Susan Ferguson, PhD

Personal Statement

The overall goal of my research program is to use a multi-level approach, combining molecular biology, anatomy, genetics and behavioral neuroscience, to understand the role of cortico-basal ganglia circuitry in the development of behaviors that are associated with drug reward and addiction, as well as in the processes that underlie decision-making, motivation and impulsivity.

To accomplish these goals, my laboratory employs a novel chemical-genetic approach that uses viral vectors to express artificial, engineered G-protein coupled receptors (known as DREADD receptors) in discrete neuronal cell populations in rodents. Activation of DREADD receptors by the otherwise inert synthetic ligand clozapine-N-Oxide will lead to transient alterations in neuronal activity (either increasing or decreasing cell function depending on which G-protein coupled DREADD receptor is expressed) of the targeted cell populations. This neuronal modulation can be paired with specific phases of the behaviors that we study, including psychostimulant-induced behavioral sensitization, drug self-administration and operant learning tasks, in order to parse out the neural circuitry that contributes to behaviors associated with addiction and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

Department Affiliations

Scholarly Expertise

Recent Publications

Strategies for accelerating the implementation of non-intrusive alcohol detection systems in the vehicle fleet.
(2020 Nov 18)
Traffic Inj Prev
Ferguson SA, Draisin NA

Effect of Hydrocortisone on Mortality and Organ Support in Patients With Severe COVID-19: The REMAP-CAP COVID-19 Corticosteroid Domain Randomized Clinical Trial.
(2020 Oct 6)
JAMA 324(13): 1317-1329
Angus DC, Derde L, Al-Beidh F, Annane D, Arabi Y, Beane A, van Bentum-Puijk W, Berry L, Bhimani Z, Bonten M, Bradbury C, Brunkhorst F, Buxton M, Buzgau A, Cheng AC, de Jong M, Detry M, Estcourt L, Fitzgerald M, Goossens H, Green C, Haniffa R, Higgins AM, Horvat C, Hullegie SJ, Kruger P, Lamontagne F, Lawler PR, Linstrum K, Litton E, Lorenzi E, Marshall J, McAuley D, McGlothin A, McGuinness S, McVerry B, Montgomery S, Mouncey P, Murthy S, Nichol A, Parke R, Parker J, Rowan K, Sanil A, Santos M, Saunders C, Seymour C, Turner A, van de Veerdonk F, Venkatesh B, Zarychanski R, Berry S, Lewis RJ, McArthur C, Webb SA, Gordon AC, Writing Committee for the REMAP-CAP Investigators., Al-Beidh F, Angus D, Annane D, Arabi Y, van Bentum-Puijk W, Berry S, Beane A, Bhimani Z, Bonten M, Bradbury C, Brunkhorst F, Buxton M, Cheng A, De Jong M, Derde L, Estcourt L, Goossens H, Gordon A, Green C, Haniffa R, Lamontagne F, Lawler P, Litton E, Marshall J, McArthur C, McAuley D, McGuinness S, McVerry B, Montgomery S, Mouncey P, Murthy S, Nichol A, Parke R, Rowan K, Seymour C, Turner A, van de