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Lavin Laboratory



The Lavin lab is interested in the cellular underpinnings of neurodevelopmental disorders and addiction. We study changes occurring in PFC neurons in a genetic model of cognitive deficits (Dysbidin -1 mice) using patch clamp techniques in cortical slices, behavioral paradigms, and western blots. More recently we began to incorporate resting state fMRI in mice.

Moreover, we are interested in the cortical changes occurring as a consequence of drug abuse (cocaine). Using either cocaine self-administration or CPP as behavioral paradigms, we assess cellular changes in prefrontal cortex using patch clamp recordings in brain slices, LTP and LTD in vivo and in brim slices and ontogenetic techniques. Our progress in the study of neurodevelopmental disorders and drug abuse can be found in the link to publications.

Our Team

Antonieta Lavin, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator 

Devesh Mishra, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar 

Jose Pena-Bravo
Graduate Student 

Jose received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey in 2010. After graduating, Jose attended UNC-Chapel Hill's PREP program and joined Dr. Thomas Kash’s lab. In 2011, he joined Dr. Antonieta Lavin's lab as a student in the Neuroscience Ph.D. program. His current project focuses on understanding the role of prefrontal cortical calcium-permeable AMPA receptors in mediating relapse to cocaine-seeking in rats.

Jessica Breedlove

Jessica received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Clemson University. Following graduation, Jessica was accepted into MUSC’s PREP program and joined Dr. Lavin’s lab in 2015. Her current project uses fMRI to investigate the use of the drug fingolimod as a means of treating the cognitive deficits present in mice models of Schizophrenia. The results of this study can hopefully be translated to human treatment of Schizophrenia in the future. Following her completion of the PREP program, Jessica plans to pursue her Ph.D. in Neuroscience.