana Augustin, PhD

Shana Augustin, PhD

IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow 

shana.augustin@nih.gov

I study the molecular basis of striatal synaptic plasticity and how regulation of synaptic efficacy can shape/influence action selection and learning using various techniques such as slice electrophysiology, pharmacology, fast scan cyclic voltammetry, in vivo photometry, and mouse genetics. One of my studies focuses on how dopamine D2 receptors on striatopallidal (indirect-projection) medium spiny neurons and cholinergic interneurons modulate the induction of synaptic plasticity and regulate striatum dependent behaviors. Another one of my studies focuses on contributions of intracellular signaling molecules in striatal circuitry and function using cyclic AMP and PKA optical biosensors. 

 

Jessica Chancey, PhD

Jessica Chancey, PhD

IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow 

jessica.chancey@nih.gov

Acetylcholine is an important regulator of striatal function. The activity of cholinergic interneurons, the main source of striatal acetylcholine, is regulated by dopamine through D2 receptors. I am examining how genetic deletion of D2 receptors from cholinergic interneurons regulates striatal function using striatal dependent behaviors, and in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology. 

 

Kari Johnson, PhD

Kari Johnson, PhD

PRAT Postdoctoral Fellow 

kari.johnson@nih.gov 

I study G protein-coupled receptor-mediated modulation of neurotransmission in the striatum, with a focus on metabotropic glutamate receptors. I am exploring how chronic alcohol exposure impacts neuromodulation, and the relationship between alcohol-induced adaptations and striatum-dependent behavior. 

 

David Kupferschmidt, PhD

David Kupferschmidt, PhD

IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow 

david.kupferschmidt@nih.gov 

I study how the brain selects, shapes, and stores behavioral patterns, and how salient emotional experiences (e.g. exposure to stress, drugs) alter these processes to bias our actions.  In the Lovinger Lab, I have used modern genetic, electrophysiological, pharmacological, photometric, and behavioral tools in mice to assess the synaptic and circuit-level plasticity underlying how the brain automatizes actions into motor skills and habits.  My future research will apply similar approaches in rodent genetic and experimental models of psychiatric disease susceptibility to probe the neural basis of disordered action control.

 

Armando Salinas, PhD

Armando Salinas, PhD 

Guest Researcher/Postdoctoral Fellow

George Mason Univeristy, Fairfax VA 

armando.salinas@nih.gov

The striatum can be divided into striosome and matrix compartments based on the differential expression of several neurochemical markers including the mu-opioid receptor and acetylcholinesterase.  My research in the lab includes studies examining the role of striosome and matrix compartment differences in catecholamine signaling on corticostriatal synaptic plasticity and basal ganglia function using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, electrophysiology, and a number of transgenic mouse models.  A second line of study examines how different patterns of neural activity (e.g. theta-burst pattern or high frequency stimulation) can modulate dopamine and calcium to effect different synaptic plasticity outcomes using two-photon laser-scanning microscopy, electrophysiology, and genetically-encoded calcium sensors.

 

Konrad Juczewski

Konrad Juczewski

Graduate Student

Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

konrad.juczewski@nih.gov 

Exploring how our nervous system works means trying to understand the essence of a human being. At the center is our cognition, therefore I am fascinated how it is shaped by our senses, thoughts and experience. In particular I try to understand how sensory processing and plasticity mechanisms in our brain are changed under the influence of a substances of abuse or by neurodevelopmental disorders.

 

Gabriel Loewinger

Gabriel Loewinger

Technical IRTA Fellow

gabriel.loewinger@nih.gov

I'm interested in the role of mesolimbic dopamine in positive and negative reinforcement. I conducted an experiment measuring dopamine transients in the nucleus accumbens during a novel choice task in which mice chose between the delivery of an appetitive outcome (food pellets) and avoiding an aversive outcome (shocks). I used fast scan cyclic voltammetry in freely moving mice to compare the magnitudes of dopamine signals to these negatively and positively reinforced behaviors.

