Research

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Kathryn Commons, PhD

Lab:                                       Commons Laboratory

Program:                               Neurobiology Program

Picture of Kathryn Commons, Ph.DDepartment:                          Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine Research

Division:                                Pain Medicine Research

Hospital Title:                        Research Associate

Academic Title:                     Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School

Research Focus Area:          Autism, Depression, Drug Addiction, Neurobiology, SIDS, Serotonin


CONTACT VIA EMAIL

Research Overview

My primary activity is to lead a laboratory-based research program. My research interests include understanding the network architecture and development of the brain's serotonin system and how it malfunctions in different disease states. Serotonin neurotransmission is associated with many psychological and behavioral disorders, yet it remains poorly understood how serotonin neurotransmission goes-wrong to generate distinct disorders. Our work spans from the level of channels and synaptic architecture to understanding the role of feedback inhibition and the global organization of serotonin neurons in the brain. Disorders of particular interest include depression, drug addiction, autism and SIDS.

About Dr. Commons

Dr. Commons received her PhD at Cornell University Medical College. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University, and a research assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She is currently an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Publications

Harvard Catalyst Profile

  1. Commons KG. Ascending serotonin neuron diversity under two umbrellas. Brain Struct Funct. 2016 Sep; 221(7):3347-60.
  2. Darnall RA, Schneider RW, Tobia CM, Commons KG. Eliminating medullary 5-HT neurons delays arousal and decreases the respiratory response to repeated episodes of hypoxia in neonatal rat pups. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2016 Mar 1; 120(5):514-25.
  3. Commons KG. Two major network domains in the dorsal raphe nucleus. J Comp Neurol. 2015 Jul 1; 523(10):1488-504.
  4. Bajic D, Soiza-Reilly M, Spalding AL, Berde CB, Commons KG. Endogenous cholinergic neurotransmission contributes to behavioral sensitization to morphine. PLoS One. 2015; 10(2):e0117601.
  5. Soiza-Reilly M, Goodfellow NM, Lambe EK, Commons KG. Enhanced 5-HT1A receptor-dependent feedback control over dorsal raphe serotonin neurons in the SERT knockout mouse. Neuropharmacology. 2015 Feb; 89:185-92.
  6. Soiza-Reilly M, Commons KG. Unraveling the architecture of the dorsal raphe synaptic neuropil using high-resolution neuroanatomy. Front Neural Circuits. 2014; 8:105.
  7. Corcoran AE, Commons KG, Wu Y, Smith JC, Harris MB, Richerson GB. Dual effects of 5-HT(1a) receptor activation on breathing in neonatal mice. J Neurosci. 2014 Jan 1; 34(1):51-9.
  8. Soiza-Reilly M, Anderson WB, Vaughan CW, Commons KG. Presynaptic gating of excitation in the dorsal raphe nucleus by GABA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Sep 24; 110(39):15800-5.
  9. Massey CA, Kim G, Corcoran AE, Haynes RL, Paterson DS, Cummings KJ, Dymecki SM, Richerson GB, Nattie EE, Kinney HC, Commons KG. Development of brainstem 5-HT1A receptor-binding sites in serotonin-deficient mice. J Neurochem. 2013 Sep; 126(6):749-57.
  10. Bajic D, Commons KG, Soriano SG. Morphine-enhanced apoptosis in selective brain regions of neonatal rats. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2013 Jun; 31(4):258-66.

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