Ronald Stanton Duman PhD

Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Neurobiology; Director, Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities

Research Interests

Depression; Antidepressants; Stress; Molecular biology; Neuropharmacology Signal transduction pathways; Gene expression; Identifying the molecular and cellular adaptations that underlie the actions of psychotropic drugs and stress

Research Summary

Studies in Dr. Duman's laboratory are focused on identifying the molecular and cellular adaptations that underlie the actions of antidepressant drugs and stress. This includes adaptations of receptors, signal transduction proteins, gene transcription factors, neurotrophic factors, and regulation of synaptic processes and even birth of new neurons (neurogenesis) in the adult brain. Preclinical and clinical studies support the hypothesis that neuronal atrophy and cell loss in response to stress contribute to mood disorders. Conversely, the therapeutic action of antidepressants may occur in part via blocking or reversing these damaging effects of stress. A variety of molecular approaches combined with cellular and behavioral studies are conducted to elucidate the basis of complex behavioral abnormalities.

Selected Publications

  • Kang H-J, B Voleti, T Hajszan, G Rajkowska, C Stockmeier P Licznerski, A Lepack, MS Majik, LS Jeong, M Banasr, H Son, and RS Duman (2012) Decreased expression of synapse related genes and loss of synapses in major depression. Nature Medicine [Epub ahead of print].
  • Li N, BY Lee, R-J Liu, M Banasr, J Dwyer, M Iwata, C Greer, X-Y Li, G Aghajanian, and RS Duman (2010) Rapid antidepressant actions of NMDA receptor antagonists require synaptic protein synthesis and spine formation. Science 329:959-964.
  • Duric V, M Banasr, P Licznerski, H Schmidt, C Stockmeier, A Simen, SS Newton, and RS Duman (2010) Negative regulator of MAP kinase is increased in depression and is necessary and sufficient for depressive behavior. Nature Medicine 16:1328-32.
  • Hajszan T, K Szigeti-Buck, NL Sallam, J Bober, A Parducz, NJ MacLusky, C Leranth, and RS Duman (2010) Effects of Estradiol on learned helplessness and associated remodeling of hippocampal spine synapses in female rats. Biological Psychiatry 67(2):168-74.
  • Koo JW and RS Duman (2008) IL-1ß is an essential mediator of the anti-neurogenic and anhedonic effects of stress. Proc Nat Acad Sci (USA) 105:751-756.
  • Hunsberger JG, SS Newton, AH Bennett, CH Duman, DS Russell, S Salton, RS Duman (2007) Novel role of exercise-regulated gene VGF in models of depression. Nature Med 13:1476-1482.

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