Modulating neuronal and circuit function to treat disease.
Research in the Creed lab focuses on synaptic plasticity and neuromodulation within defined neural circuits in the ventral basal ganglia: the cortico-accumbal-pallidal networks involved in reward processing, learning and selection of flexible behavioral strategies.
Specifically, we ask how pain and addictive drugs alter function of defined neural circuits, and how circuit function drives maladaptive behavior in disease states. We use a range of techniques including in vivo and patch clamp electrophysiology, genetic sequencing, optogenetic manipulations and behavior to study change in function in the ventral basal ganglia in models of disease.
The main goal of the lab is to leverage insight from these circuit studies to develop novel neuromodulation therapies for these disorders, including deep brain stimulation (DBS) and targeted drug delivery. By first establishing links of causality between neuronal and circuit adaptations and specific behavioral symptoms of disease, we can determine a rationale for targeted circuit manipulation in a disease state. We can then design novel neuromodulation paradigms and validate their efficacy in models to provide novel, effective treatments for disease.
We use a variety of experimental approaches, including:
Patch clamp electrophysiology
Awake, behaving in vivo electrophysiology
Deep brain stimulation and neuromodulation
Intracranial drug delivery
Biosensor imaging with fiber photometry
Next generation sequencing (RNA-Seq)
Behavioral assays of decision making, nociception, reward- and depression-related behavior in mice