Research Interests & Foci

CHOE LAB

Integrative
Neurobiology of
Psychiatric
Disorders

NEWS

McMaster logo

McMaster University's Brighter World highlights our work

   Jan 27, 2021

Click here to read the media release!

McMaster logo

Our research was featured on Spectrum News! 

   Jan 13, 2021

Check out this cool writeup by Alla Katsnelson, highlighting our SfN Global Connectome virtual presentation.

McMaster logo

We are growing

   Jan 12, 2021

Sandy Brassel and Kristina Meriel have joined the lab as undergraduate research students. Welcome!

McMaster logo

The Choe lab officially opens and welcomes its new members!

   SEPT 01, 2020

Joshua Rychlik and Katy Sandoval have started their graduate studies as the inaugural members of the Choe lab! 

RESEARCH

The brain controls behaviour in an extremely complex manner, involving various processes at molecular, cellular, circuit, and network levels. Disease-linked gene mutations can create functional disruptions at any of these levels. In our lab, we use a multi-level, integrative research strategy to link how gene mutations associated with psychiatric disorders disrupt social behaviour.

Happy family

OXYTOCIN AND ASD

Oxytocin is a peptide hormone known to influence key components of social behaviour, such as relationship bonding and trust. We are currently investigating potential molecular and circuit mechanisms involved in impaired function of the central oxytocin system and its link to the social symptoms of ASD.

Aerial of a road

CONVERGENT AND DIVERGENT MECHANISMS IN NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS

Neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia have a significant genetic component. More than 100 risk genes have been identified for each condition, and a number of these overlap across disorders. On which neurobiological pathways do these gene mutations converge? Conversely, how do single gene disruptions serve as a risk factor for multiple psychiatric disorders? We aim to answer these questions using an integrative research pipeline that combines molecular, cellular, and circuit approaches in animal models.

TECHNIQUES



MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

qPCR

Bulk and single-cell RNA-seq

Immunohistochemistry

Western blotting




IMAGING

Brain clearing (e.g. iDISCO)

Lightsheet imaging

Confocal imaging




ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY

In vitro slice electrophysiology​
(extracellular, whole-cell patch-clamp)

In vivo multi-unit electrophysiology in freely behaving mice

oxytocin neuron


MOUSE BEHAVIOUR

3-chamber social interaction test​

Juvenile social play

​Open field test

​Y Maze



MOUSE MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI)

Structural MRI

Resting-state fMRI

Optogenetic fMRI

Pharmacologic MRI

PEOPLE

Katrina Choe, Ph.D.
@choekatr

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB)

B.Sc. (Hons.), University of Toronto
Ph.D. Neuroscience, McGill University
Postdoctoral Fellowship, UCLA

Fun Fact: Katrina loves to snowboard. Her favourite spots include Le Massif, Quebec and Cardrona, New Zealand!

Read more

Katrina

Katy Celina Sandoval, M.Sc.
@katycelina_

Ph.D. Student
Neuroscience Graduate Program

M.Sc. Psychology, University of Calgary
B.Sc. Bishop's University 

Fun Fact: Katy loves to sing Latin music. She has previously released two albums as a singer!

Katrina

Joshua Rychlik, B.Sc.
@RychlikJoshua

M.Sc. Student
Neuroscience Graduate Program

B.Sc. McMaster University

Fun Fact: Josh is a Hamilton native, and a lover of cats.

Katrina



Sandy Brassel

Undergraduate Research Student

Honours Program in Biology and Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB)

Fun Fact: Sandy's favourite colour is cerulean blue.

Katrina



Kristina Meriel

Undergraduate Research Student

Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB) Program

Fun Fact: Kristina has recently taken up a new hobby of building computers!

Katrina

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

OPTOGENETIC FMRI AND ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL IDENTIFICATION OF REGION-SPECIFIC CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN THE CEREBELLAR CORTEX AND FOREBRAIN.

NeuroImage (2018)

Choe, K.Y., Sanchez, C.F., Harris, N.G., Otis, T.S., and Mathews, P.J.
PubMed link

publication1

EFFECTS OF SALT LOADING ON THE MORPHOLOGY OF ASTROCYTES IN THE VENTRAL GLIA LIMITANS OF THE RAT SUPRAOPTIC NUCLEUS.

J Neuroendocrinology (2016)

Choe, K.Y., Prager-Khoutorsky, M., Farmer, W.T., Murai, K.K., and Bourque C.W.
PubMed link

publication2

HIGH SALT INTAKE INCREASES BLOOD PRESSURE VIA BDNF-MEDIATED DOWNREGULATION OF KCC2 AND IMPAIRED BAROREFLEX INHIBITION OF VASOPRESSIN NEURONS.

Neuron (2016)

Choe, K.Y., Han, S.Y., Gaub, P., Shell, B., Voisin, D.L., Knapp, B.A., Barker, P.A., Brown, C., Cunningham,J.T., and Bourque, C.W.
PubMed link

publication3


COMPLETE LIST OF PUBLICATIONS

LINK

google scholar logo

Questions? Contact us!

Address:

Psychology Building
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario
L8S 4K1
Canada

E-mail:

choek@mcmaster.ca

© Copyright 2020 Choe Lab - All Rights Reserved