Program Director: BJ Casey, Ph.D.

CBGB promotes collaborations among neuroscientists, molecular biologists, geneticists, psychiatrists, developmental and cognitive psychologists, physicists, and statisticians to define the important role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and experiential events (e.g., stress, enrichment) on different forms of learning across development.

The Center is funded by the NIMH and grew from the vision and generosity of the Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler family. The center is also supported by the infrastructure provided by the Department of Psychiatry, chaired by Dr. Jack Barchas, the WCMC Citigroup Biomedical Imaging Center and the Biomedical Imaging Core, directed by Dr. Doug Ballon.

Three main questions addressed by the CBGB are:

How does genotype affect learning throughout development?

How does genotype affect the response to early postnatal stress?

How can genotype-imposed abnormal responses to stress be modified?


Training Initiative:

The Mortimer D. Sackler, M.D. Summer Institute

 

Project I: Impact of BDNF Phenotype on Brain Development and Learning

Principal Investigator: BJ Casey, Sackler Institute, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Co-Investigators: Henning Voss, Associate Professor, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Charles Glatt, Associate Research Professor, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Consultant: Nim Tottenham, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles.

B. J. Casey, Ph.D. is a leading authority on the application of neuroimaging techniques to study the developing human brain, and authored the first paper on the use of fMRI in a normative developmental study. She is the Sackler Professor of Developmental Psychobiology and the Director of the Sackler Institute for Psychobiology of Development at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and has an international reputation for her work in cognitive development and the use of cutting edge methods in addressing developmental questions about brain and behavior.

Henning Voss, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the department of radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is an MR physicist and has programmed scan sequences and optimized them. In addition he has developed programs to assess on-line data quality.

Charles Glatt, MD, Ph.D. is an Asscociate Research Professor in Psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He has extensive years experience with implementing genotyping strategies for human genetic studies and is familiar with a number of genotyping technologies. He has also implemented sample processing and tracking pipelines for his work and collaborations with clinical investigators.

Nim Tottenham, Ph.D. (Consultant) is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is an expert in the design and implementation of neuroimaging studies and behavioral tasks that assess emotional development. Dr. Tottenham is an expert in developing behavioral probes specific to populations with social and emotional difficulties.

 

Project II: Impact of BDNF Genotype and early life stress on learning in adolescents

Principal Investigator: Megan Gunnar, Ph.D., Professor, University of Minnesota
Co-Principal Investigator: Kathleen Thomas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Minnesota
Consultant: Nim Tottenham, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Megan Gunnar, Ph.D. is a Professor of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She is an expert on the design and implementation of research on children who have experienced adverse early life histories, including those adopted from orphanages. Professor Gunnar has an international reputation for her expertise in the developmental psychobiology of stress in human development and has pioneered much of the research on the HPA axis and its role in human developmental stress reactivity and regulation.

Kathleen Thomas, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Thomas' laboratory explores the development and neurobiological correlates of nondeclarative or implicit learning during the preschool and school age periods. Her research applies neurophysiological techniques such as high-density event-related potentials (ERPs) and functional MRI to address the interactions among multiple neural systems involved in learning.

Nim Tottenham, Ph.D. (Consultant) is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles and transitioning to the Department of Psychology at Columbia University (Fall 2014). She is an expert in the design and implementation of neuroimaging studies and behavioral tasks that assess emotional development. Dr. Tottenham is an expert in developing behavioral probes specific to populations with social and emotional difficulties.

 

Project III: Impact of stress and enrichment on a mouse model of the BDNF Val66Met SNP

Principal Investigator: Francis Lee, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Co-Principal Investigator: Barbara Hempstead, Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Francis S. Lee M.D., Ph.D. is a Professor in Psychiatry and Pharmacology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He has extensive experience in the methods of molecular biology and analyses of in vivo consequences of the neurotrophin system. His research has necessitated the development of the primary Val66Met mouse, which contains the human genetic variant form of BDNF (Val66Met).

Barbara Hempstead M.D., Ph.D. is the O. Wayne Isom Professor of Medicine and Co-Division Chief, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Hempstead has an international reputation in neurotrophin biology, as well as in the analyses of transgenic neurotrophin mice.

