Joshua G. Hunsberger
Joshua G. Hunsberger obtained a Ph.D. degree in neuroscience from the Yale University (Dr. Ron Duman Laboratory). Hunsberger's doctoral work used seizure (Hunsberger et al., 2005; Newton et al., 2003) and exercise (Hunsberger et al., 2007) models to induce neural plasticity where he developed skills in microarray analysis, molecular biology, and in vivo behavioral models (depression, anxiety, etc.). Hunsberger's thesis work focused on profiling exercise-regulated genes in the mouse hippocampus using a custom microarray. From this work, they identified one exercise-regulated gene, VGF (nonacronymic), and demonstrated that it could produce antidepressant-like effects in animal models and may contribute to the antidepressant effects of exercise. For his postdoctorate training, Hunsberger worked under Dr. Husseini Manji at the NIH where he became interested in two different resiliency factors, Bcl-2-associated athanogene (Bag-1) and (2) Bax-inhibitor 1 (BI-1). They found that Bag-1, a glucocorticoid receptor chaperone, could provide resiliency in animal models used to measure mania and depression (Maeng et al., 2008). His second project focused on mechanisms of endoplasmic stress and showed that modulation of calcium homeostasis via BI-1 confers protection in animal models used to assess stress coping and following monoamine depletion (Hunsberger et al., 2011). Hunsberger is currently a Julius Axelrod Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow. His next project, also initiated in Dr. Manji’s laboratory before he left the NIH to become Global Therapeutic Area Head of Neuroscience at Johnson and Johnson, focused on miRNAs as innovative master regulators that they found to be regulated by mood stabilizers and target bipolar susceptibility genes (Zhou et al., 2009). Hunsberger is currently extending this work in his second postdoc at the NIH in Dr. De-Maw Chuang's laboratory. His areas of expertise are bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, mood stabilizers, antidepressants, animal models, affective resiliency, cell culture, and biomarkers.
Biography Updated on 9 January 2012