Brian Sweis

Ph.D. 2018

Member of MSTP (MD/PhD) program

E-MAIL: sweis001@umn.edu

Undergraduate Institution and Major:

Loyola University Chicago, BS in Biology and BA in Psychology, 2012

Graduate Advisor:

Mark Thomas, Ph.D., Departments of Neuroscience and Psychology
David Redish, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

Thesis Title:

Beyond simple tests of value: A neuroeconomic, translational, disease-relevant, and circuit-based approach to resolve the computational complexity of decision making

Current Position:

Medical School, University of Minnesota

Thesis Committee Members:

Description Of Graduate Research:

My work is focused on understanding how neural circuits underlying complex decision-making behavior change in the context of addiction, and how these changes can be ameliorated with neuromodulation interventions. This is accomplished using novel neuroeconomic decision-making tasks alongside in vivo mouse optogenetics and slice electrophysiology in the Thomas lab and in vivo rat electrophysiology in the Redish lab. Our neuromodulation interventions take two approaches: (1) to alter synaptic plasticity that may be underlying pathology and (2) to alter on-going information processing during decision-making in real-time. My work is also part of a larger collaborative project translating efforts into healthy humans and addicts using fMRI with Angus MacDonald III, PhD, Psychology, and Kelvin Lim, MD, Psychiatry.


Research Categories:

  • Behavioral & Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Drug Abuse & Addiction
  • Synaptic Plasticity & Learning
  • Neuromodulation & Optogenetics

Graduate Level Awards and Honors:

  • NIDA F30 National Research Service Award, 2017-21
  • MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Fellowship, 2016-17
  • MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Fellowship, 2015-16
  • SFN travel grant to the Japan Neuroscience Society Meeting in Yokohama, Japan, 2016
  • COGS graduate student travel grant for American Academy of Neurology, Canada, 2016
  • American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry travel grant, Huntington Beach, CA, 2015
  • UofM MD/PhD travel grant to the American Physician Scientists Association / American Society for Clinical Investigation Joint Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 2015
  • American Academy of Neurology travel grant, Washington, D.C., 2015

Graduate Level Publications:

  • Sweis BM, Thomas MJ, Redish AD. Beyond simple test of value: measuring addiction as a heterogeneous disease of computation-specific valuation processes. Learn. Mem. 2018;25:510-512.
  • Sweis BM, Abram SV, Schmidt BJ, Seeland KD, MacDonald, AW III, Thomas MJ, Redish AD. Sensitivity to "sunk costs" in mice, rats, and humans. Science 2018;361:178-181.
  • Sweis BM, Redish, AD, Thomas MJ. Prolonged abstinence from cocaine or morphine disrupts separable valuations during decision conflict. Nat Commun. 2018 Jun 28;9(1):2521.
  • Sweis BM, Thomas MJ, Redish AD. Mice learn to avoid regret. PLoS Biol. 2018;16(6):e2005853.
  • Sweis BM, Larson EB, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Altering gain of the infralimbic-to-accumbens shell circuit alters economically dissociable decision-making algorithms. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Jun 18. pii: 201803084.
  • Satrom KM, Ennis K, Sweis BM, Matveeva TM, Chen J, Hanson L, Maheshwari A, Rao R. Neonatal hyperglycemia induces CXCL10/CXCR3 signaling and microglial activation and impairs long-term synaptogenesis in the hippocampus and alters behavior in rats. J Neuroinflammation. 2018 Mar 15;15(1):82.
  • Sweis BM, Bachour SP, Brekke JA, Gewirtz JC, Sadeghi-Bazargani H, Hevesi M, Divani AA.  A modified beam-walking apparatus for assessment of anxiety in a rodent model of blast traumatic brain injury.  Behav Brain Res. 2016;296:149-156.
  • Bachour SP, Hevesi M, Bachour O, Sweis BM, Mahmoudi J, Brekke JA, Divani AA. Comparisons between Garcia, Modo, and Longa rodent stroke scales: Optimizing resource allocation in rat models of focal middle cerebral artery occlusion. J Neurol Sci. 2016;364:136-40.
  • Divani AA, Murphy AJ, Sadeghi-Bzargani H, Sweis BM, SantaCruz K., Monga M. Characteristics of a novel lithotripsy shock wave blast traumatic brain injury. J Neurol Sci. 2015;201;357:e61-e62.

