Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Center for Neurobiology and Behavior

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Faculty Bio

Tracy L. Bale, PhD

Tracy L. Bale, PhD

Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Institute of Neuroscience Sciences bio

Research Interests

Our research focuses on developing mouse models of stress sensitivity related to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disease utilizing genetic and prenatal manipulations to elucidate mechanisms contributing to disease predisposition. We are interested in determining the fetal antecedents and epigenetic mechanisms involved in programming of long-term disease risk.

Research Techniques

Genetic mouse models for behavioral analyses including stress, anxiety, depression, feeding and reward models; gene expression studies using in situ hybridization; pharmacology and protein expression using receptor autoradiography; biochemistry using Western blot; molecular biology for gene detection; epigenetic analyses; and plasma hormone detection using radioimmune assays.

Research Summary

We have focused on developing models of disease including affective disorders and obesity utilizing approaches that range from fetal antecedents, involved in programming of long-term disease risk, to genetic targeting of cell type specific knockouts. We have initiated multiple lines of investigation that will provide insight into the timing and sex specificity of early life events promoting disease susceptibility, the maturation of central pathways during key periods of development, and the epigenetic mechanisms involved in long-term effects following stress exposure.



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