Jadhav Lab

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Job Description

Background and Research: I have a multi-disciplinary educational and research background, with under-graduate training in Engineering Physics, and graduate training in Systems and Computational Neuroscience. I have developed a solid foundation in neurophysiology and behavior during my research career, driven by my interests in understanding the neural basis of behavior and cognition. My lab studies how distributed limbic, cortical and sub-cortical networks interact with each together to learn new experiences, store and retrieve memories, plan, and make decisions. Physiological activity patterns and rhythms observed in these regions, including the hippocampus and frontal cortices, support coordinated interactions linked to normal cognitive function.We use a combination of techniques, including electrophysiological recordings in behaving rodents, real-time detection and manipulation of physiological patterns, and perturbation of neural activity in specific circuits during behavior, in order to gain fundamental insights into network mechanisms underlying cognition. We are using these experimental and analytical tools to gain a causal understanding of physiological mechanisms underlying learning and memory, working memory and decision-making, in interacting brain systems during behavior. My lab has made several seminal contributions in these areas to provide direct and causal evidence linking physiological phenomena to behavior. One of the major long-term goals of my lab is to build on the understanding of physiological processes underlying memory and cognition to develop tools for targeting impairments in neural coordination mechanisms that contribute to cognitive dysfunction.

Training and Mentoring: Throughout my research program, I am committed to mentoring the next generation of scientists and strive to create a laboratory environment in which rigorous science goes hand in hand with the development of other skills essential to the successful scientist. We use rigorous analytical and quantitative methods in our research, and my laboratory provides training in cutting edge neuroscience techniques and analytical training. facilitate career development opportunities outside the lab by facilitating student interests through Individual Development Plans. I have mentored 8 PhD students in my lab – half of graduate student mentees have been women, and one was a URM based on disability. Six students have graduated, with three moving on to postdoctoral positions at major institutions (Broad Institute, Cornell) and three moving to scientifically related industry employment including Data Science positions. I am currently mentoring 4 postdocs in my lab. I have also mentored four Masters’ students who were accepted into PhD programs, and served as an undergraduate research advisor for 16 students (9 female, 5 male, 2 from an under-represented groups). I also serve as a faculty member on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for the Brandeis Psychology Department. The success and diversity of my mentees reflects my commitment to training, mentoring and creating a supportive and inclusive environment for research and career development.

Research Overview: The Jadhav Lab integrates behavior, electrophysiology, optogenetics and computational analysis to investigate the neural basis of learning, memory and decision making in the mammalian brain. We take a systems approach in rodent models to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying cognition in health and disease.The brain has a remarkable capacity to learn and to use past experience to guide our daily behavior. Multiple brain regions coordinate activity to form representations of the external world, learn new experiences, store and retrieve memories, and make decisions. We are interested in understanding the neural basis of these cognitive abilities by studying processing at the cellular and network level in neuronal circuits of the rodent brain.We address these questions using a combination of techniques, including behavior, large scale multielectrode recordings in awake behaving animals, real time detection and perturbation of neural activity patterns, targeted optogenetic interventions, and computational analysis. We have shown that hippocampal replay during awake sharp-wave ripples (SWRs) is critical for spatial memory, and SWRs are associated with coordinated reactivation of hippocampal-prefrontal neurons during memory-guided decision making. This approach thus allows us to characterize the neurophysiological basis of hippocampal-cortical-subcortical interactions, and also to provide causal evidence linking specific forms of neural activity to behavior and cognition. We posit that neural dynamics at the ensemble level and network coordination still remains a “missing link” that can bridge between molecular/ cellular processes and behavioral phenomena in our understanding of mechanisms that underlie cognitive function and dysfunction. Our findings provide a crucial foundation to investigate if impairments in physiological network patterns lead to deficits in memory and cognition. Our research provides crucial insight into several neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders involving these two key regions, such as autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and schizophrenia.


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