Huntington’s disease, OCD, Parkinson’s disease

Optogenetic dissection of the striatal subcircuits during action sequence learning
2013 Seed Grant

Xin Jin, Ph.D.
Department of Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Many neurological and psychiatric disorders including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder are related to the basal ganglia dysfunction. The basal ganglia circuits consist of two major subcircuits, called direct and indirect pathways. Traditionally, it was thought that these two pathways work antagonically to facilitate and inhibit actions respectively, and imbalance of them would lead to basal ganglia dysfunction and action disorders. Dr. Jin’s project aims to study the physiology and function of these two pathways in vivo, and validate the classic basal ganglia functional model within a complex behavior context. The findings from this project will not only reveal the fundamental organization of action in the basal ganglia circuits, but also provide important insights into the pathology of many basal ganglia related action disorders.

Other Grants

Rebekah C. Evans, Ph.D., Georgetown University
In Vivo and Ex Vivo Dissection of Midbrain Neuron Activity During Exercise
Exercise is important for the health of the body and the mind. Exercise promotes learning and reduces symptoms of brain-related diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. However, it…
William J. Giardino, Ph.D. Stanford University
Deciphering the Neuropeptide Circuitry of Emotional Arousal in Narcolepsy
This research project aims to investigate the neural mechanisms of a specific type of brain cell called neuropeptide neurons within a region of the brain’s amygdala network called the bed…
Howard Gritton, Ph.D., University of Illinois
Attention Mechanisms Contributing to Auditory Spatial Processing.
Our world is composed of a rich mixture of sounds. We often process sounds including speech in the presence of many other competing auditory stimuli (e.g., voices in a crowded…
Nora Kory, Ph.D., Harvard University
Elucidating the Fates and Functions of Lactate in the Brain
The human brain requires significant energy to function. Despite accounting for only 2% of our body weight, the brain consumes a substantial 20% of the body’s energy, relying on a…