John Neumaier, MD, PhD

Personal Statement

​My clinical interests include diagnosis and  psychopharmacology of complex mood and anxiety disorders and psychosis. My research program investigates the molecular neuroscience of behavior using animal models with a focus on the involvement of the serotonin system and the neurocircuitry and plasticity involved in stress and addiction.

My lab uses rat and mouse models to investigate stress and addiction mechanisms. The lab is unusual because we pursue a very broad range of methods, including molecular, cellular, neuroanatomical, and behavioral levels of organization. We have focused on serotonin receptors historically but increasingly we are using novel molecular and genetic tools to dissect the involvement of key neural circuits in behavioral models of stress and/or addiction.

The main strategies include a range of behavioral models, intersectional transgenic and viral-mediated gene transfer manipulations of gene expression, neuropharmacology, engineered receptors (DREADDs), fiber photometry, calcium imaging, two-photon microscopy, RNAseq and RTqPCR (using RiboTag pull-down). We are trying to push the envelope in developing and using methods that allow us very precise manipulations or readouts from specific pathways such as the projections from nucleus accumbens to ventral tegmentum or lateral habenula to dorsal raphe nucleus. We are also exploring the role of microglia, the innate immune cells in the brain, during early stages of drug and alcohol withdrawal in advance of typical activation of neuroinflammation.

Department Affiliations

Training Programs

Director, Psychiatry Resident Research Program

Other Affiliations

Associate Director, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute

Recent Publications

International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. CX. Classification of Receptors for 5-hydroxytryptamine; Pharmacology and Function.
(2021 Jan)
Pharmacol Rev 73(1): 310-520
Barnes NM, Ahern GP, Becamel C, Bockaert J, Camilleri M, Chaumont-Dubel S, Claeysen S, Cunningham KA, Fone KC, Gershon M, Di Giovanni G, Goodfellow NM, Halberstadt AL, Hartley RM, Hassaine G, Herrick-Davis K, Hovius R, Lacivita E, Lambe EK, Leopoldo M, Levy FO, Lummis SCR, Marin P, Maroteaux L, McCreary AC, Nelson DL, Neumaier JF, Newman-Tancredi A, Nury H, Roberts A, Roth BL, Roumier A, Sanger GJ, Teitler M, Sharp T, Villalón CM, Vogel H, Watts SW, Hoyer D

Stress induces divergent gene expression among lateral habenula efferent pathways.
(2020 Nov)
Neurobiol Stress 13(): 100268
Levinstein MR, Coffey KR, Marx RG, Lesiak AJ, Neumaier JF

Sequencing the serotonergic neuron translatome reveals a new role for Fkbp5 in stress.
(2020 May 4)
Mol Psychiatry
Lesiak AJ, Coffey K, Cohen JH, Liang KJ, Chavkin C, Neumaier JF

Effect of chemogenetic inhibition of lateral habenula neuronal activity on cocaine- and food-seeking behaviors in the rat.
(2021 Jan)
Addict Biol 26(1): e12865
Nair SG, Smirnov DS, Estabrook MM, Chisholm AD, Silva PR, Neumaier JF

Chemogenetic inhibition of lateral habenula projections to the dorsal raphe nucleus reduces passive coping and perseverative reward seeking in rats.
(2020 Jun)
Neuropsychopharmacology 45(7): 1115-1124
Coffey KR, Marx RG, Vo EK, Nair SG, Neumaier JF

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