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Anne West

Associate Professor of Neurobiology
Research Interest: 
Developmental biology
Signal transduction
Research Summary: 
Mechanisms and consequences of stimulus-regulated transcription in the central nervous system.
Research Description: 

The brain is a highly adaptable organ that is capable of converting environmental information into changes in neuronal function. Transcriptional regulators play an essential role in this process by transducing synaptic activity into changes in the regulation of neuronal gene expression programs that are required for the formation, maturation, and plasticity of synapses. We use molecular genetic model systems, sophisticated behavioral analyses, biochemical and cell biological methods, and high-throughput sequencing techniques to elucidate the mechanisms by which transcriptional regulatory proteins promote neuronal adaptations to changes in the environment. In addition to enhancing understanding of normal brain development and plasticity, our studies are revealing new insights into how dysregulation of gene transcription contributes to cognitive impairment and mental illness.

Genome-wide activity-dependent MeCP2 phosphorylation regulates nervous system development and function.
Cohen S, Gabel HW, Hemberg M, Hutchinson AN, Sadacca LA, Ebert DH, Harmin DA, Greenberg RS, Verdine VK, Zhou Z, Wetsel WC, West AE, Greenberg ME.
Neuron. 2011. 72:72-85.

Differential regulation of MeCP2 phosphorylation in the CNS by dopamine and serotonin.
Hutchinson AN, Deng JV, Aryal DK, Wetsel WC, West AE.
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012. 37:321-37.

Mechanisms of specificity in neuronal activity-regulated gene transcription.
Lyons MR, West AE.
Prog Neurobiol. 2011. 94:259-95.

MeCP2 in the nucleus accumbens contributes to neural and behavioral responses to psychostimulants.
Deng JV, Rodriguiz RM, Hutchinson AN, Kim IH, Wetsel WC, West AE.
Nat Neurosci. 2010. 13:1128-36.

Reduced cortical BDNF expression and aberrant memory in Carf knock-out mice.
McDowell KA, Hutchinson AN, Wong-Goodrich SJ, Presby MM, Su D, Rodriguiz RM, Law KC, Williams CL, Wetsel WC, West AE.
J Neurosci. 2010. 30:7453-65.