PRIMARY RESEARCHERS

Dr. Christopher Cain

Emotional Brain Institute; Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research; New York University Langone School of Medicine

Christopher Cainis a Research Scientist at NKI and a Research Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU/Langone School of Medicine. His research is focused on the neural circuits and mechanisms important for learning to effectively cope with fear. Pavlovian fear conditioning, fear extinction and instrumental avoidance conditioning are the major animal models studied in Dr. Cain’s laboratory. He is particularly interested in how these learning processes interact during the fear recovery process. Pharmacology, electrophysiology, lesions and imaging of immediate-early genes are some of the techniques used in his laboratory. Dr. Cain’s research goal is to discover ways to improve the treatment of human pathological fear through studies of basic learning processes in animals.




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Dr. Joseph E. LeDoux

Emotional Brain Institute; Center for Neural Science at NYU; New York University Langone School of Medicine

Joseph LeDoux is the director EBI and is also a University Professor, Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science, Professor of Neural Science and Psychology, and Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU/Langone School of Medicine. His research is focused on the relation between emotion and memory, and his main laboratory is in the Center for Neural Science at NYU. LeDoux's books, The Emotional Brain and Synaptic Self, have been translated into numerous languages and are used to guide researchers and clinicians in their efforts to understand and treat emotions. His work at NYU and the EBI aims to build on his past research using animal models to unlock the secrets of emotions, especially fear and anxiety.




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Dr. Robert Sears

Emotional Brain Institute; Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research

Robert Sears earned his BA in Biology & Philosophy from Hendrix College in Conway, AR in 2001. He then joined the lab of Dr. Eric Nestler at UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX to study the molecular and circuit mechanisms underlying the motivation to seek and consume food. In 2009, he received his PhD from Yale's Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, where he studied the hypothalamic neuropeptide melanin-contentrating hormone (MCH) and its influence on motivational brain circuits with Dr. Ralph DiLeone. In 2014, Dr. Sears completed his training as a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Joseph LeDoux's laboratory at NYU's Center for Neural Science, where he studied the orexin system in aversive learning and the neural circuitry of avoidance behavior. Following that, he joined the Nathan Kline Institute as a Research Scientist.



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Dr. Regina Sullivan

Emotional Brain Institute; Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research; New York University Langone School of Medicine

Regina Sullivan is a Research Scientist at NKI and a Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU/Langone School of Medicine. Her research is focused on the ontogeny of fear and the amygdala in infant rats, she is particularly interested in unique early life constraints on fear learning and how this strengthens pups' attachment to their mother. Her lab's current research is characterizing how the simple presence of the mother can switch olfactory fear conditioning to odor preference learning through modulation of corticosterone, the amygdala and the olfactory circuit. Her work has also demonstrated how early life emotional experiences can have lifelong consequences, and she is attempting to reverse the negative aspects of these early life experiences. Dr Sullivan's unique and exciting research program involves both animal models and human infant work.



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Dr. Cátia Teixeira

Emotional Brain Institute; Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research; New York University Langone School of Medicine

Catia M. Teixeira received her BS in Biology from the Universidade de Evora in 2003 (Portugal). Following that, she attended the Graduate Program in Basic and Applied Biology at the Universidade do Porto (Portugal). As part of the G.A.B.B.A. PhD program, she conducted research in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Frankland (UofT, Canada) where she studied the cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory formation. She earned her PhD in 2007. Dr. Teixeira then joined the laboratory of Dr. Eduardo Soriano in Barcelona where she studied how dysregulation of genes involved in neuronal development affect adult behavior. She continued her post-doctoral training at Columbia University with Dr. Mark Ansorge where her studies and research focused on the developmental critical periods during which exposure to commonly prescribed/abused drugs affect adult-behavior. In 2015, she joined the Nathan Kline Institute as a Research Scientist.


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Dr. Donald Wilson

Emotional Brain Institute; Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research; New York University Langone School of Medicine

Donald Wilson is a Research Scientist at NKI and a Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU/Langone School of Medicine. His research is focused on perceptual learning, sensory gating, object coding, and hedonic coding in the mammalian olfactory system. He is particularly interested in how experience can shape sensory coding resulting in changes in perceptual acuity as well as associating emotional meaning to sensory objects. The theoretical underpinnings of this approach are described in his book with Richard Stevenson “Learning to Smell” (Johns Hopkins University Press). His work explores these processes across the lifespan, from early development to dementia. His lab’s current work includes examination of sensory cortical contributions to fear generalization, the role of sleep in consolidation of sensory memory, and the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on sensory processing.


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Dr. Vinod K. Yaragudri

Emotional Brain Institute; Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research; New York University Langone School of Medicine

Vinod Yaragudri obtained his bachelor degree (1994) in Biology and Chemistry, and a master degree (1996) in Biochemistry from Karnatak University, India. He received his Ph.D (Neurochemistry) in 2002 from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS), India, for studies on serotonergic receptors in postmortem brains of alcoholic, bipolar and schizophrenic patients, and for delineating the molecular mechanisms of mood stabilizers. He joined NKI in 2002 for postdoctoral studies in Dr. Hungund’s lab. His research is funded by both private sources and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Yaragudri is also Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine.




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