From my earliest days in the laboratory, I’ve been particularly interested in questions that give us a better picture of how the brain turns external stimuli into lasting decisions and driven by the vision of using the answers to try to improve human mental health. I honed this translational ethos during my training at Purdue, Vanderbilt, and Scripps, which included clinical work in inpatient psychiatric units, mechanistically novel academic drug discovery efforts, and the search for biomarkers of response to vaccines directed against abusable psychoactive substances. Though I absorbed something new every day throughout these varied experiences, one of the most consistent lessons I learned is that the effective scope of a project is driven by the skills of the team supporting it.
Thus, I am thrilled to now have the honor of directing a group of talented, curious individuals from both clinical and basic science backgrounds, and I relish the unexpected insights and challenges that arise as we work through forward-looking problems at the interface of chemistry, neuroscience, physiology, and pharmacology. Whether through development of vaccines directed against synthetic psychoactive drugs, pharmacologic dissection of rapidly acting antidepressant activity, or manipulation of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy context, current projects in my lab ultimately focus on maximizing the benefits and minimizing the harms arising from chemically induced mechanisms of long-term behavioral change.
If you’re interested in joining the Wenthur Lab’s efforts as a student, resident, collaborator, or community partner, I encourage you to look through our other member biographies, current research projects, and publications to get a more detailed picture of our work. Peek at our gallery and news to keep up with recent updates. And, of course, follow the lab on LinkedIn or Twitter, fill out the contact form on this website, or simply email me when you’re ready to reach out.