Laboratory of Behavioral and Genomic Neuroscience

Contact Information

  • Lab: +1 301 402 3519
  • Fax: +1 301 480 1952

Overview of the Lab

The overarching mission of the lab is to understand the neural basis of cognitive and emotional regulation and how these critical mental processes are mediated by discrete neural circuits and moderated in function by genetic variation and environmental insults, including stress and alcohol.

Behavioral assays: Compulsive-like behavior, Risky decision-makeing, Reward learning, Cognitive flexibility, and Emotional flexibility

Selected Publications

Gunduz-Cinar O., Castillo L.I., Xia M., Van Leer E., Brockway E.T., Pollack G.A., Yasmin F., Bukalo O., Limoges A., Oreizi-Esfahani S., Kondev V., Báldi R., Dong A., Harvey-White J., Cinar R., Kunos G., Li Y., Zweifel L.S., Patel S., Holmes A. (2023) A cortico-amygdala neural substrate for endocannabinoid modulation of fear extinction. Neuron. S0896-6273(23)00482-8. Pubmed


Hagihara KM, Bukalo O, Zeller M, Aksoy-Aksel A, Karalis N, Limoges A, Rigg T, Campbell T, Mendez A, Weinholtz C, Mahn M, Zweifel LS, Palmiter RD, Ehrlich I, Lüthi A, Holmes A. (2021) Intercalated amygdala clusters orchestrate a switch in fear state. Nature. 594(7863):403-407 Pubmed


Piantadosi PT, Halladay LR, Radke AK, Holmes A. (2021) Advances in understanding meso-cortico-limbic-striatal systems mediating risky reward seeking. J Neurochem. 157(5):1547-1571 PubMed


Glover LR, McFadden KM, Bjorni M, Smith SR, Rovero NG, Oreizi-Esfahani S, Yoshida T, Postle AF, Nonaka M, Halladay LR, Holmes A. (2020) A prefrontal-bed nucleus of the stria terminalis circuit limits fear to uncertain threat. Elife 15;9:e60812 PubMed


Halladay LR, Kocharian A, Piantadosi PT, Authement ME, Lieberman AG, Spitz NA, Coden K, Glover LR, Costa VD, Alvarez VA, Holmes A. (2020) Prefrontal Regulation of Punished Ethanol Self-administration. Biol Psychiatry 87(11):967-978 PubMed


Sengupta A, Holmes A. (2019) A discrete dorsal raphe to basal amygdala 5-HT circuit calibrates aversive memory. Neuron. 103(3):489-505 PubMed


Patel S, Hill MN, Cheer JF, Wotjak CT, Holmes A. (2017) The endocannabinoid system as a target for novel anxiolytic drugs. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 76(Pt A):56-66.  Pubmed


Craske MG, Stein MB, Eley TC, Milad  MR, Holmes A, Rapee RM, Wittchen H-U. (2017) Anxiety disorders. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 3:17024. Pubmed


Izquierdo A, Brigman JL, Radke AK, Rudebeck PH, Holmes A (2016) The neural basis of reversal learning: An updated perspective. Neuroscience. covered in ScienceNewsPubmed


Bukalo O, Pinard CR, Silverstein S, Brehm  C, Hartley NH, Whittle N, Colacicco G, Busch E, Patel S, Singewald N, Holmes (2015). Prefrontal inputs to the amygdala instruct fear extinction memory formation. Science Advances 1(6):e1500251. Pubmed


O Gunduz-Cinar 1, K P MacPherson, R Cinar, J Gamble-George, K Sugden, B Williams, G Godlewski, T S Ramikie, A X Gorka, S O Alapafuja, S P Nikas, A Makriyannis, R Poulton, S Patel, A R Hariri, A Caspi, T E Moffitt, G Kunos, A Holmes. (2013) Convergent translational evidence of a role for anandamide in amygdala-mediated fear extinction, threat processing and stress-reactivity. Mol Psychiatry. 18(7):813-23. Pubmed


Griebel G, Holmes A (2013) 50 years of hurdles and hope in anxiolytic drug discovery.  Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 12:667-687 Pubmed

Full Publication list

Other Lab Resources

Section Alumni

Maya Xia, B.A., currently at Columbia University, MD/PhD student

Elise Van Leer, B.S., currently at Emory University, MD student

Sarah Perry, B.S., currently at University of Maryland, PhD student

Rodrigo Sandon Veliz, B.S., currently at University of Maryland, B.S. student

Sydney Zimmerman, B.S.

Victoria Offenberg, B.S.