Veerdonk F, Webb S, Zarychanski R, Campbell L, Forbes A, Gattas D, Heritier S, Higgins L, Kruger P, Peake S, Presneill J, Seppelt I, Trapani T, Young P, Bagshaw S, Daneman N, Ferguson N, Misak C, Santos M, Hullegie S, Pletz M, Rohde G, Rowan K, Alexander B, Basile K, Girard T, Horvat C, Huang D, Linstrum K, Vates J, Beasley R, Fowler R, McGloughlin S, Morpeth S, Paterson D, Venkatesh B, Uyeki T, Baillie K, Duffy E, Fowler R, Hills T, Orr K, Patanwala A, Tong S, Netea M, Bihari S, Carrier M, Fergusson D, Goligher E, Haidar G, Hunt B, Kumar A, Laffan M, Lawless P, Lother S, McCallum P, Middeldopr S, McQuilten Z, Neal M, Pasi J, Schutgens R, Stanworth S, Turgeon A, Weissman A, Adhikari N, Anstey M, Brant E, de Man A, Lamonagne F, Masse MH, Udy A, Arnold D, Begin P, Charlewood R, Chasse M, Coyne M, Cooper J, Daly J, Gosbell I, Harvala-Simmonds H, Hills T, MacLennan S, Menon D, McDyer J, Pridee N, Roberts D, Shankar-Hari M, Thomas H, Tinmouth A, Triulzi D, Walsh T, Wood E, Calfee C, O’Kane C, Shyamsundar M, Sinha P, Thompson T, Young I, Bihari S, Hodgson C, Laffey J, McAuley D, Orford N, Neto A, Detry M, Fitzgerald M, Lewis R, McGlothlin A, Sanil A, Saunders C, Berry L, Lorenzi E, Miller E, Singh V, Zammit C, van Bentum Puijk W, Bouwman W, Mangindaan Y, Parker L, Peters S, Rietveld I, Raymakers K, Ganpat R, Brillinger N, Markgraf R, Ainscough K, Brickell K, Anjum A, Lane JB, Richards-Belle A, Saull M, Wiley D, Bion J, Connor J, Gates S, Manax V, van der Poll T, Reynolds J, van Beurden M, Effelaar E, Schotsman J, Boyd C, Harland C, Shearer A, Wren J, Clermont G, Garrard W, Kalchthaler K, King A, Ricketts D, Malakoutis S, Marroquin O, Music E, Quinn K, Cate H, Pearson K, Collins J, Hanson J, Williams P, Jackson S, Asghar A, Dyas S, Sutu M, Murphy S, Williamson D, Mguni N, Potter A, Porter D, Goodwin J, Rook C, Harrison S, Williams H, Campbell H, Lomme K, Williamson J, Sheffield J, van’t Hoff W, McCracken P, Young M, Board J, Mart E, Knott C, Smith J, Boschert C, Affleck J, Ramanan M, D’Souza R, Pateman K, Shakih A, Cheung W, Kol M, Wong H, Shah A, Wagh A, Simpson J, Duke G, Chan P, Cartner B, Hunter S, Laver R, Shrestha T, Regli A, Pellicano A, McCullough J, Tallott M, Kumar N, Panwar R, Brinkerhoff G, Koppen C, Cazzola F, Brain M, Mineall S, Fischer R, Biradar V, Soar N, White H, Estensen K, Morrison L, Smith J, Cooper M, Health M, Shehabi Y, Al-Bassam W, Hulley A, Whitehead C, Lowrey J, Gresha R, Walsham J, Meyer J, Harward M, Venz E, Williams P, Kurenda C, Smith K, Smith M, Garcia R, Barge D, Byrne D, Byrne K, Driscoll A, Fortune L, Janin P, Yarad E, Hammond N, Bass F, Ashelford A, Waterson S, Wedd S, McNamara R, Buhr H, Coles J, Schweikert S, Wibrow B, Rauniyar R, Myers E, Fysh E, Dawda A, Mevavala B, Litton E, Ferrier J, Nair P, Buscher H, Reynolds C, Santamaria J, Barbazza L, Homes J, Smith