The basal ganglia, consisting of the striatum, globus pallidus, substantia nigra, and related structures, are an evolutionarily conserved network of subcortical nuclei that are involved in diverse aspects of motor, cogntive, and emotional behavior. Dysfunction of the basal ganglia circuitry is implicated in a variety of neuropsychiatric conditions, including Parkinson's disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome, schizophrenia, and drug addiction.
PittLab studies the contributions of the basal ganglia to normal behavior and to neuropsychiatric disease, using genetically modified mice and other model systems. Our work has an explicitly translational focus; in addition to understanding basic striatal mechanisms, we seek to model disease pathophysiology and to investigate new treatment strategies for Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and related conditions. Dr. Pittenger is also the director of the Yale OCD Research Clinic and the PI on several investigations of the pathophysiology and treatment of OCD and Tourette syndrome.
PittLab is located in the Ribicoff Research Facilities of the Connecticut Mental Health Center. We are within the Division of Molecular Psychiatry. Our work is funded by the National Institutes of Health, NARSAD, the Tourette Syndrome Association, the State of Connecticut through its support of the Ribicoff Research Facilities, the Allison Family Foundation, the Massachusetts General Hospital Research Fund, and the Yale Department of Psychiatry.