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Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center


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Michael R.  Dohn

Michael R. Dohn, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

Contact Information:

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
771 Preston Research Building
Nashville, TN 37232

Research Description

Autism, depression, and anxiety disorders are associated with an imbalance in the serotonin system, which often involves changes in the function of the serotonin transporter (SERT). SERT interacts with and is regulated by integrins, transmembrane proteins that link the extracellular matrix to the intracellular cytoskeleton. My research focuses on the physical and functional interactions between SERT and the integrin beta3 subunit in the brain. Using mouse models that alter integrin beta3 function, we 1) analyze the signaling pathways involved in beta3-mediated regulation of SERT activity and 2) evaluate the role of these signaling mechanisms in mouse behaviors linked to SERT function. These studies highlight the complex regulation of serotonin homeostasis and social behaviors by integrin beta3 and reveal an important role for integrins in modulating risk for neuropsychiatric disorders.