R, Murray L, Brailsford J, Forbes L, Maguire T, Mariappa V, Smith J, Simpson S, Maiden M, Bone A, Horton M, Salerno T, Sterba M, Geng W, Depuydt P, De Waele J, De Bus L, Fierens J, Bracke S, Reeve B, Dechert W, Chassé M, Carrier FM, Boumahni D, Benettaib F, Ghamraoui A, Bellemare D, Cloutier È, Francoeur C, Lamontagne F, D’Aragon F, Carbonneau E, Leblond J, Vazquez-Grande G, Marten N, Wilson M, Albert M, Serri K, Cavayas A, Duplaix M, Williams V, Rochwerg B, Karachi T, Oczkowski S, Centofanti J, Millen T, Duan E, Tsang J, Patterson L, English S, Watpool I, Porteous R, Miezitis S, McIntyre L, Brochard L, Burns K, Sandhu G, Khalid I, Binnie A, Powell E, McMillan A, Luk T, Aref N, Andric Z, Cviljevic S, Đimoti R, Zapalac M, Mirković G, Baršić B, Kutleša M, Kotarski V, Vujaklija Brajković A, Babel J, Sever H, Dragija L, Kušan I, Vaara S, Pettilä L, Heinonen J, Kuitunen A, Karlsson S, Vahtera A, Kiiski H, Ristimäki S, Azaiz A, Charron C, Godement M, Geri G, Vieillard-Baron A, Pourcine F, Monchi M, Luis D, Mercier R, Sagnier A, Verrier N, Caplin C, Siami S, Aparicio C, Vautier S, Jeblaoui A, Fartoukh M, Courtin L, Labbe V, Leparco C, Muller G, Nay MA, Kamel T, Benzekri D, Jacquier S, Mercier E, Chartier D, Salmon C, Dequin P, Schneider F, Morel G, L’Hotellier S, Badie J, Berdaguer FD, Malfroy S, Mezher C, Bourgoin C, Megarbane B, Voicu S, Deye N, Malissin I, Sutterlin L, Guitton C, Darreau C, Landais M, Chudeau N, Robert A, Moine P, Heming N, Maxime V, Bossard I, Nicholier TB, Colin G, Zinzoni V, Maquigneau N, Finn A, Kreß G, Hoff U, Friedrich Hinrichs C, Nee J, Pletz M, Hagel S, Ankert J, Kolanos S, Bloos F, Petros S, Pasieka B, Kunz K, Appelt P, Schütze B, Kluge S, Nierhaus A, Jarczak D, Roedl K, Weismann D, Frey A, Klinikum Neukölln V, Reill L, Distler M, Maselli A, Bélteczki J, Magyar I, Fazekas Á, Kovács S, Szőke V, Szigligeti G, Leszkoven J, Collins D, Breen P, Frohlich S, Whelan R, McNicholas B, Scully M, Casey S, Kernan M, Doran P, O’Dywer M, Smyth M, Hayes L, Hoiting O, Peters M, Rengers E, Evers M, Prinssen A, Bosch Ziekenhuis J, Simons K, Rozendaal W, Polderman F, de Jager P, Moviat M, Paling A, Salet A, Rademaker E, Peters AL, de Jonge E, Wigbers J, Guilder E, Butler M, Cowdrey KA, Newby L, Chen Y, Simmonds C, McConnochie R, Ritzema Carter J, Henderson S, Van Der Heyden K, Mehrtens J, Williams T, Kazemi A, Song R, Lai V, Girijadevi D, Everitt R, Russell R, Hacking D, Buehner U, Williams E, Browne T, Grimwade K, Goodson J, Keet O, Callender O, Martynoga R, Trask K, Butler A, Schischka L, Young C, Lesona E, Olatunji S, Robertson Y, José N, Amaro dos Santos Catorze T, de Lima Pereira TNA, Neves Pessoa LM, Castro Ferreira RM, Pereira Sousa Bastos JM, Aysel Florescu S, Stanciu D, Zaharia MF, Kosa AG, Codreanu D, Marabi Y, Al Qasim E, Moneer Hagazy M, Al Swaidan L, Arishi H, Muñoz-Bermúdez