Thursday, March 12, 2020

A.J. Robison on the Neural Basis of Sex Differences in Depression - Manifold #37

Corey and Steve talk with MSU Neuroscientist A.J. Robison about why females may be more likely to suffer from depression than males. A.J. reviews past findings that low testosterone and having a smaller hippocampus may predict depression risk. He explains how a serendipitous observation opened up his current line of research and describes tools he uses to study neural circuits. Steve asks about the politics of studying sex differences and tells of a start up using CRISPR to attack heart disease. The three end with a discussion of the psychological effects of ketamine, testosterone and deep brain stimulation.

01:18 - Link between antidepressants, neurogenesis and reducing risk of depression

13:54 - Nature of Mouse models

23:19 - Depressive symptoms in mouse

32:36 - Liz Williams' serendipitous finding and the issue of biological sex

45:47 - AJ’s research plans for circuit specific gene editing in the mouse brain and a start up’s plan to use it to tackle human cardiovascular disease

59:07 - Psychological and Neurological Effects of Ketamine. Testosterone and Deep Brain Stimulation


Robison Lab at MSU

Androgen-dependent excitability of mouse ventral hippocampal afferents to nucleus accumbens underlies sex-specific susceptibility to stress

Emerging role of viral vectors for circuit-specific gene interrogation and manipulation in rodent brain

man·i·fold /ˈmanəˌfōld/ many and various.

In mathematics, a manifold is a topological space that locally resembles Euclidean space near each point.

Steve Hsu and Corey Washington have been friends for almost 30 years, and between them hold PhDs in Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Theoretical Physics. Join them for wide ranging and unfiltered conversations with leading writers, scientists, technologists, academics, entrepreneurs, investors, and more.

Steve Hsu is VP for Research and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Michigan State University. He is also a researcher in computational genomics and founder of several Silicon Valley startups, ranging from information security to biotech. Educated at Caltech and Berkeley, he was a Harvard Junior Fellow and held faculty positions at Yale and the University of Oregon before joining MSU.

Corey Washington is Director of Analytics in the Office of Research and Innovation at Michigan State University. He was educated at Amherst College and MIT before receiving a PhD in Philosophy from Stanford and a PhD in a Neuroscience from Columbia. He held faculty positions at the University Washington and the University of Maryland. Prior to MSU, Corey worked as a biotech consultant and is founder of a medical diagnostics startup.

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