at Duke University
engineers and neuroscientists working together to solve the brain
Our lab develops tools to empower the neuroscience community. We believe that tools should be as simple as possible, while addressing broad conceptual questions.
For example, DART (Drugs Acutely Restricted by Tethering) makes it possible to deliver traditional drugs to defined cell types in a behaving animal. There are two steps:
(1) first, a virus is used to select the cells of interest.
(2) weeks later, any drug from of our catalog can be delivered exclusively to these cells, with no effect on neighboring cells.
As with traditional pharmacology, DART involves no overexpression of the receptor of interest, and drug effects have acute onset. Unlike traditional pharmacology, DART is cell type-specific. This makes it possible to map "drug x cell-type" effects on behavior, without caveats of overexpression or compensatory artifacts.
We keep making DART better. Our priorities are to expand the available drug catalog, and to make the tool even easier to use via whole-brain non-invasive dosing. If you have an interest in DART, we collaborate extensively, and are eager to help.
Our lab develops tools to empower the neuroscience community. We think tools should be simple, while addressing broad conceptual questions.
For example, DART (drugs acutely restricted by tethering) makes it possible to deliver pharmaceuticals to defined cells of a behaving animal―in two steps:
first, a virus is used to select the cells of interest.
weeks later, any drug in our catalog can be delivered to these cells, with no effect on neighboring cells.
Like traditional pharmacology, DART has acute onset and involves no receptor overexpression. DART is also cell type-specific. These features are unique, making it possible to map "drug x cell-type" effects on behavior, without overexpression or compensatory artifacts.
We keep making DART better, and are expanding the drug catalog. If you have an interest in DART, we collaborate extensively, and are eager to help.
Shields BC*, Kahuno EW*, Kim C*, Apostolides PF*, Brown J, Lindo S, Mensh BD, Dudman JT, Lavis LD, Tadross MR‡. "Deconstructing behavioral neuropharmacology with cellular specificity." Science 356, no. 6333 (2017).
Manz KM, Coleman BC, Grueter CA, Shields BC, Tadross MR, Grueter BA. "Noradrenergic signaling disengages feedforward transmission in the nucleus accumbens shell." Journal of Neuroscience JN-RM-2420-20 (2021).
Joffe ME, Maksymetz J, Luschinger JR, Dogra S, Ferranti AS, Luessen DJ, Gallinger IM, Xiang Z, Branthwaite H, Melugin PR, Williford KM, Centanni SW, Shields BC, Lindsley CW, Calipari ES, Siciliano, CA, Niswender CM, Tadross MR, Winder DG, Conn PJ. "Acute restraint stress redirects prefrontal cortex circuit function through mGlu5 receptor plasticity on somatostatin-expressing interneurons." Neuron (in press, 2022).
Click here to see our full list of publications
Pratt School of Engineering
Bryan Research Building
311 Research Drive, Room 331
Durham, NC, 27710