 

Administrative Data Management Core:

Director: BJ Casey, Sackler Professor, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Charles Glatt, Assistant Professor, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Doug Ballon, Associate Professor of Physics in Radiology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Consultants: Steve Smith, Professor, The Oxford University
Gary Glover, Professor, The Stanford University School of Medicine
Bruce Fischl, Associate Professor, The Harvard Medical School
Bruce McEwen, Professor, The Rockefeller University

B. J. Casey, Ph.D. is the Sackler Professor of Developmental Psychobiology and the Director of the Sackler Institute for Psychobiology of Development at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and has an international reputation for her work in cognitive development and the use of cutting edge methods in addressing developmental questions about brain and behavior. As Director of the annual Summer Institute and Director of the Weill Medical College Neuroscience Graduate Program, Dr. Casey will integrate training opportunities with Center research.

Charles Glatt, MD, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. His current research program is focused on studies of allele-specific gene expression in human brain and related association studies of behavior. He has extensive years experience with implementing genotyping strategies for human genetic studies and is familiar with a number of genotyping technologies. He has also implemented sample processing and tracking pipelines for his work and collaborations with clinical investigators.

Doug Ballon, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Physics in Radiology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He specializes in magnetic resonance imaging technology and currently is the director of Weill Cornell's Biomedical Imaging Core at the Citigroup Biomedical Imaging Center.

Bruce McEwen, Ph.D. (Consultant) is the Alfred E. Mirsky professor of neuroscience and runs the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at Rockefeller University. He is an expert in stress effects on the brain and body and in the structural plasticity of the adult and developing brain. Dr. McEwen has an international reputation for his expertise in these areas. He will work closely with Project III in the studies on mice and also with the investigators in Projects I and II to coordinate the translational aspects of the overall project.

Gary Glover, Ph.D. (Consultant) is a Professor in the Departments of Radiology, Neurosciences & Biophysics, and Engineering & Psychology at The Stanford University School of Medicine. He is the director of The Radiological Sciences Lab where he has developed novel methods in rapid fMRI analysis of human brain function.

Bruce Fischl, Ph.D. (Consultant) is an Associate Professor in The Department of Radiology at The Harvard Medical School. His work is focused on building anatomically accurate models of the human brain, and using them as a substrate for the analysis of functional and structural neuroimaging data. Dr. Fischl is one of the developers of Free Surfer image analysis software which can be used to overlay functional data onto the inflated/flattened cortical surface, or carry out multi-subject FMRI statistics on the cortical surface and to measure the thickness of the gray matter of the cortex.

Steve Smith, Ph.D. (Consultant) is Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Associate Director at The Oxford University Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB). Dr. Smith's research is focused on statistical approaches to brain image analysis. He has developed a brain imaging analysis software (FSL) that is widely used in many laboratories internationally.

Statistical Genetics Core

Principal Investigator: Andrew Clark, Professor, Cornell University
Jason Mezey, Associate Professor, Cornell University
Postdoctoral Fellows: Cris Van Hout, Cornell University

Andrew Clark, Ph.D. is a Professor of Population Genetics in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University, Ithaca. He is a leading authority in population and statistical genetics. He has worked on several whole-genome association studies of complex human traits and was a contributor to The International HapMap Project.

Jason Mezey, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in The Department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology at Cornell University, Ithaca. His research interests are focused on statistical and computational approaches for finding genes underlying quantitative traits and modeling genetic networks and developmental pathways.

Cris Van Hout, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University, Ithaca.

 

Publications & Presentations

Pitula, C.E., Thomas, K.M., Armstrong, J.M., Essex, M.J., Crick, N.R., & Gunnar, M.R. (2014). Peer Victimization and Internalizing Symptoms Among Post-Institutionalized, Internationally Adopted Youth. Journal of abnormal child psychology, 1-8. [Epub ahead of prtint] PDF

Casey, B.J., & Caudle, K. (2013). The teenage brain: Self control. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22, 82-87.
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Cohen, M. M., Jing, D., Yang, R. R., Tottenham, N., Lee, F. S., & Casey, B. J. (2013). Early-life stress has persistent effects on amygdala function and development in mice and humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(45), 18274-18278. PMCID:PMC3831447 PDF

Cohen, M. M., Tottenham, N., & Casey, B. J. (2013). Translational developmental studies of stress on brain and behavior: Implications for adolescent mental health and illness? Neuroscience , 249, 53-62. PMCID:PMC3696429 PDF

Hartley, C.A., & Casey, B.J. (2013). Risk for anxiety and implications for treatment: developmental, environmental, and genetic factors governing fear regulation. Ann NY Acad Sci , 1304, 1-13. PMCID: PMC384399

