Assistant Professor, IPN, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Member, Center for Reproductive Biology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Dr. Kristen Delevich completed a B.Sc. in Neuroscience and Philosophy in 2009 at the University of Pittsburgh. She then went on to complete a Ph.D in Biological Sciences in 2015 at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. She was then a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley in the Psychology department and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute until 2021 when she started her faculty position at Washington State University.
Our lab aims to identify key cell types and neural circuits that undergo changes in structure and function during adolescence, determine whether these processes differ in males and females, and reveal how changes in neural circuits relate to behaviors that are relevant to core symptoms of psychiatric disease and substance use disorders, and decision-making more broadly. Understanding how puberty may differentially impact the maturation of key neural circuits in males and females will be important to understanding the etiology of diseases that emerge during adolescence, including anxiety-related and psychotic disorders, as well as disorders whose trajectories are positively modified over adolescence, such as Tourette’s syndrome.
To accomplish these goals we apply a variety of approaches to examine neural structure and function in a cell type and projection-specific manner across development. Techniques include slice electrophysiology (including optogenetic circuit dissection), viral tracing, confocal microscopy, near infrared catecholamine sensor (nIRCat) imaging, and in vivo fiber photometry. To examine the influence of puberty on brain maturation, we perform surgical and hormonal manipulations. Finally, we combine in vivo manipulation experiments (e.g. chemogenetics) with behavior and computational modeling to better understand the processes underlying behavior.
WSU New Faculty Seed Grant
Coming of age in the frontal cortex: the role of puberty in synaptic pruning (PI) 05/16/21 – 8/15/22
BBRF Young Investigator Grant
Sex and developmental differences in presynaptic modulation of dopamine release by antipsychotics (PI) 01/15/20 – 1/14/22
Tourette’s Association of America Young Investigator Award
Pubertal influence on feedforward inhibition in corticostriatal circuits: implications for adolescent tic remittance (PI) 10/01/19 – 9/30/21