Lisa Gunaydin, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry


Dr. Gunaydin joined the IND in 2016 as an Assistant Professor in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry. She received her BA in Biology from Swarthmore College and her PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University, where she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Karl Deisseroth to develop and apply a variety of novel optogenetic techniques to dissect neural circuitry underlying complex mammalian behaviors. Using a new approach for optical recording of endogenous circuit activity, in combination with optogenetics and electrophysiology, she mapped dopaminergic circuits that control social and anxiety behaviors. As a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Anatol Kreitzer’s lab at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, Dr. Gunaydin applied this toolbox of optical techniques to understand striatal circuits underlying behaviors relevant to obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Dr. Gunaydin’s current research plan at the IND is focused on understanding cortical-subcortical interactions in social and anxiety behaviors. She is using optical recording and stimulation techniques to understand (1) how normal patterns of neural activity are altered in psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease states, and (2) how we can use targeted circuit modulation to reverse these abnormal patterns of activity, with the goal of correcting the pathological behavior and ultimately leading to more specific treatment approaches for these diseases.

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