News

5/30/17

New publications!  First, check out an update on where we are now RE: orexin/hypocretin and addiction, with Morgan James, Steve Mahler, David Moorman, and Gary Aston-Jones.

Next, see our new collaborative work on alcohol, stress, and cognition with the Vazey lab and the Becker lab.  Congrats Ellen Rodberg and Carol den Hartog!

5/30/17

The Moorman Lab welcomes our newest member – Dr. Christopher Perk who is starting as a postdoctoral fellow to study the role of the hypocretin/orexin system in motivation and addiction.  Chris joins us from the University of Otago where  he received his PhD in the Department of Anatomy.

In addition, we re-welcome Samantha Rios, who started as an undergraduate researcher in the lab and is now joining us as a SPUR/PREP student for 2017-2018.  Sam will be working as part of the prefrontal/orbitofrontal alcohol team and has already made some substantial contributions to this project.

Finally, big welcome to our newest undergraduate members: Stephanie Fedorchak and Owen Jordan – working on the INIA Stress projects and Sophie Jackson – working on prefrontal cortex studies with Jessica.

It’s shaping up to be an awesome summer.  More to come (and updated bios soon – promise!).

3/31/17

This is potentially pretty exiting – (very) preliminary new results from the Moorman Lab Miniscope team (Kathy Tran and Peter Chiknas).  Watch this space…

2/10/17

No updates for a while (lab has been busy!), but some recent news:

First, big congrats to Carlos Johnson-Cruz and Annalise Binette on their graduate program acceptance success.  Carlos will be starting at UCSF in the fall, and Annalise is starting at Texas A&M.  We’re looking forward to great work from both of them in the future!

Second, the Moorman lab is excited to start a new collaboration with the Vazey lab on a new project as part of the INIA Stress consortium.   More details can be found at the NIH Reporter page.  We’re very excited to be part of this outstanding research community and appreciate the opportunity to further our investigations into the neural circuitry of alcohol, stress, and cognition.

10/24/16

New manuscript accepted on the role of the orexin/hypocretin system in motivation for alcohol (another one!): “Orexin/hypocretin-1 receptor antagonism reduces ethanol self-administration and reinstatement selectively in highly-motivated rats,” in Brain Research.  Congratulations to Morgan James, Elisabeth Kilroy and Gary Aston-Jones!

8/23/16

New funding news!  The Moorman lab was awarded a NARSAD Young Investigator grant to study hypothalamic circuits involved in motivation, stress, and depression.  Many thanks to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation for supporting our efforts to identify mechanisms of, and potential treatments for, mental illness. 

8/6/16

The Moorman lab is looking for postdocs to work on projects related to the neuroscience of drug and alcohol abuse.  Please see details at http://moormanlab.org/join-the-lab/

7/18/16

First some good news.  The Moorman lab has received research support from the NIH for our work on drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.  Please see “Funding” for details.  We are grateful for the funding and excited about the research it will support.

Also some bittersweet news.  After 2+ years of outstanding research, management, and camaraderie, we bid a fond farewell to Ifeyinwa Arinze.  We are extremely sad to see her go, but are thrilled that she will be starting a new position in the lab of Jill Becker at the University of Michigan.  We are expecting great things from her.  Good luck Ify!

1/27/16

New manuscript accepted on the role of the orexin/hypocretin system in motivation for alcohol: “The highly selective orexin/hypocretin 1 receptor antagonist GSK1059865 potently reduces ethanol drinking in ethanol dependent mice,” in Brain Research.  Congrats Marcelo Lopez, Gary Aston-Jones, and Howard Becker!

1/4/16

Happy New Year!  We are pleased to start off the year with a newly-accepted publication: “Orexin/hypocretin neuron activation is correlated with alcohol seeking and preference in a topographically specific manner,” in EJN.  Nice work, Morgan James, Elisabeth Kilroy and Gary Aston-Jones.

11/11/15

Congrats to Bo Zhou, Babak Shahbaba, Hernando Ombao, and Sam Behseta of the Statistical & Computational Research in Neuroscience team on our new publication, “A Dynamic Bayesian Model for Characterizing Cross Neuronal Interactions During Decision Making”  in JASA!

7/15/15

New publication online –  Neurons in both dorsal (prelimbic) and ventral (infralimbic) prefrontal cortex are modulated during both reward seeking AND extinction.  Want to know why?  Wonder what this might have to do with adaptive behavior and encoding of context?  Read the paper at PNAS.

6/16/15

No updates for a while – mostly because we’ve been mourning the absence of first alums: Kyra Schapiro (who has moved on to UPenn) and Julie Factor (who has moved on to NIDA).  However, we have some great new additions to the team coming in this summer and fall – watch this space!

Also, we are pleased to announce a new publication – David had the good fortune to get to work with some of the leading figures in the world of decision neuroscience on a review on neural systems in animal models of risky decision-making.  The paper is now online at Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews.  Check it out!

1/12/15

New publication – Our review on the role(s) of the prefrontal cortex in drug/reward seeking has just come out in Brain Research.  In it we consider the hypothesis that neuronal networks within prefrontal areas differentially regulate these behaviors.  Discuss!

9/25/14

New publication – Have a look at the Aston-Jones lab’s proposal for a unified orexin/hypocretin function over at Nature Neuroscience.

9/3/14

Off to a great start:  Congratulations to Rachel Siegal and Kerrin Bersani for being selected to receive Commonwealth Honors College Research Assistant Fellowships!

9/2/14

A new semester begins!  We bid a fond farewell (hopefully temporary!) to Olivia and welcome our new member: UMass undergraduate Kerrin Bersani!  We’ll have her info up on the lab members page soon.

8/27/14

David is interviewed by the New York Times and The Takeaway (NPR) about using optogenetics to manipulate the emotional content of memories (demonstrated by Redondo et al., 2014). Have a look and listen by clicking on the links.

8/1/14

Jessica Caballero presents her poster at the SPUR summer research day.  Check out a photo of her presenting some preliminary data on the lab photos page.

7/17/14

New lab photos up – meet our new members and see some action photos from the early stages of the lab!

6/23/14

New Manuscript Accepted for Publication!  “Orbitofrontal cortical neurons encode expectation-driven initiation of reward-seeking” coming soon to Journal of Neuroscience!

6/18/14

Welcome to Peter Chiknas – a recent graduate of UMass Amherst!  Peter will be volunteering in the lab part-time this summer while he studies for the MCATs.

6/16/14

Welcome to Jessica Callabero-Feliciano who just graduated from The University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez !  Jessica was accepted into the UMass SPUR/PREP program and will be joining us for the summer and (hopefully!) the following year.

6/9/14

Welcome to Kyra Schapiro from Amherst College!  Kyra will be spending the summer with us and then staying on to do her senior thesis research in the lab next year.

5/19/14

Welcome to our Summer Student from Smith College – Olivia Mallari!  We’ll be updating the “People” page once the rest of the summer crowd rolls in…

5/18/14

Congratulations to Ifeyinwa Arinze on graduating from Mt. Holyoke College!  We’re all very proud of Ify and we’re expecting great things…

5/5/14

Welcome to our first graduate student – John Hernandez has joined the lab!  You can read more about John on the “People” page.