Researches behavior and behavioral abnormalities, including addiction, ADHD and depression, using mouse genetics as a platform.
The Kumar lab studies neural circuits in the brain whose misregulation leads to behavioral abnormalities including addiction, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder,and depression. Using mouse molecular genetics as a foundation, and a combination of biochemistry, physiology, and imaging techniques, we dissect these complex behaviors in mammals.
We use two functional genomics approaches in mice—forward genetic ethylnitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis screens and quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis—to identify genes and pathways that regulate these behaviors. Powerful and unbiased, forward genetic approaches make no a priori assumptions and only require a clear, well-defined assay for gene discovery. We have used a high-throughput screening pipeline to discover mutants for cocaine response and open-field behavior. Using physical mapping followed by next-generation sequencing, we have identified novel genes and alleles that regulate cocaine response and anxiety-related behaviors.