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Zakharenko Lab: About Us

Our laboratory is studying the organization and function of neural circuits that form the basis of behavior and how pathogenic events in those circuits can cause catastrophic neurologic and/or psychiatric diseases. Our efforts are focused on gaining a mechanistic understanding of behavior at the levels of neural circuits, individual neurons, synapses, and molecules. We use advanced optical, electrophysiological, and genomic studies to gain an in-depth knowledge of the molecular and cellular components underlying the functions of excitatory, inhibitory, and neuromodulatory circuits in the central nervous system by using animal models and human organoids. We are currently conducting research on the following topics:

  • Auditory learning and memory
  • Synaptic transmission and plasticity
  • Neuronal circuits and behavior
  • Genetic models of schizophrenia, autism, and other neuropsychiatric diseases (22q11.2 deletion syndrome and Williams-Beuren syndrome)
  • microRNAs and late onset of schizophrenia symptoms

Research Figure

Job Postings

Postdoctoral Research Associate

News and Information

Controlling a single brain chemical may help expand window for learning language and music
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital News Release. 06/29/2017.

Small RNA identified that offers clues for quieting the “voices” of schizophrenia
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital News Release. 11/28/2016.

Brain circuit problem likely sets stage for the “voices” that are symptom of schizophrenia
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital News Release. 06/05/2014.