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Research Directions

The field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is broadly interested in understanding how  psychological factors impact our health and disease vulnerability as well as how our health impacts how we feel, think, and behave.

Research within our laboratory primarily uses murine models to study the mechanisms underlying fatigue, depression, and motivation (e.g., voluntary wheel running, locomotor activity, operant conditioning, classical tests of anti-depressant activity) in the context of diabetes, cancer (e.g., mEER tumor, LLC tumor), cancer therapy (e.g., cisplatin, radiation), and/or inflammation (e.g., aging, maternal immune activation, stress). The nature of this research requires an interdisciplinary approach incorporating methodologies from a variety of fields including: psychology, neuroscience, endocrinology, immunology, and pharmacology.

One of our central interests is in understanding the role of inflammation, mitochondria, and metabolic dysfunction in the development of depression and fatigue associated with chronic diseases. Using mouse models, we aim to better understand the mechanisms by which hyperglycemia, cancer, and cancer treatment disrupt cellular energy production. 

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