Research

The broad research focus of our laboratory is to better understand the genetic and neural substrates of individual differences in emotional reactivity and regulation and how these differences lead to risk in anxiety and PTSD. Our secondary focus is the role of the amygdala and BNST in fear and anxiety circuits in both healthy controls and patients with anxiety disorders or PTSD.
 
We use a variety of methods to measure brain structure and function including: functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), resting state and effective functional connectivity, voxel-based morphometry, manual segmentation, and diffusion tensor imaging. We also use genetic methods to explore the role of genes related to neurotransmitter function and stress response on brain function and anxiety. 

We hope that by identifying the  genetic and neural substrates of individual differences in emotional reactivity and regulation, we can develop improved identification and prevention for anxiety and depression in children and identify targets for the development of novel treatments for anxiety and PTSD.
 
Thank you to the agencies that have generously supported our research:
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Vanderbilt Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA)
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Hobbs Foundation
Vanderbilt Department of Psychiatry Luton Society
             
 

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