Paul Phillips, PhD

Personal Statement

My lab’s focus is reward processing, how it differs under behavior phenotypes that are more vulnerable or resilient to mental illness and how it is changed by psychiatric pathology. Our primary focus is dopamine transmission and the circuits in which is participates.

We developed tools that allow us to track dopamine with sub-second resolution in animals over the course of months (Clark et al, Nat Methods, 2010). This approach allows us to study trajectories of precise neurochemical encoding of behaviors over the course of the development of symptomology and subsequent treatment in animal models of disease. We also have adapted this technology for intraoperative recording in humans (Kishida et al, PLoS One, 2011).

Our research highlights include contributions in the area of dopamine’s role in learning (Flagel et al, Nature, 2012), decision making (Gan et al, Nat Neurosci, 2010) and goal navigation (Howe et al, Nature, 2013). We have gleaned information on how stress impacts appetitive motivation (Wanat et al, Nat Neurosci, 2013), how adolescent alcohol use produces enhanced risk taking later in life (Clark et al, PLoS One, 2012), and identified biological mechanisms for the motivational shift in stress-induced depressive disorders (Lemos et al, Nature, 2012) and the switch to excessive drug intake in substance abuse (Willuhn et al, Nat Neurosci, 2014).

These approaches have attracted a large number of collaborations, including National Academy members Akil, Palmiter, Graybiel and Kandel.


PhD, Neuroscience, University of London, 1999
BS, Physiology, University of Liverpool, 1993

Department Affiliations

Recent Publications

(2023 Aug 15)
Chauhan MZ, Elhusseiny AM, Phillips PH

Shear wave elastography of the ulnar collateral ligament in division IA pitchers across a competitive collegiate season.
(2023 Jul)
JSES Int 7(4): 703-708
Gupta N, Taylor RE, Lambert B, Dong D, Phillips P, Jack RA 2nd, Goble HM, Labis JS, Trakhtenbroit MA, McCulloch PC

Clinical and Radiologic Findings in Patients With Morning Glory Disc Anomaly and Associated Optic Pathway Enlargement.
(2023 Jul 7)
J Neuroophthalmol
Elhusseiny AM, Kwok A, Kanfi A, Ramakrishnaiah RH, Phillips PH

Forecasting Retirement in Pediatric Ophthalmology.
(2023 Aug 1)
JAMA Ophthalmol 141(8): 796-798
Ali AA, Healy J, Chauhan MZ, Elhusseiny AM, Kakkilaya A, Kalva P, Phillips PH

A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial of Base-in Relieving Prism Spectacle Treatment of Intermittent Exotropia.
(2023 Jul 1)
Optom Vis Sci 100(7): 432-443
Summers AI, Morrison DG, Chandler DL, Henderson RJ, Chen AM, Leske DA, Walker KR, Li Z, Melia BM, Bitner DP, Kurup SP, Allen M, Phillips PH, Nash DL, Grigorian AP, Kraus CL, Miller AM, Titelbaum JR, Kraker RT, Holmes JM, Cotter SA, Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group

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