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Farah LubinAssociate Professor
Research Areas: Preclinical behavioral pharmacology using rodent self-administration models of addiction, optogenetic and chemogenetic dissection of neural circuit function, neural circuitry and mechanisms underlying extinction memory, and the intersection of aversion and
                                     reward in systems neuroscience.


 

 

Biography

Dr. Peters joined the UAB Department of Neurobiology in 2023.

Research Interests

The main goal of our research is to identify the neural circuits controlling learned behaviors, primarily those controlling drug seeking and fear. We are especially interested in understanding how these circuits change when an animal learns to inhibit a previously learned behavior, through a process called extinction learning. Toward these ends, we use self-administration addiction models, as well as models of conditioned fear, in rats. We have discovered the infralimbic prefrontal cortex is a key brain region responsible for the inhibition of both drug seeking and fear after extinction learning. Therefore, much of our work focuses on neuroanatomical inputs and outputs to/from this brain region. We use optogenetic and chemogenetic viral strategies to manipulate neuronal activity within defined neural pathways and cell types. We are also using fiber photometry to record neuronal population activity using virally transduced calcium sensors (GCaMP, RCaMP) in vivo during behavioral tasks. In addition to these techniques, the lab also routinely uses immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy to visualize and image the neurons we manipulate, as well as perform neuroanatomical tracing and Fos expression analyses (Fos = a biochemical marker for neuronal activation). In sum, we are constantly seeking new methods to artificially boost activity in extinction neural circuits as potential therapeutics for addiction and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Education

BS in Biology, Virginia Tech
MBA, University of Texas System: Permian Basin, 2019
Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Medical University of South Carolina, 2007

Postdoctoral Training
Post-doc, Psychiatry, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine
Post-doc, Anatomy & Neurosciences, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Contact

Email
doctorj@uab.edu

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