Oxytocin and epigenetic mechanisms in mouse models of empathy and autism
UNDERGRAD INSTITUTION AND MAJOR:
St. Olaf College, BA in Biology and Neuroscience, 2009
Jonathan Gewirtz, Ph.D.
THESIS COMMITTEE MEMBERS
- Michael O'Connor, Ph.D., Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development (Chair)
- Anindya Bagchi, Ph.D., Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development
- Jonathan Gewirtz, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
- Irving Gottesman, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
DESCRIPTION OF GRADUATE RESEARCH
My research investigates social cognition (empathy) using mouse behavioral paradigms. I approach this research with a range of genetic models, pharmacological agents, and neuromodulatory techniques. Ultimately, my research aims to uncover the neural substrates of socio-emotional processes within the brain, and translate this knowledge to understanding endophenotypes of psychiatric diseases.
- Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
- Neuroimaging and Optogenetics
- Neuropsychiatric Disease
GRADUATE LEVEL AWARDS AND HONORS
- MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Fellowship, 2015-2016
- Stark Award for Advanced Scholarship, 2015
- Sping and Ying Ngoh Lin Award, 2013
- Training Program in Cognitive Sciences, 2012-2014
- GPN/Milne-Brandenburg Award, 2012
GRADUATE LEVEL PUBLICATIONS
- Pisansky MT, Gottesman II, Gewirtz JC. Oxytocin enhances empathy in mice. Manuscript accepted (pending revisions) at Nature Communications. In Preparation.
- Pisansky MT, Gottesman II, Gewirtz JC. Social endophenotypes in mouse models of psychiatric disease. Animal Models of Behavior Genetics. Springer, New York, New York. In Preparation.
- Pisansky MT, Young AE, O'Connor MB, Gottesman II, Bagchi A, Gewirtz JC. Mice lacking the chromodomain helicase DNA-binding 5 chromatin remodeler display autism-like characteristics. Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Jun 13;7(6):e1152.PMID: 28608855
- Tran PV, Kennedy BC, Pisansky MT, Won K-J, Gewirtz JC, Simmons RA, Georgieff MK. (2016) Prenatal choline supplementation diminishes early-life iron deficiency induced reprogramming of molecular networks associated with behavioral abnormalities in the adult rat hippocampus. J Nutr. 146:484-493.
- Pisansky MT, O'Connor M, Gottesman II, Bagchi A, Gewirtz JC. (2015) Deletion of the Chd5 chromatin remodeler in mice produces patterns of gene expression and behavior consistent with autism. Submitted to Nature Communications.
- McBrayer ZL, Dimova J, Pisansky MT, Sun M, Beppu H, Gewirtz JC, O'Connor MB. (2015) Hippocampus and forebrain-specific loss of BMPRII affects swimming, anxiety, and object exploration in mus musculus. PLoS One. 10(10):e0139860.
- Pisansky MT, Gottesman II, Gewirtz JC. (2015) Socio-communicative endophenotypes in mouse models of psychiatric disease. In: Animal Models of Behavioral Genetics.
- Pisansky MT, Wickham RJ, Su J, Fretham S, Yuan L-L, Sun M, Gewirtz JC, Georgieff MK. (2013) Iron deficiency with or without anemia impairs pre-pulse inhibition of the startle reflex. Hippocampus. 23:952-62.
- Doud AJ, Lucas JP, Pisansky MT, He B. (2011) Continuous three-dimensional control of a virtual helicopter using a motor imagery based brain-computer interface. PLoS One. 6:e26322.
GRADUATE LEVEL ABSTRACTS
- Pisansky MT, Gewirtz JC. Intranasal oxytocin enhances socially transmitted fear behavior in mice. Presented at the 2015 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting; Chicago, IL. November 2015.
- Young A, Pisansky MT, Gewirtz JC. Socio-communicative deficits in serine racemase knockout mice. Presented at the 2015 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting; Chicago, IL. November 2015.
- Pisansky MT, O’Connor M, Gottesman II, Bagchi A, Gewirtz JC. Deletion of the Chd5 chromatin remodeler in mice results in socio-emotional and transcriptional features of autism. Presented at the 2015 Wisconsin Symposium on Emotion; Madison, WI. April 2015.
- Pisansky MT, Gewirtz JC. Social fear learning in mice using a novel conditioned place aversion paradigm. Presented at the 2014 Pavlovian Society Annual Meeting; Seattle, WA. September 2014.
- Gewirtz JC, Pisansky MT, Wickham RJ, Su J, Fretham S, Yuan L-L, Sun M, Georgieff MK. Iron deficiency impairs prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex in mouse and rat models. Presented at the 2013 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting; San Diego, CA. November 2013.
- Doud AJ, Lucas JP, Pisansky MT, He B. Three-dimensional virtual helicopter control: frontiers in brain-computer interface. Presented at the 2011 IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering; Cancun, Mexico. April 2011.
- Brain Club, U of MN, 2015
- MidBrains Neuroscience Consortium, Bethel University, 2015
- Neuroscience Capstone Course, Carleton College, 2015
- Interview Weekend, Psychology, 2015
- Recruitment Weekend, GPN, 2015
- Colloquium, GPN, 2014
- Neuroscience Club, St. Olaf College, 2012, 2013, 2014
- Spring Research Day, Center for Cognitive Sciences (UMN), 2013
- Angus MacDonald III, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
- Kelvin Lim, M.D., Department of Psychiatry
- Jonathan Gewirtz, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
- Cheryl Olman, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
- Student Board, Fourth and Fifth Year Representative, 2014-2016
- Center for Cognitive Sciences Executive Committee Pre-Doctoral Representative, 2013-2015
- Mentorship Committee Co-Head, 2012-2013
- Center for Cognitive Sciences Colloquium Committee, 2012-2015
- Brain Awareness Week, Various, 2009-present
- Social and Affective Neuroscience Society, 2015 – present
- Pavlovian Society, 2014 – present
- Center for Neurobehavioral Development (UMN), 2011 – present
- Center for Cognitive Sciences (UMN), 2011 – present
- Society for Neuroscience, 2009 – present
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE UMN?
I chose the GPN because of its prestige, my family and the cities.
STUDENT MENTOR AND THE BEST ADVICE THEY GAVE.
Don't sweat the small stuff. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Develop means of stress relief (exercise, friends, and/or happy hour!). If you don't fail, you can't succeed.