My Lab is broadly interested in the molecular mechanisms that underlie neuromodulation of various systems. The lab’s research focuses on the signaling function of the primary cilium and how it contributes to neuronal function. Our work focuses on several GPCRs that localize to the primary cilia that project from neuronal cell bodies. Cilia are critical for cellular function, and disruptions of cilia leads to numerous disease phenotypes, including developmental delays, intellectual disabilities and obesity. We are studying how primary cilia detect cues that alter neural function. In pursuit of these goals, we study sensory neurons in the nasal cavity that detect odors in the environment, neurons in the olfactory bulb that process olfactory information, and neuronal modulation in motivated and addictive behaviors. The lab currently has several ongoing projects. In the olfactory bulb, we are studying how physiological conditions, and associated neuropeptides such as melanin-concentrating hormone, affect odor processing. This work focuses on understanding how, produced by neurons in the hypothalamus, alters the perception of odors at the level of the olfactory bulb. Additionally, we are studying how primary cilia on neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens and Ventral Tegmental Area integrate signals that affect motivated behaviors and responses to drugs of addiction. To achieve these goals, we have developed several new mouse models to look at cell specific ablation of cilia and immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy, calcium imaging, electrophysiology, molecular biology and behavior.