Research Assistant Professor
- PhD (Neuroscience)
National Brain Research Centre, India, 2010
- M.Sc. (Physiology)
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India, 2003
- B.Sc. (Hons.) (Human Biology)
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India, 2001
My research focuses on understanding the neural correlates of reward and aversion and how they play a role in modulating appetitive and consummatory behavior for natural rewards and drugs of abuse. To this end, I am employing electrophysiological and behavioral techniques in rats to determine the brain mechanisms mediating appetitive behavior which drives intake of highly palatable high fat/sugar food as well as drugs of abuse. Specifically, I have been interested in determining the role of opioid signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), an important node in the reward pathway, in normal feeding and binge eating behavior. My current research focuses on the brain circuitry regulating ethanol intake, with a goal of determining the role of the lateral habenula (LHb), a crucial area in which aversive stimuli are encoded, in regulating voluntary ethanol consumption during early and late stage of alcohol abuse. My long-term research goal is to determine the neural mechanism through which different factors (e.g. stress, negative affective state) can increase vulnerability to develop drug addiction as well as increase risk for chronic relapse in post-dependent state.