Rotations:

Other Committee Involvement:

  • Center for Cognitive Sciences, Executive Council, 2015
  • Student interest group in Neurology, President 2013-2014

Professional Outreach:

  • MnDRIVE & GPN Minnesota State Fair Health & Education Booth, 2015
  • Brain Awareness Week:
  • 1st through 8th Grade, Marcy Open Middle School, 2014
  • 7th Grade Biology, Richfield Middle School, 2013
  • Scientific Judge at the Regional High School MN STEM Fair Competitions, 2015
  • Scientific Judge at the Regional High School MN State Science Bowl Competition, 2015

Professional Memberships:

  • 2015-Present American Physician Scientists Association Member
  • 2015-Present Center for Cognitive Sciences, Executive Council, UMN
  • 2015-Present American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry Member
  • 2014-Present American Academy of Neurology Member
  • 2014-2015 Graduate & Professional Student Assembly Council, UMN+
  • 2012-Present Student Interest Group in Neurology, President & Council
  • 2012-Present American Medical Student Association Member
  • 2010-Present Society for Neuroscience Member

Graduate Level Abstracts:

  • Sweis BM, McLaughlin AE, Hutchison CEE, Mancebo DM, Jones MAH, Thompson AR, Thomas MJ, Redish AD. Sunk costs and intertemporal choices in a neuroeconomic foraging task in mice. Poster to be presented at Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Washington, DC, November 2017.
  • Valdes FD, Sweis BM, Silvis K, Larson EM, Thomas MJ, Mermelstein PG. The estrous cycle modulates reinstatement of cocaine conditioned place preference. Poster to be presented at Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Washington, DC, November 2017.
  • Sweis BM, Abram S, Schmidt B, Breton Y, Thomas MJ, MacDonald AW, Redish AD. Sunk cost effects appear similar in parallel neuroeconomic foraging tasks in mice, rats, and humans. Poster to be presented at Society for Neuroeconomics Meeting, Toronto, Canada, October 2017.
  • Sweis BM, Mancebo DM, McLaughlin AE, Hutchison CE, Jones MAH, Esguerra M, Thomas MJ. An optogenetic approach to measuring synaptic plasticity in corticostriatal ensembles. Integrative Biology and Physiology Symposium, September 2017.
  • Sweis AM, Glispie D, Sweis BM, Lee K, Joe S. Identification of post-operative trends in endoscopic sinus surgery. Poster presented at Annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Chicago, IL, September 2017.
  • Andrews K, Sweis A, Sweis BM, Toriumi D. Effects of rhinoplasty technique on nasal tip projection. Poster presented at Annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Chicago, IL, September 2017.
  • Sweis BM, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Drug use disrupts reward valuation conflict underlying wanting despite knowing better in mice. Poster/talk to be presented at Gordon Research Conference: Catecholamines meeting, Sunday River Newry, ME, August 2017.
  • Mancebo DM, Sweis BM, McLaughlin AE, Thomas MJ. Characterizing plasticity changes in specific corticostriatal ensembles. Poster presented at the Life Science Summer Undergraduate Research Program Symposium, Minneapolis, August 2017.
  • McLaughlin AE, Mancebo DM, Thompson AR, Sweis BM, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Chronic drug use and relapse changes the algorithms underlying valuation in decision-making. Poster presented at Biomedical Research Recognition Day, Minneapolis, MN, May 2017.
  • Sweis BM, McLaughlin AE, Murray KM, Thompson AR, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Chronic drug use and relapse changes the algorithms underlying valuation in decision-making. Poster presented at MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Retreat, Minneapolis, MN, May 2017.
  • Sweis BM, McLaughlin AE, Murray KM, Thompson AR, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Chronic drug use and relapse changes the algorithms underlying valuation in decision-making. Poster presented at Center for Cognitive Sciences Spring Research Day, Minneapolis, MN, April 2017.
  • Sweis BM, McLaughlin AE, Murray KM, Thompson AR, Redish AD, Thomas MJ.  Chronic drug use and relapse changes the algorithms underlying valuation in decision-making. Poster presented at Graduate Program in Neuroscience Annual Retreat, Minneapolis, MN, February 2017.
  • Sweis BM, McLaughlin AE, Murray KM, Thompson AR, Redish AD, Thomas MJ.  Chronic drug use and relapse changes the algorithms underlying valuation in decision-making. Poster presented at Wallin Biomedical Discovery Day, Minneapolis, MN, February 2017.
  • Sweis BM, Asp AJ, Brancel SRK, Thomas MJ, Redish AD. Using a novel neuroeconomic decision-making foraging task to test mouse models of addiction. Poster presented at Institute of Translational Neuroscience Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, January 2017.
