Susan Dymecki
Susan M. Dymecki, M.D.,Ph.D.
Professor of Genetics

The Dymecki lab studies how functional modularity arises within the brain serotonergic neuronal system and dynamically controls diverse processes ranging from respiration and thermal balance to emotional mood state to coping behaviors.

Understanding how this fundamental system develops at the molecular, cellular, and functional levels will help illuminate root causes of many brain disorders, paving the way for more targeted therapeutics and effective approaches to clinical conditions such as sudden infant death, major depression, and post-traumatic stress.

Using novel genetic tools for precision neural cell mapping in the mouse brain coupled with genomic, transcriptional, electrophysiological, and behavioral analyses, we examine the developmental specialization of subtypes of serotonin-producing neurons together with their network architecture, circuitry modulation, and selective roles in behavior. We probe how such neuronal diversity is generated and maintained, exploring the extent to which it is genetically programmed versus shaped by experience. Emerging is a neuronal structure-function map of substantial heterogeneity that suggests new ways to conceptualize and design treatments for serotonin-related disorders.

Altered oligodendroglia and astroglia in chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Authors: Authors: Chancellor KB, Chancellor SE, Duke-Cohan JE, Huber BR, Stein TD, Alvarez VE, Okaty BW, Dymecki SM, McKee AC.
Acta Neuropathol
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Reciprocal Lateral Hypothalamic and Raphe GABAergic Projections Promote Wakefulness.
Authors: Authors: Gazea M, Furdan S, Sere P, Oesch L, Molnár B, Di Giovanni G, Fenno LE, Ramakrishnan C, Mattis J, Deisseroth K, Dymecki SM, Adamantidis AR, Lorincz ML.
J Neurosci
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Neurochemically and Hodologically Distinct Ascending VGLUT3 versus Serotonin Subsystems Comprise the r2-Pet1 Median Raphe.
Authors: Authors: Senft RA, Freret ME, Sturrock N, Dymecki SM.
J Neurosci
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Cocaine reward and memory after chemogenetic inhibition of distinct serotonin neuron subtypes in mice.
Authors: Authors: Baskin BM, Mai JJ, Dymecki SM, Kantak KM.
Psychopharmacology (Berl)
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A single-cell transcriptomic and anatomic atlas of mouse dorsal raphe Pet1 neurons.
Authors: Authors: Okaty BW, Sturrock N, Escobedo Lozoya Y, Chang Y, Senft RA, Lyon KA, Alekseyenko OV, Dymecki SM.
Elife
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Sex-Specific Role for Dopamine Receptor D2 in Dorsal Raphe Serotonergic Neuron Modulation of Defensive Acoustic Startle and Dominance Behavior.
Authors: Authors: Lyon KA, Rood BD, Wu L, Senft RA, Goodrich LV, Dymecki SM.
eNeuro
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Serotonergic Modulation of Aggression in Drosophila Involves GABAergic and Cholinergic Opposing Pathways.
Authors: Authors: Alekseyenko OV, Chan YB, Okaty BW, Chang Y, Dymecki SM, Kravitz EA.
Curr Biol
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Embracing diversity in the 5-HT neuronal system.
Authors: Authors: Okaty BW, Commons KG, Dymecki SM.
Nat Rev Neurosci
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Chemogenetic silencing of hippocampal neurons suppresses epileptic neural circuits.
Authors: Authors: Zhou QG, Nemes AD, Lee D, Ro EJ, Zhang J, Nowacki AS, Dymecki SM, Najm IM, Suh H.
J Clin Invest
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Molecular Profiling Defines Evolutionarily Conserved Transcription Factor Signatures of Major Vestibulospinal Neuron Groups.
Authors: Authors: Lunde A, Okaty BW, Dymecki SM, Glover JC.
eNeuro
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