Prenatal stress mechanisms and embryonic development of inhibitory neurons:
Our lab has shown that prenatal stress delays inhibitory neuron migration and downregulates the expression of key transcription factors involved in inhibitory progenitor development. We are currently examining how much of these effects may be due to glucocorticoids, immune activation and other maternal factors.
Postnatal neurobiological and behavioral trajectories after prenatal stress:
The role of Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 in the impact of prenatal stress:
Growth factors play important roles in early developmental processes in the CNS. Interactions between genes and environment are significant in the etiology of psychiatric disorders. In collaboration with the Vaccarino lab, we are exploring the interaction between growth factor genes and prenatal stress as risk factors for behavioral changes in activity level and working memory.