Amar Sahay, PhD
Harvard Medical School
The incidence and complexity of mental illnesses and cognitive impairments associated with ageing and Alzheimer’s disease underscores the need to develop novel treatments. Our mission is to generate fundamental insights into the role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, the process by which neural stem cells generate dentate granule neurons throughout life, in hippocampal functions in encoding, memory processing and modulation of mood. By integrating cellular, circuit, systems and behavioral interrogation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, we aspire to rejuvenate and re-engineer hippocampal circuitry to optimize circuit performance in diseases such as depression, anxiety disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and ageing.
To address this goal, we have established a multifaceted research program that integrates inducible mouse- and viral-genetics, pharmaco- and optogenetics, synaptic tracing, in vivo awake behaving optical imaging, 2 photon imaging, human cellular reprogramming, and behavioral analysis. Specifically, we are interested in the following questions.
6. What are the molecular mechanisms operational in the hippocampus underlying resilience and vulnerability to stress?