Welcome to the Radley Lab
Threats to safety, whether real of perceived, activate a set of physiological, behavioral, and endocrine responses that promote effective coping. Known collectively as stress responses, these have adaptive value for the individual in the short term. However, when stress responses are activated over a sustained period they can initiate the onset of or worsen a variety of psychiatric and systemic disease states. Our research program seeks to understand the neural circuitry and mechanisms that regulate stress responses, and how these go awry through the course of chronic exposure. We use anatomical, behavioral, and optogenetic approaches in rodent models to study both of these adaptive and maladaptive aspects of stress responses. A greater knowledge of these pathways and how they malfunction is needed to minimize or prevent the adverse effects of stress on health and disease.