R, Marin-Corral J, Salazar Degracia A, Parrilla Gómez F, Mateo López MI, Rodriguez Fernandez J, Cárcel Fernández S, Carmona Flores R, León López R, de la Fuente Martos C, Allan A, Polgarova P, Farahi N, McWilliam S, Hawcutt D, Rad L, O’Malley L, Whitbread J, Kelsall O, Wild L, Thrush J, Wood H, Austin K, Donnelly A, Kelly M, O’Kane S, McClintock D, Warnock M, Johnston P, Gallagher LJ, Mc Goldrick C, Mc Master M, Strzelecka A, Jha R, Kalogirou M, Ellis C, Krishnamurthy V, Deelchand V, Silversides J, McGuigan P, Ward K, O’Neill A, Finn S, Phillips B, Mullan D, Oritz-Ruiz de Gordoa L, Thomas M, Sweet K, Grimmer L, Johnson R, Pinnell J, Robinson M, Gledhill L, Wood T, Morgan M, Cole J, Hill H, Davies M, Antcliffe D, Templeton M, Rojo R, Coghlan P, Smee J, Mackay E, Cort J, Whileman A, Spencer T, Spittle N, Kasipandian V, Patel A, Allibone S, Genetu RM, Ramali M, Ghosh A, Bamford P, London E, Cawley K, Faulkner M, Jeffrey H, Smith T, Brewer C, Gregory J, Limb J, Cowton A, O’Brien J, Nikitas N, Wells C, Lankester L, Pulletz M, Williams P, Birch J, Wiseman S, Horton S, Alegria A, Turki S, Elsefi T, Crisp N, Allen L, McCullagh I, Robinson P, Hays C, Babio-Galan M, Stevenson H, Khare D, Pinder M, Selvamoni S, Gopinath A, Pugh R, Menzies D, Mackay C, Allan E, Davies G, Puxty K, McCue C, Cathcart S, Hickey N, Ireland J, Yusuff H, Isgro G, Brightling C, Bourne M, Craner M, Watters M, Prout R, Davies L, Pegler S, Kyeremeh L, Arbane G, Wilson K, Gomm L, Francia F, Brett S, Sousa Arias S, Elin Hall R, Budd J, Small C, Birch J, Collins E, Henning J, Bonner S, Hugill K, Cirstea E, Wilkinson D, Karlikowski M, Sutherland H, Wilhelmsen E, Woods J, North J, Sundaran D, Hollos L, Coburn S, Walsh J, Turns M, Hopkins P, Smith J, Noble H, Depante MT, Clarey E, Laha S, Verlander M, Williams A, Huckle A, Hall A, Cooke J, Gardiner-Hill C, Maloney C, Qureshi H, Flint N, Nicholson S, Southin S, Nicholson A, Borgatta B, Turner-Bone I, Reddy A, Wilding L, Chamara Warnapura L, Agno Sathianathan R, Golden D, Hart C, Jones J, Bannard-Smith J, Henry J, Birchall K, Pomeroy F, Quayle R, Makowski A, Misztal B, Ahmed I, KyereDiabour T, Naiker K, Stewart R, Mwaura E, Mew L, Wren L, Willams F, Innes R, Doble P, Hutter J, Shovelton C, Plumb B, Szakmany T, Hamlyn V, Hawkins N, Lewis S, Dell A, Gopal S, Ganguly S, Smallwood A, Harris N, Metherell S, Lazaro JM, Newman T, Fletcher S, Nortje J, Fottrell-Gould D, Randell G, Zaman M, Elmahi E, Jones A, Hall K, Mills G, Ryalls K, Bowler H, Sall J, Bourne R, Borrill Z, Duncan T, Lamb T, Shaw J, Fox C, Moreno Cuesta J, Xavier K, Purohit D, Elhassan M, Bakthavatsalam D, Rowland M, Hutton P, Bashyal A, Davidson N, Hird C, Chhablani M, Phalod G, Kirkby A, Archer S, Netherton K, Reschreiter H, Camsooksai J, Patch S, Jenkins S, Pogson D, Rose S, Daly Z, Brimfield L, Claridge H, Parekh D, Bergin