Dieter Brandner

Entering Class - 2018

Member of MSTP (MD/PhD) program


Undergraduate Institution and Major:

Whitman College, B.A. in Biology, 2013

Graduate Advisor:

Patrick Rothwell, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

Graduate Research:

The nucleus accumbens is an important neural substrate of motivated behavior, and alterations in accumbens circuitry have been implicated in a host of human neuropsychiatric disorders ranging from addiction and drug abuse to obsessive compulsive disorder and autism spectrum disorders. I am working with Dr. Patrick Rothwell to investigate the role inhibitory synapses in controlling nucleus accumbens physiology and the behavioral effects of alterations to inhibitory signaling in this region. We are currently interested in the role of Neuroligin-3, a postsynaptic adhesion protein, in controlling structural plasticity at inhibitory synapses following exposure to drugs of abuse

Graduate Publications:

Gross KS, Brandner DD, Martinez LA, Olive MF, Meisel RL, Mermelstein PG. Opposite effects of mGluR1a and mGluR5 activation on nucleus accumbens medium spiny neuron dendritic spine density. PLoS One. 2016; 11:e0162755. PMCID: PMC5019418.


Paul Mermelstein, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

Patrick Rothwell, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

Picture of Dieter Brandner