Danny Winder lab
My research is focused on investigating how changes in excitatory signaling in amygdalar regions of the brain can underlie affective disorders such as generalized anxiety and depression, and how drugs such as ketamine can be harnessed to help treat these diseases. Our lab focuses on an area known as the BNST, a part of the extended amygdala and a key regulator of affective stimuli. Altered excitatory signaling in the BNST has been shown to produce changes in anxiety and depressive-like behaviors in rodents, particularly when targeting the NMDA class of glutamate receptors within the region. Ketamine is also known to target these receptors, and has been hypothesized to achieve its intriguing therapeutic effects through altering the activity of select classes of NMDARs. By studying the effects of modulating different classes of NMDARs in the BNST, and gauging changes in excitatory activity and behavior in mice as a result of this, I hope to be able to elucidate potential new targets for treating mood disorders.