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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.
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.
Mapping of the mouse olfactory system with manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging
Gutman DA, Magnuson M, Majeed W, Keifer OP Jr, Davis M, Ressler KJ, Keilholz S.  Brain Struct Funct. 2012 Apr 24
Ressler Lab finds that OPR1 is Implicated In Blocking PTSD
Although the opioid-PTSD connection has been talked about for years, “a study like Ressler’s takes the discussion to a much, much deeper level, by really looking at the pathways in animals and humans.” - Glenn Saxe