Anthony A. Grace, Ph.D.

  • Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience, Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology

Research Summary:

Dr. Grace's research interests lie at the interface of neurobiology and psychiatry. Experiments conducted in his laboratory combine in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological recordings of identified neurons with behavioral and neuroanatomical techniques to study central dopaminergic systems, with the ultimate goal of determining the neurobiological correlates of mental disorders and the modes of action of psychotherapeutic drugs. Ongoing studies into the neurobiology of schizophrenia involve study of the interaction of the prefrontal cortex and antipsychotic drugs with subcortical dopamine systems, and examining the impact of developmental disruption on limbic system function, as a model for the pathophysiological changes underlying schizophrenia in humans. The mechanism of deep brain stimulation in treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder and the impact of stress on drug abuse are also investigated in anesthetized and awake animals. 

The techniques employed in these analyses include: 1) recordings of identified neurons and local field potentials using intracellular and extracellular electrophysiological techniques, 2) anatomical studies of identified neurons and neurotransmitter pathways, 3) producing neurochemically specific lesions of neurons and selective disruptions of neuronal development, and 4) behavioral measures that correlate with electrophysiological studies. Through this approach, the basic neurobiological processes that contribute to psychiatric disorders may be elucidated, and insight may be gained into more effective therapeutic strategies for treating these diseases in humans.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D. Yale University (1983)

Representative Publications

Zhu, X. and Grace, A.A. (2020) Prepubertal environmental enrichment prevents dopamine dyregulation and hippocampal hyperactivity in MAM schizophrenia model rats. Biological Psychiatry. DOI:

Uliana, D.L., Gomes, F.V. and Grace, A.A. (2020) Stress impacts corticoamygdalar connectivity in an age-dependent manner. Neuropsychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1038/s41386-020-00886-3. PMID: 33096542 PMCID: PMC8027626

Gomes, F.V. and Grace, A.A. (2021) Beyond dopamine receptor antagonism: new targets for schizophrenia treatment and prevention. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22, 4467.

Rincón-Cortés, M. and Grace, A.A. (2021) Postpartum scarcity-adversity disrupts maternal behavior and induces a hypodopaminergic state in the rat dam and adult female offspring. Neuropsychopharmacology.

Zhu, X., Cabungcal, J.-H., Uliana, D.L., Cuenod, M.R., Do, K.Q. and Grace, A.A. (2021) Thalamic reticular nucleus impairments and abnormal prefrontal control of dopamine system in a developmental model of schizophrenia: prevention by N-acetylcysteine. Molecular Psychiatry.

Research Interest Summary

Neurophysiology of basal ganglia system related to psychiatric disorders