Patricia Jensen, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Neurobiology Laboratory / Developmental Neurobiology Group


David P Rall Building
111 Tw Alexander Dr
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709


Research Topics

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.

Selected Publications

  1. Sciolino NR, Hsiang M, Mazzone CM, Wilson LR, Plummer NW, Amin J, Smith KG, McGee CA, Fry SA, Yang CX, Powell JM, Bruchas MR, Kravitz AV, Cushman JD, Krashes MJ, Cui G, Jensen P. Natural locus coeruleus dynamics during feeding. Sci Adv. 2022;8(33):eabn9134.
  2. Chen YW, Das M, Oyarzabal EA, Cheng Q, Plummer NW, Smith KG, Jones GK, Malawsky D, Yakel JL, Shih YI, Jensen P. Genetic identification of a population of noradrenergic neurons implicated in attenuation of stress-related responses. Mol Psychiatry. 2019;24(5):710-725.
  3. Sciolino NR, Plummer NW, Chen YW, Alexander GM, Robertson SD, Dudek SM, McElligott ZA, Jensen P. Recombinase-Dependent Mouse Lines for Chemogenetic Activation of Genetically Defined Cell Types. Cell Rep. 2016;15(11):2563-73.
  4. Plummer NW, Evsyukova IY, Robertson SD, de Marchena J, Tucker CJ, Jensen P. Expanding the power of recombinase-based labeling to uncover cellular diversity. Development. 2015;142(24):4385-93.
  5. Robertson SD, Plummer NW, de Marchena J, Jensen P. Developmental origins of central norepinephrine neuron diversity. Nat Neurosci. 2013;16(8):1016-23.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Friday, April 12, 2013