C, Bates M, Dasgin J, McGhee C, Sim M, Hay SK, Henderson S, Phull MK, Zaidi A, Pogreban T, Rosaroso LP, Harvey D, Lowe B, Meredith M, Ryan L, Hormis A, Walker R, Collier D, Kimpton S, Oakley S, Rooney K, Rodden N, Hughes E, Thomson N, McGlynn D, Walden A, Jacques N, Coles H, Tilney E, Vowell E, Schuster-Bruce M, Pitts S, Miln R, Purandare L, Vamplew L, Spivey M, Bean S, Burt K, Moore L, Day C, Gibson C, Gordon E, Zitter L, Keenan S, Baker E, Cherian S, Cutler S, Roynon-Reed A, Harrington K, Raithatha A, Bauchmuller K, Ahmad N, Grecu I, Trodd D, Martin J, Wrey Brown C, Arias AM, Craven T, Hope D, Singleton J, Clark S, Rae N, Welters I, Hamilton DO, Williams K, Waugh V, Shaw D, Puthucheary Z, Martin T, Santos F, Uddin R, Somerville A, Tatham KC, Jhanji S, Black E, Dela Rosa A, Howle R, Tully R, Drummond A, Dearden J, Philbin J, Munt S, Vuylsteke A, Chan C, Victor S, Matsa R, Gellamucho M, Creagh-Brown B, Tooley J, Montague L, De Beaux F, Bullman L, Kersiake I, Demetriou C, Mitchard S, Ramos L, White K, Donnison P, Johns M, Casey R, Mattocks L, Salisbury S, Dark P, Claxton A, McLachlan D, Slevin K, Lee S, Hulme J, Joseph S, Kinney F, Senya HJ, Oborska A, Kayani A, Hadebe B, Orath Prabakaran R, Nichols L, Thomas M, Worner R, Faulkner B, Gendall E, Hayes K, Hamilton-Davies C, Chan C, Mfuko C, Abbass H, Mandadapu V, Leaver S, Forton D, Patel K, Paramasivam E, Powell M, Gould R, Wilby E, Howcroft C, Banach D, Fernández de Pinedo Artaraz Z, Cabreros L, White I, Croft M, Holland N, Pereira R, Zaki A, Johnson D, Jackson M, Garrard H, Juhaz V, Roy A, Rostron A, Woods L, Cornell S, Pillai S, Harford R, Rees T, Ivatt H, Sundara Raman A, Davey M, Lee K, Barber R, Chablani M, Brohi F, Jagannathan V, Clark M, Purvis S, Wetherill B, Dushianthan A, Cusack R, de Courcy-Golder K, Smith S, Jackson S, Attwood B, Parsons P, Page V, Zhao XB, Oza D, Rhodes J, Anderson T, Morris S, Xia Le Tai C, Thomas A, Keen A, Digby S, Cowley N, Wild L, Southern D, Reddy H, Campbell A, Watkins C, Smuts S, Touma O, Barnes N, Alexander P, Felton T, Ferguson S, Sellers K, Bradley-Potts J, Yates D, Birkinshaw I, Kell K, Marshall N, Carr-Knott L

One Is Not Enough: Understanding and Modeling Polysubstance Use.
(2020)
Front Neurosci 14(): 569
Crummy EA, O'Neal TJ, Baskin BM, Ferguson SM

Chemogenetic modulation of accumbens direct or indirect pathways bidirectionally alters reinstatement of heroin-seeking in high- but not low-risk rats.
(2020 Jul)
Neuropsychopharmacology 45(8): 1251-1262
O'Neal TJ, Nooney MN, Thien K, Ferguson SM

The paraventricular thalamus is a critical mediator of top-down control of cue-motivated behavior in rats.
(2019 Sep 10)
Elife 8():
Campus P, Covelo IR, Kim Y, Parsegian A, Kuhn BN, Lopez SA, Neumaier JF, Ferguson SM, Solberg Woods LC, Sarter M, Flagel SB

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