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

Quality, Reliability, Readability, and Accountability of Online Information on Leukocoria.
(2024 May 30)
J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus
Eleiwa TK, Dihan QA, Brown AD, Zaldivar AT, Abdelnaem SE, Sallam AB, Phillips PH, Elnahry AG, Elhusseiny AM

Quality, Reliability, and Readability of Online Information on Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension.
(2024 Mar 25)
J Neuroophthalmol
Hassan AK, Eleiwa TK, Hassan MA, Sallam AB, Ali HT, Abdelnaem S, Gise R, Phillips PH, Elhusseiny AM

Risk of abducens nerve palsy following COVID-19 vaccination.
(2024 Apr)
J AAPOS 28(2): 103867
Chauhan MZ, Eleiwa TK, Abdelnaem S, Kwok A, Hunter DG, Phillips PH, Sallam AB, Elhusseiny AM

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ocular trauma in American infants and toddlers.
(2024 Apr)
J AAPOS 28(2): 103864
Chauhan MZ, Ali AA, Healy J, Elhusseiny AM, Phillips PH, Sallam AB, Uwaydat SH

Role of myeloid cells in ischemic retinopathies: recent advances and unanswered questions.
(2024 Mar 7)
J Neuroinflammation 21(1): 65
Shahror RA, Morris CA, Mohammed AA, Wild M, Zaman B, Mitchell CD, Phillips PH, Rusch NJ, Shosha E, Fouda AY

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