Patrick Roseboom, PhD
Patrick has a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan and he has been a member of the Kalin Lab for over 20 years. His work is focused on identifying the molecular underpinnings that determine why some children have an increased risk to develop anxiety disorders and depression as they mature into adulthood. Children that stably display extreme levels of behavioral inhibition (shyness) throughout early life are said to have an extremely anxious temperament (AT), and they have an elevated chance of subsequently developing psychiatric illnesses. To discover the important molecular alterations in these at-risk individuals, his work is performed with non-human primate (rhesus monkey) and rodent (rat and mouse) models of extreme AT that have been developed over the last twenty-five years in the Kalin Laboratory. Currently, he and his colleagues are screening young animals to identify those that naturally have extreme AT. These animals are then studied with a variety of behavioral assays, multimodal imaging methods including positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and state-of-the-art molecular methods including RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq), designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs) and RNA interference (RNAi). As the lab identifies AT-related candidate genes, they can further implicate these genes by increasing or decreasing their expression in key brain regions like the amygdala through viral vectors strategies. The impact of these manipulation can then be assessed on the expression of AT and on brain function and structure. Ultimately, identifying the molecular processes that mediated the risk to develop psychiatric illnesses will facilitate the development of medications to prevent or treat these potentially devastating illnesses.