The Impact of Stress on the Neural Transcriptome and Epitranscriptome

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About the talk: Stress is a risk factor for the onset of psychiatric disorders such as major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, yet the majority of individuals are resilient. In the first part of the talk, Anand will review his work on differential transcript-level expression in key brain structures that potentially underpin behavioural and endocrinological phenotypes associated with stress resilience and stress-susceptibility. In the second part of the talk, Anand will discuss his more recent work using Oxford Nanopore Technology to investigate the sex-specific epitranscriptomic amygdala signatures associated with the acquisition of PTSD-like fear memories and how this work represents a new frontier in molecular psychiatry.

Speaker

  • Dr Anand Gururajan is a stress neurobiologist at the Brain & Mind Centre at the University of Sydney. He obtained his PhD from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2012 in behavioural neuropharmacology before switching fields to examine the impact of stress on the brain. He carried out postdoctoral research first at the University of Melbourne and then moved overseas to continue his training in Cork, Ireland.
    Dr Anand Gururajan is a stress neurobiologist at the Brain & Mind Centre at the University of Sydney. He obtained his PhD from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2012 in behavioural neuropharmacology before switching fields to examine the impact of stress on the brain. He carried out postdoctoral research first at the University of Melbourne and then moved overseas to continue his training in Cork, Ireland. There he was awarded a Marie-Curie Fellowship from the European Commission which allowed him to investigate the central and peripheral mediators of resilience and susceptibility to chronic stress in mice. Anand moved back to Australia in 2018 on a research fellowship from the DVCR and setup a research program to further his research into the transcriptional dysregulation in stress-induced disorders. In particular, he has focused on PTSD and has established a highly productive collaboration with Ira Deveson at the Garvan Institute to profile RNA modifications in a mouse model for PTSD using Oxford Nanopore Technology. Today,  Anand will talk to us about his research to uncover the transcriptional signatures associated with the response to acute and chronic stress in the prefrontal cortex, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and the amygdala.