William Christopher Wetsel

William Christopher Wetsel

Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

External Address: 
354 Sands Bldg, Durham, NC 27710
Internal Office Address: 
Box 103203 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: 
919.684.4574

Overview

RESEARCH INTERESTS
Last Updated: 31 December 1997

My laboratory uses genetically-modified mice to study the roles that certain genes and gene products play in the expression of abnormal neuroendocrine, neurological, and psychiatric responses. Traditionally, an identification of neuroendocrine dysfunction has involved biochemical analyses of hormonal responses, those for neurological disorders have relied upon behavioral and postmortem analyses, and those for psychiatric conditions have depended upon phenomenology. The advent of gene manipulation in mice has permitted specific genes to be targeted for disruption, mutation, and/or overexpression in the whole organism or in selected regions or cells in the nervous and other systems. In this way, primary and secondary effects of a given gene manipulation can be related to various neuroendoctine, neurological, or psychiatric conditions in humans. As the Director of the Mouse Behavioral and Neuroendocrine Analysis Core Facility at Duke University (http://sites.duke.edu/mousebehavioralcore/), we have neurobehaviorally phenotyped many different lines of inbred and mutant mice for investigators at Duke and at other research institutions. As a consequence, we have helped to develop many different mouse genetic models of neuroendocrine and neuropsychiatric illness. Following the development of mouse models, we have worked with various investigators to identify the molecular and cellular basis of the neuroendocrine and/or behavioral abnormalities. We are working also with medicinal chemists and certain pharmacological/biotechnological companies to identify novel compounds that will ameliorate abnormal responses in the mutant mice. Some of these preclinical studies are now forming a basis for clinical trials in humans.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1983

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Rodriguiz, R. M., et al. “Animals lacking endothelin-converting enzyme-2 are deficient in learning and memory.Genes Brain Behav, vol. 7, no. 4, June 2008, pp. 418–26. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/j.1601-183X.2007.00365.x. Full Text

Beaulieu, J. M., et al. “Reply to Belmaker et al.: GSK3β haploinsufficiency results in lithium-like effects in the forced-swim test.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 105, no. 20, May 2008. Scopus, doi:10.1073/pnas.0803026105. Full Text

Beaulieu, Jean-Martin, et al. “Role of GSK3 beta in behavioral abnormalities induced by serotonin deficiency.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 105, no. 4, Jan. 2008, pp. 1333–38. Pubmed, doi:10.1073/pnas.0711496105. Full Text

Beaulieu, Jean-Martin, et al. “A beta-arrestin 2 signaling complex mediates lithium action on behavior.Cell, vol. 132, no. 1, Jan. 2008, pp. 125–36. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2007.11.041. Full Text

Woronowicz, Alicja, et al. “Absence of carboxypeptidase E leads to adult hippocampal neuronal degeneration and memory deficits.Hippocampus, vol. 18, no. 10, 2008, pp. 1051–63. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/hipo.20462. Full Text

Fukui, Masato, et al. “Vmat2 heterozygous mutant mice display a depressive-like phenotype.J Neurosci, vol. 27, no. 39, Sept. 2007, pp. 10520–29. Pubmed, doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4388-06.2007. Full Text

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