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Central-Peripheral Interactions Pathophysiology Program


This program supports research directed towards understanding how dysfunction in neural systems and other biological systems contribute to psychopathology and dimensional behavioral disorders in adults (ages 18+). There is an emphasis on the functional relationship between interacting neural circuitries and peripheral biological systems and processes. Key questions include how these interactions contribute to symptoms or dimensional constructs (RDoC) that are characteristic of mental disorders and how such interactions can be exploited for translational therapeutic development. Experimental approaches may include genetic analysis, endocrine function, bioenergetics, animal models, neuroimaging, and molecular approaches.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Comparisons between CNS characteristics of brain disorders sharing specific abnormal behaviors along dimensional constructs within the NIMH RDoC framework
  • Elucidation of the role of mitochondrial bioenergetics in cells, circuits, and systems-level domains of cognitive, affective, and social dysfunction in mental disorders
  • Characterization and validation of neural systems and peripheral markers that directly or indirectly reflect abnormal behavioral processes
  • Examining the biological pathways implicated in sex differences associated with mental disorders
  • Testing how central-peripheral signaling pathways can be exploited for translational therapeutics development and how these mechanisms link to dysfunctional behavior


Victoria Arango, Ph.D.
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7118