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Robert Fetcho (MD-PhD, 5th Year) Awarded NIMH F30 Fellowship

Robert Fetcho, Fifth Year MD-PhD student, has been awarded an F30 Fellowship from the NIMH for his project, “Prefrontal somatostatin interneurons in action valuation processing and motivational anhedonia.” Anhedonia, a core feature of major depressive disorder, can arise from an inability to experience pleasure or by a lack of motivation to exert effort towards obtaining a reward. Decisions to expend effort to obtain a reward involve action valuation computations—essentially a cost-benefit decision-making process. Whether and how dysfunctional action valuation drives anhedonic symptoms in stress-related psychiatric disease is unclear. This work will investigate the functional contribution of a certain inhibitory interneuron subtype to healthy action valuation and stress-induced anhedonic behavior using a rodent model of cost-benefit decision-making. The project hopes to fill a gap in our understanding of stress-induced anhedonic behavior by focusing on a sparse but essential cell population in the brain that has been understudied in the context of stress and depression.

Fetcho is conducting his thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Conor Liston at Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

© 2006 Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program