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Monoamine transmission: from motivation to movement

Dopamine neurons and extended dendrites in substantia nigra
Dopamine neurons and extended dendrites in substantia nigra

The neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain is critical to how we choose our everyday actions, by signaling our motivations and selecting appropriate movements. When dopamine function is disrupted, a range of psychomotor disorders can result that include addiction disorders and Parkinson’s disease.

Our work explores how dopamine function is governed and dysfunction manifests, through study of how dopamine ‘synapses’ function in real-time.

In a range of parallel and intersecting projects, we are exploring:

  • Mechanisms in dopamine axons that govern whether action potentials in dopamine neurons are relayed by dopamine to its targets.
  • Circuits that drive dopamine transmission
  • How drugs of addiction modify dopamine signals
  • Deficits in dopamine signaling that precede pathology in Parkinson’s disease
  • Development of novel optogenetic tools to study dopamine neurons
  • How dopamine controls behaviour

Please get in touch if you’d like to find out how to join the lab.


Our team

  • Stephanie Cragg
    Stephanie Cragg

    Professor of Neuroscience

  • Mark Condon

    Postgraduate Student

  • Emanuel Lopes

    Postgraduate Student

  • Sarah Threlfell
    Sarah Threlfell

    Senior Research Associate

  • Yanfeng Zhang

    Postdoctoral Research Scientist

  • Bradley Roberts
    Bradley Roberts

    Postgraduate Student

Dopamine Club

  • Welcome to the Dopamine Club!

    Dopamine Club is an informal, lab meeting-style forum that brings dopamine researchers together from across the University to exchange and discuss our different perspectives on dopamine.

  • About us

    Dopamine Club was founded at the end of 2014 to bring together the critical mass of dopamine researchers within the University and promote interactions towards the common goal of understanding dopamine function.

  • Core contributors

    Anyone is welcome to attend, organise and participate in Dopamine Club meetings and we'd like it to be as interactive as possible so if you want to be involved please get in touch.

  • Meeting format

    Our meetings are held termly, on Monday of 8th week.

Related research themes