Dr. Friedman’s research explores how social factors alter neural circuit’sresponses to chronic and acute stress, and influence susceptibility or resilience to neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, PTSD and anxiety. A crucial question her lab addresses is how positive socialization can bring about changes in the brain that that ease the symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders. Utilizing cutting-edge cell-type/circuit specific manipulations and electrophysiological recordings, her lab investigates the neuronal adaptations that underlie these beneficial and protective effects. The goal of this research is to provide targets for mechanistically driven therapeutics for mood disorders.
- Friedman AK, Walsh JJ, Juarez B, Ku SM, Chaudhury D, Wang J, Li X,Dietz DM, Pan N, Vialou VF, Neve RL, Yue Z, and Han MH (2015) Enhancing depression mechanisms in midbrain dopamine neurons achieves homeostatic resilience. Science, 344:313-9.
- Walsh JJ, Friedman AK, Sun H, Heller EA, Ku SM, Juarez B, Burnham VL, Mazei-Robison M, Ferguson D, Golden SA, Koo JW, Chaudhury D, Christoffel DJ, Pomeranz L, Friedman JM, Russo SJ, Nestler EJ, and Han MH (2014) Stress gates neural activation of BDNF in the mesolimbic reward pathway. Nature Neuroscience 17:27-9.
- Chaudhury D, Walsh JJ, Friedman AK, Juarez B, Ku SM, Koo JW, Ferguson D, Tsai HC, Pomeranz L, Christoffel D, Nectow AR, Ekstrand M, Domingos A, Mazie-Robison M, Mouzon E, Lobo MK, Neve RL, Friedman JM, Russo SJ, Deisseroth K, Nestler EJ, and Han MH (2013) Rapid control of depressive behaviors by firing pattern- and projection-specific optogenetic regulation of midbrain dopamine neurons. Nature 493:532-6.
- Cao JL, Covington III HE, Friedman AK, Wilkinson MB, Walsh JJ, Cooper DC, Nestler EJ, and Han MH (2010) Mesolimbic dopamine neurons in the brain reward circuit mediate susceptibility to social defeat and antidepressant action. The Journal of Neuroscience 30:16453-8.