Areas of Interest
Throughout my research career, I have focused on the neurobiology of affective neuroscience. My main area of interest is neuromodulators of motivation and emotion, both positive and negative. I have primarily focused on the role of growth factors in the hippocampus. Specifically, I study various members of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family, and how they modulate behavior and neuroplasticity.
My overall goal is to develop biomarkers and novel therapeutics for depression and anxiety. Currently, I am involved in two projects, one clinical and one basic. The latter project involves identifying novel molecules from post-mortem human brain studies and then testing proprietary compounds that target these molecules for antidepressant activity. Promising candidates are then followed up by neuroanatomical and neurochemical techniques to identify their mechanism of action. The other project involves developing a predictive algorithm to determine vulnerability and resilience to depression and anxiety in college freshmen. Various clinical, hormonal, genetic and activity measures are collected at baseline, and the students are followed on measures of anxiety and depression during the year. The ultimate goal of these two projects is to improve the prevention and treatment of mood disorders.
Honors & Awards
4 US Patents Awarded
2011 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) Travel Awardee
2009 Rachel Upjohn Clinical Scholars Award, Department of Psychiatry
1998 Phi Beta Kappa
Turner CA, Watson SJ, Akil H.Neuron. 2012 Oct 4;76(1):160-74. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.08.037.PMID: 23040813
Turner CA, Lyons DM, Buckmaster CL, Aurbach EL, Watson SJ, Schatzberg AF, Akil H.Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019 Jan;44(2):356-363. doi: 10.1038/s41386-018-0052-6. Epub 2018 Apr 9.PMID: 2970399
Aurbach EL, Inui EG, Turner CA, Hagenauer MH, Prater KE, Li JZ, Absher D, Shah N, Blandino P Jr, Bunney WE, Myers RM, Barchas JD, Schatzberg AF, Watson SJ Jr, Akil H.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 22;112(38):11953-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1510456112. Epub 2015 Sep 8.PMID: 26351673
Turner CA, Clinton SM, Thompson RC, Watson SJ Jr, Akil H.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 May 10;108(19):8021-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1103732108. Epub 2011 Apr 25.PMID: 21518861
For more publications please click here.