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Dr. Francis S. Lee Lab

Our research program is focused on connecting molecular neuroscience with psychiatry through mechanistic studies of how growth and plasticity factors, such as BDNF and endocannabinoids, contribute to the pathophysiology and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Through collaborations with researchers at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, our lab has pioneered vertically integrated research strategies to perform parallel genetic mouse model studies with human behavioral and imaging studies to identify how individual variation contributes to risk and resilience for mental illness.

Latest News

Preclinical Study Links Human Gene Variant to THC Reward in Adolescent Females

A common variation in a human gene that affects the brain’s reward processing circuit increases vulnerability to the rewarding effects of the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis in adolescent females, but not males, according to preclinical research by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators. As adolescence represents a highly sensitive period of brain development with the highest risk for initiating cannabis use, these findings in mice have important implications for understanding the influence of genetics on cannabis dependence in humans.