Title: Professor; Graduate Vice Chair
Area: Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience
Phone: 848-445-4660 / 5-8937; 5-2555
Building: Psychology 229 / 226
B.A., Fairfield University
Ph.D., University of Chicago
I received my Ph.D. in Biopsychology from the University of Chicago in 1981 and joined the Rutgers’ faculty immediately thereafter. My research has focused on animal models of autism, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. Specifically, I am interested in the long-lasting neurological and behavioral deficits following early exposure to neurotoxicants. I have concentrated on the mechanism through which these agents affect monoaminergic neurons, exploring genetic-, age- and sex-dependent alterations in sensitivity. Much of my research examines intervention and preventions strategies, trying to protect subjects against the toxicant-induced damage and/or to facilitate their recovery following such exposure. With respect to behavior, I have been particularly interested in analysis and detection of "subclinical" lesions (i.e. very slight alterations in brain function following very low dose exposure and leading to minor behavioral deficits which require sophisticated and sensitive behavioral assays to monitor). Finally, I have linked some of these early intervention and prevention studies to both skin and colon cancer, observing that treatments found to be effective in animal models of Parkinson’s disease are also protective in animal models of tumor formation.