Bath K.G., Jing D.Q., Dincheva I., Neeb C., Pattwell S.S., Chao M.V., Lee F.S.*, Ninan I.* (2012). BDNF Val66Met impairs fluoxetine-induced enhancement of adult hippocampus plasticity. Neuropsychopharmacology, 37(5), 1297-304. PMCID: PMC3306891.
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Gunnar, M.R., Jennifer, A.M., Thomas, K.M., Glatt, C.E, McKenna, M.C., & Clark, A.G (2012). The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism early deprivation effects on attention problems. Dev Psychopathol, 24(4), 1215-1233. PMCID: PMC3581017
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Hartley, C.A., McKenna, M.C., Salman, R., Holmes, A., Casey, B.J.Phelps, E.A., & Glatt, C.E. (2012). Serotonin transporter polaydenylation polymorphism modulates the retention of fear extinction memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 109(14), 5493-8. PMCID: PMC3325655
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Pattwell. S.S., Duhoux, S., Hartley, C.A., Johnson, D.C., Jing, D., Elliott, M.D., Ruberry, E.J., Powers, A., Mehta, N., Yang, R.R., Soliman, F., Glatt, C.E., Casey, B.J., Ninan, I., & Lee, F.S. (2012). Altered fear learning across development in both mouse and human. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 109(40), 16318-23. PMCID: PMC3479553
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Pattwell, S.S., Bath K.G., Perez-Castro, R., Lee, F.S., Chao, M.V., Ninan, I. (2012). The BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism impairs synaptic transmission and plasticity in the infralimbic medial PFC. J Neuroscience, 32(7):2410-2421 PMCID: PMC3532006.
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MagariƱos AM, Li C, Toth G, Bath KG, Jing DQ, Lee FS, McEwen BS. (2011). Effect of brain-derived neurotrophic factor haploinsufficiency on stress-induced remodeling of hippocampal neurons. Hippocampus 21:253-264. PMCID: PMC2888762.
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Ma L, Wang D, Zhang TY, Yu H, Wang Y, Huang SH, Lee FS, Chen ZY. (2011). Region specific involvement of BDNF secretion and synthesis in conditioned taste aversion memory formation. J. Neurosci. 31:2079-2090. PMCID: PMC3044502.
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Nelson, C.A., Bos, K., Gunnar, M.R., Sonuga-Barke, E.J.S. (2011). The neurobiological toll of early human deprivation. In R. B. McCall, M. H. van Ijzendoorn, F. Juffer, C. J. Groark, and V. K. Groza (Eds.), Children without permanent parents: Research, practice, and policy. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 76 (4), 127-146.

Pattwell, S.S., Bath, K.G., Casey, B.J., Ninan, I., & Lee, F.S. (2011). Selective early-acquired fear memories undergo temporary suppression during adolescence. PNAS, 108 (3), 1182-1187. PMCID: PMC3024661.
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Somerville, L., Hare, T. & Casey, B.J. (2011). Frontostriatal maturation predicts cognitive control failure to appetitive cues in adolescents. J of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23(9), 2123-2143. PMCID: PMC3131482
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Tottenham, N., Hare, T.A., Millner, A., Gilhooly, T., Zevin, J.D., & Casey, B.J. (2011). Elevated amygdala response to faces following early deprivation. Developmental Science, 14(2), 190-204. PMCID: PMC3050520.
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Tottenham, N., Hare, T.A., & Casey, B.J. (2011). Behavioral assessment of emotion discrimination, emotion regulation and cognitive control, in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Frontiers in Developmental Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00039 PMCID: PMC3110936
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Zeanah, C.H., Gunnar, M.R., McCall, R.B., Kreppner, J.M., & Fox, N.A. (2011). Sensitive periods. In R. B. McCall, M. H. van IJzendoorn, F. Juffer, C. J. Groark, and V. K. Groza (Eds.), Children without permanent parents: Research, practice, and policy. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 76(4),147-162.

