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Benjamin D. Rood, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Science Center 206A


University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
Ph.D., (Neuroscience & Behavior) 2010



Research Interests

Guided by the idea that social behavior is inextricably linked to human health, our research explores the neural structures involved in social behavior. Current work uses transgenic mouse models, electrophysiology, mRNA sequencing, and social behavior paradigms to study the physiology and function of cells that respond to the neuropeptide vasopressin, which has been implicated in both social affiliation and aggression.


(Updated October 2018)

  1. Niederkofler V, Asher TE, Okaty BW, Rood BD, Narayan A, Hwa LS, Beck SG, Miczek KA, Dymecki SM. Identification of serotonergic neuronal modules that affect aggressive behavior. Cell Reports, 17(8): 1934-49, November 2016.
  2. Wyler SC, Spencer WC, Green NH, Rood BD, Crawford L, Craige C, Gresch P, McMahon DG, Beck SG, Deneris E. Pet-1 Switches Transcriptional Targets Postnatally to Regulate Maturation of Serotonin Neuron Excitability.J Neurosci, 36(5): 1758-74, February 2016.
  3. Okaty BW, Freret ME, Rood BD, Brust RD, Hennessy ML, deBairos D, Kim JC, Cook MN, Dymecki SM. Multi-Scale Molecular Deconstruction of the Serotonin Neuron System. Neuron, 88(4): 774-91, November 2015.
  4. Rood BD, Calizo LH, Piel D, Spangler ZP, Campbell K, Beck SG. Dorsal raphe serotonin neurons in mice: immature hyperexcitability transitions to adult state during first three postnatal weeks suggesting sensitive period for environmental perturbation. J Neurosci, 34(14): 4809-21, April 2014.
  5. Rood BD, Beck SG. Vasopressin indirectly excites dorsal raphe serotonin neurons through activation of the vasopressin1A receptor. Neuroscience, 260: 205-16, February 2014.