Gary Aston-Jones, Ph.D.

Gary Aston-Jones, Ph.D.


William E. Murray Endowed Chair of Excellence in Neuroscience
and Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Center and
the Neuroscience Institute
Medical University of South Carolina

Dr. Aston-Jones’s research focuses on the modulation of reward behavior, addiction and cognitive functions by ascending brain monoamine and peptide systems, and uses neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and behavioral neuropharmacology in animal studies. He has directed a well-funded lab for more than 20 years and chaired the Neurobiology of Motivated Behavior study section at National Institutes of Health.

He and his colleagues have recently described a role for the brain noradrenergic locus coeruleus system in decision and behavioral flexibility, as well as a key role for the neuropeptides orexin/hypocretins in reward processing and addiction.

Dr. Aston-Jones earned his Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the California Institute of Technology with Floyd Bloom, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Salk Institute.