Dr. J. Josh Lawrence - Faculty Page
Neuromodulation of GABAergic circuits in normal and disease states
The overall aim of Dr. Josh Lawrence’s translational research program is to understand how neuromodulation of specific GABAergic interneuron populations alter circuit function in both normal and pathological states. Dr. Lawrence has investigated how extrinsic input from cholinergic and GABAergic neurons in medial septum-diagonal band of Broca impacts the excitability of interneuron subtypes in the hippocampus. The long term goals of his research are 1) to identify molecular mechanisms by which G-protein coupled receptors alter the cellular excitability of neurochemically distinct cell types, 2) to examine how disease states, such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s Disease, and autism, alter neuromodulatory control of different neuronal types, 3) to determine general principles governing neuromodulatory control of inhibitory interneurons, and 4) to build computational cellular, synaptic, and network models that provide insight into how neuromodulation impacts circuit function.
Dr. Lawrence’s research projects employ cutting edge technology, including optogenetics, DREADDs, confocal imaging, behavioral assays, and mathematical modeling of cells and synapses to examine general mechanisms by which G-protein coupled receptors (through Gq, Gi/o, and Gs-mediated signaling) alter cellular excitability of specific GABAergic cell populations. Dr. Lawrence also has several active collaborations with computational neuroscientists and mathematicians.