Jonathan Gewirtz, PhD

Professor, Department of Psychology

Jonathan Gewirtz

Contact Info

jgewirtz@umn.edu

Office Phone 612-625-6653

Office Address:
Department of Psychology
N246 Elliot Hall
75 E River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Professor, Department of Psychology

Center for Neurobehavioral Development


Doctoral Degree, Yale University, 1998

Summary

My lab studies negative emotional states (fear, anxiety, depression) using rat and mouse behavioral models. A significant emphasis is on the biology of fearful memory, which we dissect using Pavlovian conditioning paradigms. We also focus on drug dependence, since negative affective states are a prominent feature of drug withdrawal and likely play a critical role in the persistence of drug addiction. Our projects use a number of behavioral measures of emotion, including “potentiated startle“, the increase in magnitude of the acoustic startle reflex seen when a person or animal is in state of fear.

Through collaborations in the Medical School, we also study the cognitive and affective consequences of abnormal brain development. Much of this research has centered on the effects of prenatal brain iron deficiency. Currently, we are also seeking to develop new mouse genetic models of autism and schizophrenia.

Professional Associations

Member - Society for Neuroscience; Pavlovian Society; College on Problems of Drug Dependence

Research

Research Summary/Interests

Research Projects

  • Newborn iron deficiency: NICHD, 2005 - 2014
  • Neonatal Anemia and Thrombocytopenia: NHLBI, 2011 - 2015

Research Interests

  • Neural substrates of memory
  • Neural substrates of negative affect
  • Neural substrates of drug dependency
  • Drug dependence
  • Fear conditioning
  • Memory
  • Neural substrates of emotion

Publications

Swain, Y, Muelken, P, LeSage, MG, Gewirtz, JC & Harris, AC, 2018, ‘Locomotor activity does not predict individual differences in morphine self-administration in rats’ Pharmacol Biochem Behav, vol. 166, pp. 48-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2018.01.008

Pisansky, MT, Hanson, LR, Gottesman, II & Gewirtz, JC 2017, ‘Oxytocin enhances observational fear in mice’ Nat Commun, vol. 8, no. 1, p. 2102. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-02279-5

Kennedy, BC, Tran, PV, Kohli, M, Maertens, JJ, Gewirtz, JC & Georgieff, MK 2018, ‘Beneficial effects of postnatal choline supplementation on long-Term neurocognitive deficit resulting from fetal-Neonatal iron deficiency’ Behav Brain Res, vol. 336, pp. 40-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2017.07.043

Kennedy, BC, Kohli, M, Maertens, JJ, Marell, PS & Gewirtz, JC 2016, ‘Conditioned object preference: an alternative approach to measuring reward learning in rats’ Learn Mem, vol. 23, no. 11, pp. 623-630. https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.042598.116

Kennedy, BC, Dimova, JG, Dakoji, S, Yuan, LL, Gewirtz, JC & Tran, PV 2016, ‘Deletion of novel protein TMEM35 alters stress-related functions and impairs long-term memory in mice’ Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, vol. 311, no. 1, pp. R166-78. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00066.2016

Engelmann, JM, Versace, F, Gewirtz, JC & Cinciripini, PM 2016, ‘Individual differences in brain responses to cigarette-related cues and pleasant stimuli in young smokers’ Drug Alcohol Depend, vol. 163, pp. 229-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.04.025

Tran, PV, Kennedy, BC, Pisansky, MT, Won, KJ, Gewirtz, JC, Simmons, RA & Georgieff, MK 2016, ‘Prenatal Choline Supplementation Diminishes Early-Life Iron Deficiency-Induced Reprogramming of Molecular Networks Associated with Behavioral Abnormalities in the Adult Rat Hippocampus’ J Nutr, vol. 146, no. 3, pp. 484-93. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.115.227561

Rao, R, Ennis, K, Mitchell, EP, Tran, PV & Gewirtz, JC 2016, ‘Recurrent Moderate Hypoglycemia Suppresses Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Expression in the Prefrontal Cortex and Impairs Sensorimotor Gating in the Posthypoglycemic Period in Young Rats’ Dev Neurosci, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 74-82.https://doi.org/10.1159/000442878

McBrayer, ZL, Dimova, J, Pisansky, MT, Sun, M, Beppu, H, Gewirtz, JC & O'Connor, MB 2015, ‘Forebrain-Specific Loss of BMPRII in Mice Reduces Anxiety and Increases Object Exploration’ PLoS One, vol.10, no. 10, p. e0139860. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0139860

Sweis, BM, Bachour, SP, Brekke, JA, Gewirtz, JC, Sadeghi-Bazargani, H, Hevesi, M & Divani, AA 2016, ‘A modified beam-walking apparatus for assessment of anxiety in a rodent model of blast traumatic brain injury’ Behav Brain Res, vol. 296, pp. 149-156. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2015.09.015

Teaching

Courses

Psy 1001 - Introduction to Psychology; Psy 3061 - Introduction to Biopsychology; Psy 8061 - Neuropsychopharmacology