PiN Faculty Member - Amar Sahay, PhD

Amar Sahay, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Massachusetts General Hospital
Center for Regenerative Medicine, Harvard Stem Cell Institute
185 Cambridge Street, CPZN-Room 4242
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: 617-643-4371
Fax: 617-724-2662
Email: asahay@mgh.harvard.edu
Visit my lab page here.



The incidence and complexity of mental illnesses and cognitive impairments associated with ageing and Alzheimer’s disease underscores the need to develop novel treatments. Our mission is to generate fundamental insights into the role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, the process by which neural stem cells generate dentate granule neurons throughout life, in hippocampal functions in encoding, memory processing and modulation of mood. By integrating cellular, circuit, systems and behavioral interrogation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, we aspire to rejuvenate and re-engineer hippocampal circuitry to optimize circuit performance in diseases such as depression, anxiety disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and ageing.

To address this goal, we have established a multifaceted research program that integrates inducible mouse- and viral-genetics, pharmaco- and optogenetics, synaptic tracing, in vivo awake behaving optical imaging, 2 photon imaging, human cellular reprogramming, and behavioral analysis. Specifically, we are interested in the following questions.

1. How are neural stem cell activation-quiescence decisions physiologically regulated?

2. What are the mechanisms underlying lineage homeostasis and experience dependent integration of adult-born neurons?

3. How do properties and connectivity of adult-born neurons causally relate to their encoding and memory functions?

4. How does adult hippocampal neurogenesis influence hippocampal activity and limbic circuits sub serving mood?

5. How do our studies on properties and connectivity of adult-born neurons in rodents inform our thinking of the human brain in health and disease?

6. What are the molecular mechanisms operational in the hippocampus underlying resilience and vulnerability to stress?



Last Update: 6/4/2015



Publications

For a complete listing of publications click here.

 


 



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