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.

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