Rebecca P. Seal, PhD

Associate Professor, Neurobiology

Contact

6058 Biomedical Science Tower-3
412-624-5183
F: 412-383-5267
rpseal@pitt.edu
Website >

Education

PhD, Oregon Health and Science University (1999)

Focus

Studies of sensory and motor circuits in health and disease.

Research Summary

Our work is focused on neural circuits that mediate two neurological conditions: Pain and Parkinson’s disease. We are also developing novel therapies to treat these conditions.

The Seal laboratory studies the neural circuitry that drives behavior in health and disease. We are currently focused on the following circuits: i) peripheral and central pain circuits, ii) motor circuits affected by Parkinson’s disease iii) glutamate and GABA co-release by forebrain cholinergic neurons and iv) peripheral and central auditory circuits. We aim to discover fundamental principals and mechanisms of the nervous system as well as identify novel treatment strategies for nervous system disorders. 

Experimental Approach: We use mice as a model system and techniques such as virally-mediated designer receptors (DREADDs) to selectively activate or inhibit neurons, virally-mediated anterograde and retrograde tools to trace circuits, slice electrophysiology with optogenetic stimulation, confocal and 2-photon microscopy, molecular biology, histology, biochemistry and behavior.

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Yes

Publications

Moehring, F. Halder P, Seal RP, Stucky CL. Uncovering the Cells and Circuits of Touch in Normal and Pathological Settings. Neuron (2018), 100(2) 349-360.

Megat, S., S. Shiers, JK Moy, P. Barragan-Iglesias, G. Pradhan, Seal RP, G. Dussor and TJ Price. A Critical Role for Dopamine D5 Receptors in Pain Chronicity in Male Mice. J. Neurosci. (2018), 38(2): 379-397. Download Article

Case DT, Burton SD, Gedeon JY, Williams S-PG, Urban NN,  Seal RPLayer- and Cell type-Selective Co-transmission by a Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Projection to the Olfactory Bulb. Nat Comm (2017), 8:652. Download Article

Peirs C, Seal RP. Neural Pain Circuits: recent advances and current views. Science (2016), 354(6312):578-584. Review. Download Article

Seal RPIlluminating the Gap: Neuronal Cross-Talk within Sensory Ganglia and Persistent Pain. Neuron (2016), 91: 950-951. Download Article

 

All Publications >

Priyabrata Halder, PhD - Postdoctoral Scholar

David Ferreira, PhD - Postdoctoral Scholar

Joe Brague, PhD - Postdoctoral Scholar

Cynthia Arokiaraj - CNUP Graduate Student

David Chi, MD - Associate Professor & Chief, Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology

Sean-Paul Williams - Senior Research Associate 

Jeremy Gedeon - Research Associate 

Daniel Butz - Neuroscience major, Pre-med