Aggressive Behavior

Identifying novel genes for aggressive behavior
2007 Seed Grant
Stephanie Dulawa, Ph.D.
The University of Chicago

Excessive or uncontrollable aggression is a highly destructive force in society. Pathological aggression is a relatively common problem that occurs in a number of psychiatric disorders. Furthermore, genetic factors have been shown to influence the expression of aggressive behavior in both humans and animals. Dr. Dulawa’s study proposes to identify a novel mutation that modulates aggressive behavior in mice. We recently identified an inbred mouse strain, BALB/cJ, in which spontaneous mutation has resulted in a robust increase in the expression of offensive aggressive behavior; this finding provides a unique opportunity to identify a novel gene for aggressive behavior. The present proposal describes studies designed to identify the mutated gene. Ultimately, isolating a novel gene for aggression in mice will allow us to.evaluate the potential role of the same gene in human aggression. Identifying a novel gene for aggressive behavior will ultimately allow us to better understand the mechanisms underlying both normal and pathological aggression, and develop effective treatments and interventions.

Other Grants

Lindsay M. De Biase, Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles
The Role of Microglial Lysosomes in Selective Neuronal Vulnerability
Synapses, the sites of signaling between neurons in the brain, play essential roles in learning, memory, and the health of neurons themselves. An enduring mystery is why some neurons are…
How the Nervous System Constructs Internal Models of the External World
As animals navigate their environments, they construct internal models of the external sensory world and use these models to guide their behavior. This ability to incorporate ongoing sensory stimuli into…
Xiaojing Gao, Ph.D., Stanford University
When Neural Circuits Meet Molecular Circuits: Quantitative Genetic Manipulation with Single-cell Consistency
Cells are the building blocks of our bodies. We get sick when the cells “misbehave”. The way modern gene therapies work is to introduce genes, fragments of DNA molecules that…
Rafiq Huda, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Conducting the Orchestra of Movement—Functional Role of Striatal Astrocytes in Health and Disease
Movement requires coordinated activity across a large brain-wide network. The striatum is a particularly important part of this circuit; it integrates motor-related information from many distinct brain regions to regulate…