Mackenzie Lab

We are interested in understanding how the brain regulates behavior in different contexts. The subthalamic nucleus (STN) and dopamine/glutamate transmission from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) control affective, cognitive and motor functions. Their circuities are dysregulated in several severe neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders such as Parkinson, anxiety, compulsion and addiction. Better treatment relies on improved knowledge of underlying neurocircuitry, both their anatomical composition and their physiological function. We work with these aspects by implementing molecular, histological, transgenic and optogenetic methodology. We connect selected neurons to whole-organism behavior, and explore the effect of context. Our research aims to experimentally decode brain complexity – in both health and disease.


We have new publications!

Gian Pietro Serra, et al. (2023), A role for the subthalamic nucleus in aversive learning, Cell Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.113328

Vlcek B, Dumas S, Ekmark-Lewén S, Rubino E, Ingelsson M, Wallén-Mackenzie Å. Aldh1a1 and additional markers of dopamine cell heterogeneity in substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area identified as preserved in two transgenic α-synuclein mouse models of neurodegenerative disease. Explor Neuroprot Ther. 2023;3:299–327.

Photo: Alessia Ricci
Åsa Mackenzie with the two first-authors Bianca Vlcek
and Gian Pietro Serra of two scientifc papers published
in October and November.

Last modified: 2023-11-08