Neuropsychiatric disorders are disorders of the brain that include a behavioral component, and due to disruptions in neural functions, a cognitive component is often involved.

Disorders of this type include:

Anxiety

Autism

Depression

Drug and alcohol abuse

Post-traumatic stress disorder

In order to better understand neuropsychiatric disorders and build towards novel therapeutic interventions, researchers in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology are working to uncover the molecular mechanisms that drive behavioral manifestations of neural compromise.

Areas of interest include:

  • Cell biology
  • Circuit modifications
  • Developmental influences
  • Epigenetic underpinnings
  • Metabolic drivers
  • Neuroendocrine contributions
  • Neuroimmune mediators
  • Sex differences
  • Transcriptional regulators

Techniques used to investigate the molecular mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders include:

  • Biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Brain-region targeted, viral-mediated gene transfer
  • Cell culture
  • CRISPR and neuroepigenetic editing
  • Flow cytometry
  • Histology
  • Hormone and hormone receptor assessments
  • Mitochondrial function assays
  • RNA, ChIP, and ATAC-Seq
  • Rodent behavior
  • Stereology
Peter J Hamilton, Ph.D

Peter J Hamilton, Ph.D

Assistant Professor

Peter J Hamilton, Ph.D

Peter J Hamilton, Ph.D

Assistant Professor

Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology

Phone: 804-628-3003

Email: peter.hamilton@vcuhealth.org

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Gretchen N. Neigh (McCandless), Ph.D.

Gretchen N. Neigh (McCandless), Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Gretchen N. Neigh (McCandless), Ph.D.

Gretchen N. Neigh (McCandless), Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology

Phone: 804-628-5152

Email: gretchen.mccandless@vcuhealth.org

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Andrew K. Ottens, Ph.D.

Andrew K. Ottens, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Andrew K. Ottens, Ph.D.

Andrew K. Ottens, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

Phone: 804-628-2972

Fax: 804-828-9477

Email: andrew.ottens@vcuhealth.org

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Ongoing Projects