Brent MyersAssistant Professor Biomedical Sciences
My research is generally focused on the integrative neuroscience of stress. Specific projects combine behavioral neuroscience, cardiovascular and endocrine physiology, and neurocircuit analysis to determine the mechanistic basis of stress effects on health. Current studies are particularly focused on the neurobiological mechanisms linking depression and cardiovascular disease. Stress-induced changes in cardiovascular reactivity represent a significant detriment to long-term health and mortality. Furthermore, changes in autonomic regulation following chronic stress may generate a predisposition to co-morbid depression and cardiovascular disease. To identify the neural substrates linking chronic stress, cardiovascular disease, and depression, my laboratory uses a variety of tools including optogenetics, radiotelemetry, immunohistochemistry, connectional anatomy, confocal microscopy, plasma hormone analysis, and social/affective behavioral assays. Ultimately, my goal is to identify the network of neural circuitry mediating stress-related pathologies in order to aid the development of targeted interventions to improve health outcomes.