Jonathan Oler, PhD
University of Wisconsin
Dr. Oler is a Senior Scientist at the HealthEmotions Research Institute at the University of Wiscosnin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, WI. Jonathan received his PhD from the University of Connecticut (2004) and after a postdoctoral fellowship in emotion research at the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, he subsequently joined the laboratory of Ned Kalin, MD in the Department of Psychiatry. Jonathan’s translational research program focuses on the role of the extended amygdala in emotion and anxiety in humans and nonhuman primates, employing gene delivery methods and chemogenetic technologies to investigate the neural circuitry underlying adaptive and maladaptive anxiety.
The neural circuits of Anxious Temperament: Translational studies in the developing nonhuman primate
Anxiety disorders are common, debilitating and often begin in childhood. Using multimodal brain imaging in a large pedigree of young rhesus monkeys we characterized the neural circuit underlying anxious temperament (AT), a nonhuman primate model of the childhood risk for developing anxiety disorders and depression. To understand the early-life development of AT, we are longitudinally following a cohort of monkeys from birth to one year of age with multimodal neuroimaging and anxiety phenotyping. Along with selective lesioning studies, our neuroimaging findings point to the extended amygdala as playing a critical role in mediating AT. To characterize the molecular underpinnings of AT we performed RNA sequencing of central nucleus of the amygdala (Ce) tissue and neurons. These studies have identified select transcripts (e.g. NTRK3, PKC????) that are predicative of individual differences in the expression of AT. Using intraoperative MRI-guided surgical methods, we are systematically exploring the use of viral vector mediated gene expression to test specific molecular hypotheses and chemogenetic methods to mechanistically alter dorsal amygdala function.