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I am studying the interaction of the vasopressin system and sickness. Sickness behavior is often expressed with changes in anxiety and social behavior, altered activity patterns, and altered physiology and food and water intake. Vasopressin specifically is an important regulator of water balance, temperature, and these behaviors. We are specifically examining how vasopressin changes in response to sickness in the forebrain. These regions are involved in sickness behavior, and in conjunction with Dr. Aras Petrulis, we are targeting vasopressinergic cells in the PVN, SCN, and BNST to understand how they modulate sickness behaviors.
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