PiN Faculty Member - William Carlezon, PhD

William Carlezon, PhD

Professor of Psychiatry

McLean Hospital
Behavioral Genetics Lab, MRC 217
115 Mill Street
Belmont, MA 2478
Tel: 617-855-2021
Fax: 617-855-2023
Visit my lab page here.

The Carlezon lab is a group of neuroscientists primarily interested in how experience affects behavior and the biology of the brain. “Experience” can mean many things, including exposure to stress, drugs, trauma, toxins, or illness. Our work is relevant to many types of neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction, and autism. Rather than trying to model these neuropsychiatric conditions directly, we use multiple behavioral tests that capture their key signs, which are often overlapping (co-morbid) in people. Ideally, our tests are sensitive to the same signs in laboratory animals that psychiatrists use to make diagnoses in people.

All of our work is performed in rats and mice using various strategies. For example, we might study how exposure to a particular type of stress affects motivated behavior, which is dysregulated in many types of neuropsychiatric disorders. We would then examine brain regions known to regulate motivation for the molecular changes that accompany observed behavioral changes. To establish cause-effect relationships, we would use genetic engineering techniques—as examples, viral vectors and mutant mice—to reproduce individual molecular changes to see if they can cause the behavioral changes. We use this information to design new medications that can block, reverse, or prevent the behavioral changes.

Scientists who are trained in the Carlezon lab develop expertise in the analysis of behavior in rats and mice, the use of genetic engineering to control or modify gene and protein expression, and molecular biology techniques to study neuroadaptations. We are highly motivated to disseminate our work via publications and participate in the discovery and development of novel therapeutic agents.

Bill Carlezon is Editor-in-Chief of Neuropsychopharmacology and on the Scientific Advisory Board of Autism Speaks.

Last Update: 3/12/2015


For a complete listing of publications click here.



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