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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.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is associated with PACAP and the PAC1 receptor
Ressler KJ, Mercer KB, Bradley B, Jovanovic T, Mahan A, Kerley K, Norrholm SD, Kilaru V, Smith AK, Myers AJ, Ramirez M, Engel A, Hammack SE, Toufexis D, Braas KM, Binder EB, May V.  Nature. 2011 Feb 24;470(7335):492-7.
Implications of memory modulation for post-traumatic stress and fear disorders.
Parsons RG, Ressler KJ. Implications of memory modulation for post-traumatic stress and fear disorders. Nat Neurosci. 2013 Jan 28;16(2):146-53. doi:10.1038/nn.3296. Epub 2013 Jan 28. PubMed PMID: 23354388.
Ressler Lab Featured in Nature News
Stress: The roots of resilience
Most people bounce back from trauma — but some never recover. Scientists are trying to work out what underlies the difference.
Ressler Lab Featured on Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose Brain Series 2 Episode 12: Post-Traumatic Stress with Eric Kandel of Columbia University; Retired Lieutenant Colonel John O’Brien; Murray Stein from the University of California, San Diego; Lisa Shin, from Tufts University; Kerry Ressler from Emory University and JoAnn Difede from Weill Cornell Medical College