Dr. David Morilak’s
research addresses the neurobiology of stress and its negative impact on health
and brain function. He studies how the brain adapts to effectively cope with
stress; how chronic stress can lead to serious psychiatric disorders, including
depression, PTSD and other illnesses; and his laboratory investigates new and
more effective therapeutic strategies for the treatment of such disorders.
Approaches span the molecular to the behavioral, incorporating measures of gene
and protein expression, receptor function and signal transduction,
neurotransmitter release, and behavioral assays for anxiety, coping strategies,
cognitive flexibility and stress reactivity in rats. Techniques include rtPCR,
western blot, cell culture, in situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry,
microdialysis, stereotaxic surgery, intracerebral and systemic drug
administration and behavioral pharmacology. His work is funded by grants from
the NIH, DoD, VA, and the pharmaceutical industry.