Vidhya Kumaresan, PhD
|Title||Research Assistant Professor|
|Institution||Boston University School of Medicine|
|Department||Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics|
|Address||72 E. Concord St Building A|
Boston MA 02118
Dr. Kumaresan’s expertise is in behavioral neuropharmacology. Dr. Kumaresan studies the neurobiological underpinnings of addiction using cellular, molecular and behavioral methods. The overall research objective is to study neuronal activity-dependent plasticity and its relevance for brain disorders. The current focus is to understand the neurobiological bases of addiction to psychostimulants. Recidivism to drug abuse is a major hurdle in the successful treatment of addiction. Illicit drug use usurps neural circuits involved in survival enhancing behaviors. The goal is to elucidate the cellular and molecular underpinnings of drug-induced enduring neural plasticity in these circuits using a combination of behavioral, cellular and molecular approaches. In particular, Dr. Kumaresan employs a novel approach of using cell-permeable peptides that disrupt protein-protein interactions in vivo in order to study ongoing behavior. These approaches are expected to lead to successful treatment of relapse precipitated by drug re-exposure, drug-associated cues and stress. Knowledge gained from these studies will also be applicable to the treatment of other brain dysfunctions involving persistent memories such as PTSD. Research techniques used include: immunocytochemistry, western blots, operant conditioning methods and site-specific intracranial microinjections of pharmacological reagents, viral vectors encoding specific constructs designed to interfere with protein-protein interactions and cell permeable peptides.
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- drug abuse
- glutamate transmission
- metabotropic glutamate receptors
- protein-protein interactions
- scaffolding proteins
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