 

Angela Marie Ribeiro, PhD

Angela Marie Ribeiro, PhD

Guest Researcher 

angela.ribeiro@nih.gov

Using mice as an animal model of the Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, we are studying the contribution of a mild thiamine deficiency episode and chronic ethanol consumption to neurobiological and behavioral dysfunctions. The project has been developed under the coordination of Dr. D. Lovinger with the collaborations of Dr. A. Salinas and Dr. Y. Mateo (voltammetry), Dr. J. Chancey (operant conditioning task) and Dr. M. Davis and Dr. A. Salinas (striatal and thalamic morphological analyses). 

 

Guoxiang (Amber) Luo, BS

Guoxiang (Amber) Luo, BS

Lab Technician 

gluo@mail.nih.gov

 

Yolanda Carter

Yolanda Carter 

Administrative Laboratory Manager

yolanda.carter@nih.gov

 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Complete Publication List 

  1. Johnson KA, Mateo Y, Lovinger DM. Metabotropic glutamate receptor 2 inhibits thalamically-driven glutamate and dopamine release in the dorsal striatum. Neuropharmacology 117: 114-123, 2017
     
  2. Abrahao KP, Chancey JH, Chan CS, Lovinger DM. Ethanol-sensitive pacemaker neurons in the mouse external globus pallidus. Neuropsychopharmacology 42:1070-1081, 2017
     
  3. Gremel CM, Chancey JH, Atwood BK, Luo G, Neve R, Ramakrishnan C, Deisseroth K, Lovinger DM, Costa RM. Endocannabinoid modulation of orbitostriatal circuits gates habit formation. Neuron 90: 1312-1324, 2016
     
  4. Salinas AG, Davis MI, Lovinger DM, Mateo Y. Dopamine dynamics and cocaine sensitivity differ between striosome and matrix compartments of the striatum. Neuropharmacology 108:275-283, 2016
     
  5. Pava MJ, Makriyannis A, Lovinger DM. Endocannabinoid signaling regulates sleep stability. PLoS One 11:e0152473, 2016
     
  6. Kupferschmidt DA, Lovinger DM. Inhibition of presynaptic calcuim transients in cortical inputs to the dorsolateral striatum by metabotropic GABA(B) and mGlu2/3 receptors. Journal of Physiology 593:2295-23102015
     
  7. Kupferschmidt DA, Cody PA, Lovinger DM, Davis MI. Brian BLAQ: Post-hoc thick-section histochemistry for localizing optogenetic constructs in neurons and their distal terminals. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 9:6, 2015
     
  8. Sgobio C, Kupferschmidt DA, Cui G, Sun L, Li z, Cai H, Lovinger DM. Optogenetic measurement of presynaptic calcium transients using conditional genetically encoded calcuim indicator expression in dopaminergic neurons. ​PLoS One 9:e111749, 2014
     

 

ALUMNI

 

Postdocs 

Matthew Pava, PhD - Research Scientist in the Advanced Technology Laboratories, Lockheed Martin  

Brady Atwood, PhD - Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Indiana University   

Christina Gremel, PhD - Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Califorina at San Diego 

Guohong Cui, MD, PhD - Prinicipal Investigator, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 

Brian Mathur, PhD - Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, University of Maryland  

Verginia C. Cuzon Carlson, PhD -  Assistant Scientist, Oregon National Primate Research Center

Xin Jin, PhD - Assistant Professor, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Sang Beom Jun, PhD - Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Ewha University, Seoul 

Giuseppe Talani, PhD - Research Assistant Professor, University of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy

Louise Adermark, PhD - Reseach Assistant Professor, University of Goteborg, Sweden 

Henry Yin, PhD - Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience/Neurobiology, Duke University

 

Graduate students

Jennifer Ronesi, PhD - Postdoctoral fellow, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

Russell Morton - George Washington University 

 

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