Vadim Bolshakov, Ph.D.

Vadim Bolshakov, Ph.D.
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Scientific Council Member (Joined 2021)

2013 Distinguished Investigator

2006, 2004 Independent Investigator Grant

Vadim Bolshakov, Ph.D.

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Harvard Medical School

Director, Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory

McLean Hospital

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Dr. Bolshakov focuses his research efforts on understanding synaptic, neuronal and brain circuit-level mechanisms of learned and innate fear using a combination of electrophysiological, cell biological, chemo- and optogenetic techniques. His laboratory at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School identified several mechanisms of pathway specificity of lasting synaptic modifications in fear conditioning circuits helping to maintain functional independence of the convergent inputs. These mechanisms contribute to directionality of the information flow in fear conditioning pathways, providing a mechanism for the conditioned stimulus discrimination during fear memory retrieval. Dr. Bolshakov’s laboratory demonstrated also that both synaptic modifications in afferent inputs to the amygdala associated with fear conditioning and the ability to acquire and retain fear memory can be regulated by the neural circuitry-specific gene expression, providing genetic evidence that plasticity in the conditioned stimulus pathways serves as a cellular mechanism of fear memory formation.

Before joining McLean Hospital, Dr. Bolshakov completed his postdoctoral training at Columbia University.

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