  • Sweis BM, Asp AJ, Brancel SRK, Thomas MJ, Redish AD. Using a novel neuroeconomic decision-making foraging task to test mouse models of addiction. Poster presented at Society for Neuroscience Meeting, San Diego, CA, November 2016.
  • Sweis BM, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Interrogating neural circuitry underlying neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction. Poster presented at Japan Neuroscience Society Meeting, Yokohama, Japan, July 2016.
  • Sweis BM, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Optogenetic modulation of decision-making circuitry in mouse models of addiction. Talk & poster presented at MnDRIVE Brain Conditions Annual Retreat, Minneapolis, MN, May 2016.
  • Sweis BM, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Interrogating neural circuitry underlying neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction: A functional approach to translation. Talk & poster presented at Minnesota Neuromodulation Symposium, Minneapolis, MN, April 2016.
  • Sweis BM, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Interrogating neural circuitry underlying neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction: A functional approach to translation. Talk & poster presented at Wallin Biomedical Discovery Day before Nobel laureate Dr. Thomas Sudhof, Minneapolis, MN, April 2016
  • Sweis BM, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Interrogating neural circuitry underlying neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction: A functional approach to translation. Poster presented at American Physician Scientists Association / American Society for Clinical Investigation / Association of American Physicians Joint Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, April 2016.
  • Hevesi M, Bachour SP, Safinia C, Sweis BM, Divani AA. A novel method to induce blast traumatic brain injury in rodents. Poster presented at American Academy of Neurology International Conference, Vancouver, Canada, April 2016.
  • Sweis BM, Bachour SP, Safinia C, Hevesi M, Divani AA. A modified beam-walking apparatus for assessment of anxiety in a rodent model of blast traumatic brain injury. Poster presented at American Academy of Neurology International Conference, Vancouver, Canada, April 2016.
  • Bachour SP, Hevesi M, Sweis BM, Safinia C, Divani AA. Comparisons between different rodent stroke scales: Optimizing resource allocation in rat models of focal middle cerebral artery occlusion. Poster presented at American Academy of Neurology International Conference, Vancouver, Canada, April 2016.
  • Sweis BM, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction. Poster presented at Institute of Translational Neuroscience Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, January 2016.
  • Sweis BM, Bachour SP, Safinia C, Divani AA. A novel pre-clinical rodent model of blast traumatic brain injury & a novel modified beam-walking apparatus for assessment of anxiety. Poster presented at University of Minnesota William Kennedy Neurology Research Symposium, October 2015.
  • Sweis BM, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction. Poster presented at American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, November 2015.
  • Sweis BM, Zheng C, Brancel S, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction. Poster presented at University of Minnesota Medical School Dean’s Distinguished Lectureship, October 2015.
  • Divani AA, Murphy AJ, Sadeghi-Bazargani H, Sweis BM, Bachour SP, SantaCruz KS, Monga M. Characteristics of a Novel Lithotripsy Shock Wave Blast Traumatic Brain Injury. Poster presented at XXII World Congress of Neurology, Santiago, Chile. Oct 31- November 5, 2015.
  • Sweis BM, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction. Talk presented at MD/PhD Annual Retreat, University of Minnesota, July 2015.
  • Sweis BM, Zheng C, Brancel S, Redish AD, Thomas MJ. Neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction. Poster presented at University of Minnesota Annual Research Recognition Day, March 2015.
  • Divani AA, Sadeghi-Bazargani H, Murphy MJ, Sweis BM, Bachour SP, Monga A. Creation of a novel preclinical model of primary blast-induced traumatic brain injury by using lithotripsy Shock Wave. Poster presented at XXVIIth International Symposium on Cerebral Blood Flow, Metabolism and Function & XIIth International Conference. Vancouver, Canada. June 2015.
  • Sweis BM, Bachour SP, Murphy AJ, Divani AA. A novel preclinical model of moderate primary blast-induced traumatic brain injury. Poster presented at American Academy of Neurology International Conference, Washington, D.C., April 2015.
  • Bachour SP, Sweis BM, Hevasi M, Divani AA. A modified beam-walking apparatus for assessment of anxiety in a rodent model of blast traumatic brain injury. Poster presented at American Academy of Neurology International Conference, Washington, D.C., April 2015.

