The Kumar Laboratory is located at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. We study neural circuits in the brain whose misregulation leads to behavioral abnormalities including addiction, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and depression. Using mouse molecular genetics as foundation, and a combination of biochemistry, physiology, and imaging techniques we dissect these complex behaviors in mammals.

Medium Spiny Neuron Dentritic Spines

We use two functional genomics approaches in mice – forward genetic ethylnitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis screens and quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis – to identify genes and pathways that regulate these behaviors. Powerful and unbiased, forward genetic approaches make no a priori assumptions and only require a clear well-defined assay for gene discovery. We have used high-throughput screening pipeline to discover mutants for cocaine response and open field behavior. Using physical mapping followed by next generation sequencing we have identified novel genes and alleles that regulate cocaine response and anxiety related behaviors.

What we do

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Lab Members

Janine Wotton, PhD

Janine is a computational scientist. She is developing methods to integrate mouse behavior data over long periods of time.
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Software Engineer Keith is developing cool tools to analyze mouse behavior using neural networks.
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Arojit Mitra, PhD


Postdoctoral Associate Arojit has a Phd from Laval University in Québec, Canada. He joined the lab in 2017.
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Research Associate Sean is a behavioral neuroscientist and completed his training at Michigan State University in 2015. His thesis work involved elucidating the neural substrates underlying the direct effects of light on depression- and anxiety-like behaviors in the diurnal Arvicanthis niloticus grass rat. In the Kumar lab he is interested in studying the genetic basis of reward and addiction …
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Brian Geuther, M.S.

Software Engineer Brian is a mechanical engineer by training. He is interested in applying advanced image processing and machine learning methods to extract and quantify mouse behaviors. In his spare time, Brian likes to metal work. Here is his CV
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Maxine Friend

Maxine Friend

Administrative Assistant Max makes sure the lab runs smoothly. In her spare time she likes to ride horses.
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Vivek Kumar, PhD

Assistant Professor Vivek Joined the lab in 2015. Dr. Kumar received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in Biology. As an undergraduate he worked with Dr. Robert Haselkorn on the genetics of the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus. He obtained his PhD from the University of California, San Diego working under the mentorship of Dr. Michael G. …
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Selected Publications

Kumar V, Kim K, Joseph C, Kourrich S, Yoo SH, Huang HC, Vitaterna MH, Pardo- Manuel de Villena F, Churchill G, Bonci A, Takahashi JS.
C57BL/6N mutation in Cytoplasmic FMRP interacting protein 2 (Cyfip2) regulates cocaine response.
Science 342: 1508-1512. 2013 (PDF)
News Coverage

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UT Southwestern

Kumar V, Kim K, Joseph C, Thomas LC, Hong HK, and Takahashi JS.
A Second Generation High Throughput Forward Genetic Screen in Mice to Isolate Subtle Behavioral Mutants.
PNAS 108: Sup 3 15557-15564. 2011 (PDF)

Takahashi JS, Kumar V, Nakashe P, Koike N, Huang HC, Green CB, Kim TK.
ChIP-seq and RNA-seq methods to study circaidan control of transcription in mammals.
Methods in Enzymology 551:285-321 2015 9205529637

Kirkpatrick SL, Goldberg LR, Yazdani N, Babbs RK, Wu J, Reed ER, Jenkins DF, Bolgioni AF, Landaverde KI, Luttik KP, Mitchell KS, Kumar V, Johnson WE, Mulligan MK, Cottone P, Bryant CD.
Cytoplasmic FMR1-Interacting Protein 2 Is a Major Genetic Factor Underlying Binge Eating.
Biological Psychiatry 81(9):757-769 2017

Funato H, Miyoshi C, Fujiyama T, Kanda T, Sato M, Wang Z, Ma J, Nakane S, Tomita J, Ikkyu A, Kakizaki M, Hotta-Hirashima N, Kanno S, Komiya H, Asano F, Honda T, Kim SJ, Harano K, Muramoto H, Yonezawa T, Mizuno S, Miyazaki S, Connor L, Kumar V, Miura I, Suzuki T, Watanabe A, Abe M, Sugiyama F, Takahashi S, Sakimura K, Hayashi Y, Liu Q, Kume K, Wakana S, Takahashi JS, Yanagisawa M.
Forward-genetics analysis of sleep in randomly mutagenized mice.
Nature 539(7629):378-383 2016

Hossain MS, Asano F, Fujiyama T, Miyoshi C, Sato M, Ikkyu A, Kanno S, Hotta N, Kakizaki M, Honda T, Kim SJ, Komiya H, Miura I, Suzuki T, Kobayashi K, Kaneda H, Kumar V, Takahashi JS, Wakana S, Funato H, Yanagisawa M.
Identification of mutations through dominant screening for obesity using C57BL/6 substrains.
Scientific Reports 6:32453 2016

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