Central norepinephrine (NE)-producing neurons comprise a diverse population of cells differing in their anatomical location, connectivity, function and response to disease and environmental insult. The goal of my lab is to understand how diversity arises among functionally distinct subtypes of NE neurons, and how the fates and functions of these different subtypes are altered following genetic and environmental perturbations during development. Towards addressing these goals, we have developed a novel set of genetic mouse models to visualize and manipulate select subtypes of NE neurons in vivo. These tools provide, for the first time, a means to determine the effect of altered NE signaling during development on circuits underlying behaviors such as attention and learning & memory.
Dr. Patricia Jensen received her Ph.D. in Anatomy and Neurobiology at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 2002 under Dr. Dan Goldowitz. She trained with Dr. Tom Curran in Developmental Neurobiology at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Dr. Susan Dymecki in Genetics at Harvard Medical School before joining NIEHS at a Tenure-Track Investigator in 2009.