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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.

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.
Cell-type specific deletion of GABA(A)α1 in corticotropin-releasing factor-containing neurons enhances anxiety and disrupts fear extinction
Gafford GM, Guo JD, Flandreau EI, Hazra R, Rainnie DG, Ressler KJ.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Oct 2;109(40):16330-5
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.
Fear extinction in traumatized civilians with posttraumatic stress disorder: relation to symptom severity.
Norrholm SD, Jovanovic T, Olin IW, Sands LA, Karapanou I, Bradley B, Ressler KJ.  Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Mar 15;69(6):556-63.