Shana Silverstein, Ph.D., currently postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Leo Zsembik, BS, currently at University of California San Francisco, graduate student

Laura Castillo, BA, currently at University of Maryland, graduate student

Kendall Coden, currently at Stanford University Masters in Laboratory Animal Sciences

Hyesun Choi, BS, currently at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, MD Student

Adriana Mendez, BS, Mount Sinai PhD Program in Neuroscience

Chase Weinholtz, BA, Washington University PhD Program in Neuroscience 

Sarvar Oreizi-Esfahani, BS, currently at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, MD Student

Sawyer Smith, BS, Brown University PhD Program in Pathobiology 

Tiffany Campbell, BA, DePaul University Masters in Human Computer Interaction

Tanner Rigg, BA, currently teaching English in Thailand with CIEE

Nathen Spitz, BA, currently at Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, MD Student

Mark Yde, BA, currently working at STEMCELL Technologies

Kerry McFadden, BA, currently at University College Dublin, Ireland, MA in History of Medicine Student

Mio Nonaka, PhD, currently at Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institutes of Science, Rehovot, Israel

Takayuki Yoshida, PhD, currently Assistant Professor, Department of Neuropharmacology, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

Will Taylor, BA, currently at the University of Southern California Neuroscience Graduate Program, PhD Student

Gabrielle Pollack, BA, currently at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, NY, MD Student

Abby Lieberman, BA, currently at The University of Pennsylvania, graduate student

Ayesha Sengupta, PhD, currently postdoctoral fellow at National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Lucas Glover, PhD, currently postdoctoral fellow at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, in Michaela Gallagher's group

Lindsay HalladayPhD, currently Assistant Professor of Psychology, Santa Clara University,

Emma BrockwayBA, currently at the University of Texas at Austin, PhD student in Graduate School in Neuroscience

Abby PostleBS, currently at the University of Maryland School of Medicine MD/PhD student

Adrina Kocharian, BS, currently at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, MD/PhD student

Aaron LimogesBS, currently at the Columbia University in the city of New York, PhD student

Elizabeth Kirby, currently working at the FDA

Anna Lipkin,BS, currently at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) PhD student

Courtney Pinard, PhD,  Manager of Educational and Career Development Programs, American Association of Immunologists

Anna Radke, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Miami University

Hadley Bergstrom, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Vassar College
LabTV Interview with Hadley Bergstrom

Katie Kaugars, BS, currently at Albert Einstein College of Medicine MD/PhD student LabTV Interview with Katie Kaugars

Nick Jury, PhD,  currently Science Policy Analyst in the Office of Science Policy, Engagement, Education, and Communications at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute within the National Institutes of Health
LabTV Interview with Nick Jury

Maxine Reger, PhD

Erica Busch, MS

Erica Sagalyn, MA, currently at The Bridge, New York City, NY

Charles Pickens, PhD, currently tenured faculty, Department of Psychology, Kansas State University

Shaun Flynn, MD, currently resident at Brown University

Munisa Bachu, BA

Marguerite Camp, BS, currently Senior Associate in the Public Sector Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Washington DC

SophieMasneuf, PhD, currently post-doctoral fellow, Zurich University

Giovanni Colacicco, MD, PhD, currently Senior Scientist and Senior Lecturer, Institute of Anatomy, University of Zurich

Rachel Daut, PhD, currently postdoc at University of Colorado at Boulder

Carly Kiselycznyk, PhD, currently at Yale University

Paul Fitzgerald, PhD, currently postdoctoral fellow at University of Michigan

Carolyn Graybeal, PhD, currently a fellow at the National Academy of Sciences

Jonathan Brigman, PhD, currently Associate Professor & Regents’ Lecturer, Department of Neurosciences, University of New Mexico,

Lauren DePoy, PhD, currently postdoc at University of Pittsburgh

Kathryn MacPherson, BS, currently at Emory University

Daniel Fisher, BS, currently at Northwestern University

Aaron Plitt, BS, currently at University of Texas Southwestern

Alicia Izquierdo, PhD, currently Professor, Department of Psychology, Brain Research Institute, Neuroscience IDP, University of California, Los Angeles,

Janel Boyce-Rustay, PhD, currently Senior Director, Regulatory Program Management at Genentech, San Francisco

Rose-Marie Karlsson, PhD, currently at NIMH

Rachel Millstein, PhD, currently Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Lisa Wiedholz, BA, currently at Abbott Laboratories

Rebecca Yang, BA, currently at The Mayo Clinic Rochester

Kathryn Hefner, PhD , currently Research Assistant Professor at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD

Poonam Mathur, DO, MPH, currently Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Benjamin Palachick, MD, currently surgical critical care fellow at Cooper University Healthcare in Camden, NJ

Yi-Chyan Chen, MD, PhD, currently Director, Department of Psychiatry, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Hualian, Taiwan

Maxine Norcross, BS, currently at NIMH

Tara Wright, BS, currently at University of North Carolina

Michael Feyder, PhD, currently at Brain Modulation Lab, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh, PA

Jessica Ihne Reed, PhD, currently postdoc at NIMH

Susanna Weber, BS, currently at Gottingen University

Lauren Lederle, MD, currently at San Fransisco VA Medical Center

Benita Hurd, MD, currently regional anethesia fellow at Emory University 


Dr. Timothy J. Bussey and Dr. Lisa M. Saksida, Robarts Research Institute, Western University; Weblink

Dr. Tom Kash, University of North Carolina; Weblink

Dr. David Lovinger, Dr. Veronica Alvarez, Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience, NIAAA; Weblink

Dr. Sachin Patel, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Weblink

Dr. Mario Penzo, Unit on the Neurobiology of Affective Memory, NIMH; Weblink

Dr. Danny Winder, Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Weblink

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