PhD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Molecular and Biochemical Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity, Emotional Learning and Memory
Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older (about 18%) in a given year, causing them to be filled with fearfulness and uncertainty. While each anxiety disorder has different symptoms, all the symptoms cluster around excessive, irrational fear. Currently the neurobiological basis for these disorders remains poorly understood and treatments for these disorders remain inadequate. Therefore research in my laboratory focuses on identifying the molecular and biochemical mechanisms that contribute to the development of fear and the maintenance of fear.
Collectively my laboratory utilizes a myriad of molecular, biochemical and behavioral approaches to study learned fear (cue-induced anxiety) and innate fear. In particular we manipulate gene expression within the rodent brain utilizing recombinant viruses to establish respective roles for individual genes/proteins in neural plasticity, memory formation and anxiety.
Partin A.C., Hosek M.P., Luong J.A., Lella S.K., Sharma S.A., Ploski J.E. (2013). "Amygdala nuclei critical for emotional learning exhibit unique gene expression patterns." Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2013 Sep;104:110-21. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2013.06.015. Epub 2013 Jul 2.
Ploski J.E., Monsey M.S., Nguyen T., Dileone R.J., Schafe G.E. (2011) The neuronal PAS domain protein 4 (Npas4) is required for new and reactivated fear memories. PLoS One. 6(8):e23760. Epub 2011 Aug 22.
Ploski J.E., Park K.W., Ping J., Monsey M.S., Schafe G.E. (2010) Identification of plasticity-associated genes regulated by Pavlovian fear conditioning in the lateral amygdala. J. Neurochem 112:636-650.