the things we're 
thinking about

 

Work in the Crowley Lab focuses on understanding behavioral and physiological brain states involved in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and substance use. We use a combination of behavioral, electrophysiological, imaging, and genetic approaches to inform the basic science of disease etiology, treatment, and prevention. Our overarching focus is on neuropeptidergic modulation of discrete neural circuits and systems.

Projects are constantly evolving and directions change all the time - check in for updates!

SOMATOSTATIN PEPTIDERGIC SIGNALING IN THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX

FUNDED BY  NIAAA R01AA029403, NIAAA R21AA028088,

NARSAD YOUNG INVESTIGATOR GRANT (BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR RESEARCH FOUNDATION) 

Prefrontal cortex (PFC) interneurons expressing the neuropeptide somatostatin are implicated in the etiology of several psychiatric diseases. We are using a combination of electrophysiological, behavioral, chemogenetic, optogenetic, and imaging approaches to understand the wiring and firing of SST neurons - particularly as these properties relate to peptide release and transmisison.

 

Collaborators:  Dr. Patrick Drew & The Drew Lab, Engineering Sciences and Mechanics, College of Engineering, PSU

NOVEL METHODS OF NEUROPEPTIDE ADMINISTRATION TO THE BRAIN

FUNDED BY THE BENKOVIC RESEARCH INITIATIVE,

PRIVATE DONATION BY STEVE AND PATRICIA BENKOVIC

Neuropeptides, signaling molecules found in the brain, are promising therapies for brain disorders such as depression, addiction, and brain cancers. However, effectively delivering these peptides to the brain requires getting them across the blood-brain barrier. Right now, such treatments often do not make it across this barrier, causing side effects in other areas of the body.  Crowley and Medina's project, with collaboration between engineering, acoustics, and neuroscience, aims to overcome technological and biochemical issues in crossing the blood-brain barrier that could lead to new, non-invasive precision drug delivery strategies to the brain.

 

Collaborators: Dr. Scott Medina & The Precision Therapeutics and Bioresponsive Materials Lab, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, PSU

ADOLESCENT ALCOHOL INDUCED CHANGES IN PFC FUNCTIONING

FUNDED BY THE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY DEVELOPMENTAL EXPOSURE TO ALCOHOL RESERACH CENTER (DEARC) P50 AWARD (P50AA017823)

& THE PHYSIOLOGICAL ADAPTATIONS TO STRESS T32 (GM108563)

Drug consumption during adolescents leads to unique changes in the developing brain not seen with adulthood drug use. Ongoing work on this project seeks to understand how adolescent alcohol consumption rewires signaling in the PFC - and what the long term ramifications of these changes are.