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  • The Ressler lab at Yerkes National Primate Research Center is focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of fear learning and the process of extinction of fear in mouse models. The primary objective of the work in the Ressler lab is to utilize the power of molecular genetics to understand the molecular biology, the neural circuitry, and the behavioral biology of fear and extinction of fear in mouse models.

  • Dr. Ressler is also a practicing psychiatrist with an interest in translational and clinical research on fear-based psychiatric disorders. During his clinical time, Dr. Ressler is co-director of a newly created Post-traumatic Stress Disorders Clinic at the Adult Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital.

  • We hope that by understanding how fear works in the mammalian brain in the laboratory, it will improve our understanding of and provide translational treatments and possibly prevention for fear-based disorders, such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Phobic Disorders, and Panic Disorder.

Neurosurgery to Modulate Anxiety via Genetics
Georgette Gafford, Kerry Ressler and their colleagues have developed an intriguing tool for studying CRF. In the places where CRF is produced in a mouse’s brain, they can take out the gene of their choice.
In vivo knockdown of GAD67 in the amygdala disrupts fear extinction and the anxiolytic-like effect of diazepam in mice.
Heldt SA, Mou L, Ressler KJ. Transl Psychiatry. 2012 Nov 13;2:e181. doi: 10.1038/tp.2012.101. PubMed PMID: 23149445.
Prelimbic BDNF and TrkB signaling regulates consolidation of both appetitive and aversive emotional learning.
Choi DC, Gourley SL, Ressler KJ. Transl Psychiatry. 2012 Dec 18;2:e205. doi: 10.1038/tp.2012.128. PubMed PMID: 23250006.
Epigenetic modulation of Homer1a transcription regulation in amygdala and hippocampus with pavlovian fear conditioning
Mahan AL, Mou L, Shah N, Hu JH, Worley PF, Ressler KJ.  J Neurosci. 2012 Mar 28;32(13):4651-9.