Professor, Director Center for Translational Imaging
Office: 331 Nightingale
BS 1974 Biology
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA,
Ph.D. 1980 Physiology
New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY,
Academic research focuses on developmental behavioral neuroscience. Interests include the plasticity of the brain and how early emotional and environmental risk factors alter social and cognitive behaviors. Risk factors include drugs of abuse like cocaine and alcohol and social subjugation in the context of dominant/subordinate relationships. Laboratory uses standard molecular and neurobiological techniques to study the brains of rodents. In addition, ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging is used as a non-invasive tool for developmental studies in monkeys enabling one to follow changes in brain structure, chemistry and function in the same animal over the course of its life. The goal of research is to better understand the brain mechanisms contributing to mental illness and drug addiction in the hope of improving psychosocial and psychopharmacologic intervention strategies. The laboratory has had continued funding from NIMH and NIDA resulting in several peer reviewed papers using fMRI to study changes in brain activity in response to acute and chronic cocaine exposure in rodents a and monkeys.
Ferris, C.F., P. Kulkarni, M.J. Sullivan Jr., J.A. Harder, T.L. Messenger, M. Febo. Pup suckling is more rewarding than cocaine: Evidence from fMRI and 3D computational analyses. Journal of Neuroscience 25:149-156 (2005)
Febo, M., M. Numan, C.F. Ferris. Functional MRI shows oxytocin activates brain regions associated with mother-pup bonding during suckling. Journal of Neuroscience 25:11637-11644 (2005).
Ferris, C.F., M. Febo, F. Luo, K Schmidt, M. Brevard, P Kulkarni, T. Messenger, J. Harder, J.A. King. Functional magnetic resonance imaging in conscious animals: A new tool in behavior neuroscience research Journal of Neuroendocrinology 18:307-318 (2006).
Brevard M., P. Kulkarni J.A. King, C.F. Ferris. Imaging the neural substrates involved in the genesis of generalized clonic seizures. Epilepsia 47:740-754 (2006).
Brevard, M.E., J.S. Meyer, J. Harder, C.F. Ferris. Imaging brain activity in conscious monkeys following oral MDMA (“Ecstasy”) at a dose consumed in recreational drug use. Magnetic Resonance Imaging 24:707-714 (2006).