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Michigan Postdoctoral Pioneer Program, 2021

Collaborative PIs


Christian Burgess, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Assistant Research Professor, Michigan Neuroscience Institute

Co - Mentor

Daniel Leventhal, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Neurology



Dopaminergic Contributions to Dexterous Skill

 Drs. Leventhal and Burgess have a collaboration focused understanding the role for dopamine and learning and post-training consolidation of fine motor skill. Currently, the project is centered on recording and manipulating dopamine release during learning of skilled reaching behavior in both rats and mice. The labs are using in vivo photometry, optogenetics, and DeepLabCut-based machine learning approaches to identify when and where dopamine is released to reinforce motor learning. Future directions include high-density neural recordings and in vivo two-photon calcium imaging experiments to elucidate dopamine‚Äôs effects in specific downstream brain regions.