The Kumar Laboratory is located at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. We study neural circuits in the brain whose misregulation leads to behavioral abnormalities including addiction, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and depression. Using mouse molecular genetics as foundation, and a combination of biochemistry, physiology, and imaging techniques we dissect these complex behaviors in mammals.

Medium Spiny Neuron Dentritic Spines

We use two functional genomics approaches in mice – forward genetic ethylnitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis screens and quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis – to identify genes and pathways that regulate these behaviors. Powerful and unbiased, forward genetic approaches make no a priori assumptions and only require a clear well-defined assay for gene discovery. We have used high-throughput screening pipeline to discover mutants for cocaine response and open field behavior. Using physical mapping followed by next generation sequencing we have identified novel genes and alleles that regulate cocaine response and anxiety related behaviors.

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