Soliman, F., Glatt, C.E., Bath, K.G., Levita, L., Jones, R.M., Pattwell, S.S., Jing, D., Tottenham, N., Amso, D., Somerville, L.H., Voss, H.U., Glover, G., Ballon, D.J., Liston, C., Teslovich, T., van Kempen, T., Lee, F.L. & Casey, B.J. (2010). A Genetic Variant BDNF Polymorphism Alters Extinction Learning in Both Mouse and Human. Science,327(5967):863-6. PMCID: PMC2829261
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Somerville, L. H., Jones, R. M., & Casey, B. J. (2010). A time of change: Behavioral and neural correlates of adolescent sensitivity to appetitive and aversive environmental cues. Brain and Cognition, 72, 124-133. PMCID: PMC2814936
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Casey, B.J., Glatt, C.E., Tottenham, N., Soliman, F., Bath, K., Amso, D., Altemus, M., Levita, L., Jones, R., Thomas, K.M., Gunnar, M., Mezey, J., Clark, A., Leon, A.C., Hempstead, B., & Lee, F.S., (2009). BDNF as a model system for examining gene by environment interactions across development. J Neurosci. PMCID: PMC2760671
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Yu, H., Wang, Y., Pattwell, S., Jing, D., Liu, T., Zhang, Y., Bath, K.G., Lee, F.S., & Chen, Z. (2009). Variant BDNF Val66Met polymorphism affects extinction of conditioned aversive memory. J Neurosci., , 29(13), 4056 - 4064. PMCID: PMC2668145
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Lee, F.S., & Chao, M.V. (in press). Chapter 1.7: Neurotrophic Factors. In B.J. Kaplan and V.A. Sadock (Eds.), Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9th Edition.
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Tottenham, N., Hare, T.A., Quinn, B.T., McCarry, T.W., Nurse, M., Gilhooly, T., Millner, A., Galvan, A., Davidson, M.C., Eigsti, I., Thomas, K.M., Freed, P., Booma, E.S., Gunnar, M., Altemus, M., Aronson, J., & Casey, B.J. (2009). Prolonged institutional rearing is associated with atypically larger amygdala volume and difficulties in emotion regulation. Developmental Science, 13(1), 46-61. PMCID: PMC2817950
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Casey, B. J., Ruberry, E. J., Libby, V., Glatt, C. E., Hare, T., Soliman, F., Duhoux, S., Frielingsdorf, H., & Tottenham, N. (2009). Transitional and translationalstudies of risk for anxiety. Depress Anxiety, 28(1), 18-28 PMCID: PMC3070413 PDF

Bath, K.G., Voss, H.U., Jing, D., Anderson, S., Hempstead, B.L., Lee, F.S., Dyke, J.P., & Ballon, D.J. (2009). Quantitative intact specimen magnetic resonance microscopy at 3.0 T. Magn Reson Imaging. PMCID: PMC2708118
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Carim-Todd, L., Bath, K.G., Fulgenzi, G., Yanpallewar, S., Jing, D., Barrick, C.A., Becker, J., Buckley, H., Dorsey, S.G., Lee, F.S., & Tessarollo, L. (2009). Endogenous Truncated TrkB.T1 Receptor Regulates Neuronal Complexity and TrkB Kinase Receptor Function In Vivo. J Neurosci, 29(3), 678-685. PMCID: PMC2719435
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Levita, L., Hare, T., Voss, H., Glover, G., Ballon, D.J., & Casey, B.J. (2009). The bivalent side of the nucleus accumbens. NeuroImage, 44, 1178-1187. PMCID: PMC2659952
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Liston, C., McEwen, B.S., & Casey, B.J. (2009). Psychosocial stress reversibly disrupts prefrontal processing and attentional control. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 106(3), 912-917. PMCID: PMC2621252
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Yang, J., Siao, C., Nagappan, G., Marinic, T., Jing, D., McGrath, K., Chen, Z., Mark, W., Tessarollo, L., Lee, F.S., Lu, B., & Hempstead, B.K. (2009). Neuronal release of proBDNF. Nat Neurosci, 12(2), 113-115. PMCID: PMC2737352
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Bath, K.G., Mandairon, N., Jing, D., Rajagopal, R., Kapoor, R., Chen, Z., Khan, T., Proenca, C.C., Kraemer, R., Cleland, T.A., Hempstead, B.L., Chao, M.V. & Lee, F.S. (2008). Variant Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (Val66Met) Alters Adult Olfactory Bulb Neurogenesis and Spontaneous Olfactory Discrimination. J Neurosci, 28(10), 2383-2393. PMCID: PMC2679965
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Chen, Z., Bath, K., McEwen, B., Hempstead, B., & Lee, F. (2008). Impact of genetic variant BDNF (Val66Met) on brain structure and function. Novartis Found Symp, 289, 180-195. PMCID: PMC2735856
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Address
Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Box 140, 1300 York Avenue NY, NY 10065
Phone
212.746.4886
Fax
212.746.5755