Professional Presentations:

  • Chronic drug use and relapse changes the algorithms underlying valuation in decision-making, Graduate Program in Neuroscience Colloquium Series, UMN. 2017
  • Neural Circuits of Stress, Fear, Anxiety, and Depression, NSCI3102W, UMN. 2016
  • Decision-making of Regret and Disappointment, PSYCH5064 Brain & Emotion, UMN. 2016
  • Optogenetic modulation of decision-making circuitry in mouse models of addiction, MnDRIVE Brain Conditions Annual Retreat. 2016.
  • Interrogating neural circuitry underlying neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction: A functional approach to translation, MN Neuromodulation Symposium. 2016.
  • Interrogating neural circuitry underlying neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction: A functional approach to translation, Wallin Biomedical Discovery Day before Nobel laureate Dr. Thomas Sudhof, UMN. 2016.
  • Neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction, Graduate Program in Neuroscience Colloquium Series, UMN. 2016
  • Neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction, Center for Cognitive Sciences Spring Research Day, UMN. 2016.
  • Neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction, BIOL303 Neuroscience, Loyola University Chicago. 2016.
  • Regret in Neuroeconomic Decision-Making, PSY5064 Brain and Emotion, UMN. 2015.
  • Addiction, Decision-Making, and Optogenetics; Future Leaders in Science & Healthcare, UMN. 2015.
  • Neuroeconomic decision-making in mouse models of addiction, MD/PhD Annual Retreat, UMN. 2015.
  • Personal Academic Journey and Research Experience in an MD/PhD Program, St. Olaf College. 2015.
  • Addiction, Decision-Making, and Optogenetics; NEUR395 Capstone Seminar, Carleton College. 2015.
  • Optogenetics, MnDRIVE update for Minnesota House of Representative Marion O’Neil, UMN. 2015.
  • Optogenetics, Brain Club Special Seminar Series, UMN. 2015.
  • A Marketing Plan to Harness Growth Potential in Heart Failure Device Therapy Market: PAR-B Study Endorses Expanded Clinical Indications for CRT-D/P Device Family. Medtronic Interdisciplinary Case Competition, UMN. 2012.

Why Did You Choose MN?

The caliber of neuroscience research, the vast amount of resources (especially compared to the smaller liberal arts school I came from), the incredibly collaborative nature of everyone in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, the on-going translational efforts with the medical school, and the major metropolitan (two cities!) area not too far from my home in Chicago all played a role in my decision to come to the U of MN.

What Advice Would You Give A First Year Graduate Student?

Try to take advantage of how collaborative everyone here is and try to plan rotations that capitalize on this – joint rotations, collaborative projects, and co-advisorships are things I would highly encourage experiencing.

Brian Swies