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 5-HT2A/C receptor binding in the medulla oblongata in the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): Part II. Age-associated alterations in serotonin receptor binding profiles within medullary nuclei supporting cardiorespiratory homeostasis.
Authors: Authors: Cummings KJ, Leiter JC, Trachtenberg FL, Okaty BW, Darnall RA, Haas EA, Harper RM, Nattie EE, Krous HF, Mena OJ, Richerson GB, Dymecki SM, Kinney HC, Haynes RL.
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol
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A brain circuit and neuronal mechanism for decoding and adapting to change in daylength.
Authors: Authors: Maddaloni G, Chang YJ, Senft RA, Dymecki SM.
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Identification of an essential spinoparabrachial pathway for mechanical itch.
Authors: Authors: Ren X, Liu S, Virlogeux A, Kang SJ, Brusch J, Liu Y, Dymecki SM, Han S, Goulding M, Acton D.
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Neuronal pericellular baskets: neurotransmitter convergence and regulation of network excitability.
Authors: Authors: Senft RA, Dymecki SM.
Trends Neurosci
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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.
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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.
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