Suzanne N. Haber, Ph.D.

Suzanne N. Haber, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 711
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-4538
Fax: (585) 273-2652
Administrative: (585) 273-2144
Lab: (585) 275-6959

Research Bio

The Haber lab focuses on the neural network that underlies incentive learning and decision-making that leads to the development of action plans. The cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic system is central to this network and comprises a diverse group of structures involved in reward and motivation, cognition, and motor control. Pathology of this network is implicated in several mental health disorders including drug addition, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia.

One set of questions centers around which pathways are stimulated during deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS, a proven therapy for intractable tremor and Parkinson disease, is now being actively investigated for depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), with encouraging results. The electrodes target specific points in the cortico-basal ganglia circuit by placing the electrodes in the internal capsule, ventral striatum (VS), or subcortical white matter. Several ascending and descending fiber bundles pass through these sites, each of which may differentially modulate these behaviors and, thus, the impact on different symptoms. We use 3-D reconstructions of cortical and subcortical pathways and terminal fields to model the electrode and DBS stimulation sites to evaluate how clinical outcome depends on electrode placement.

A second set of experiments address the hypothesis that the cortico-basal ganglia connections are critical for integrating information across functional domains. These complex neuronal networks work in concert with the cortex to moderate behavioral changes and provides the anatomical substrate for plasticity during learning. Specific questions include: 1) what is the organization of cortical and thalamic connections that mediate information flow through the basal ganglia? 2) How are pathways involved in reward processing and cognition integrated into the basal ganglia pathways of action? 3) What is the interface between the descending cortico-basal ganglia system and the midbrain dopamine system?

A third set of experiments is directed towards understanding postnatal changes in the cortico-basal ganglia system associated with specific developmental milestones. A particular focus is on the refinement of cortico-and amygdalo-BG network, including connections, cell types, transmitter systems, and receptors that are consistent with the high level of plasticity during early learning.

Awards & Honors (National)

Distinguished Investigator Award | NARSAD 2011
NIMH Merit Award 1989 - 1997
NIH Research Career Development Award 1985 - 1990
National Institute of Drug Abuse Fellowship Award 1980 - 1982

Awards & Honors (Local)

Elected to the NARSAD Scientific Board 2008
Visiting Professor | CNRS, Lab NSI, Univesity P&M | Curie, Paris, France 2004 - 2010
Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Foundation Fellowship Award 1979 - 1980
Doctoral thesis and oral presentation passed with Distinction 1978
Scottish Rite Schizophrenia Research Program: Dissertation Fellowship Award 1977 - 1978

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 109 available »

Haber SN, Safadi Z, Milad MR. "Meeting report: "Depression and Anxiety Spectrum disorders: from basic science to the clinic and back"." Biology of mood & anxiety disorders. 2013 3(1):6. Epub 2013 Mar 05.
2012 Mar
Strong DR, Haber SN, Tyrka AR, Bernier JA, Rassmussen SA, Greenberg BD. "Reversible increase in smoking after withdrawal of ventral capsule/ventral striatum deep brain stimulation in a depressed smoker." Journal of addiction medicine.. 2012 Mar; 6(1):94-5.
2011 Oct 20
Rosin B, Slovik M, Mitelman R, Rivlin-Etzion M, Haber SN, Israel Z, Vaadia E, Bergman H. "Closed-loop deep brain stimulation is superior in ameliorating parkinsonism." Neuron.. 2011 Oct 20; 72(2):370-84.
2011 Jul 13
Lehman JF, Greenberg BD, McIntyre CC, Rasmussen SA, Haber SN. "Rules ventral prefrontal cortical axons use to reach their targets: implications for diffusion tensor imaging tractography and deep brain stimulation for psychiatric illness." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience.. 2011 Jul 13; 31(28):10392-402.
2011 Jun
Cramer SC, Sur M, Dobkin BH, O'Brien C, Sanger TD, Trojanowski JQ, Rumsey JM, Hicks R, Cameron J, Chen D, Chen WG, Cohen LG, Decharms C, Duffy CJ, Eden GF, Fetz EE, Filart R, Freund M, Grant SJ, Haber S, Kalivas PW, Kolb B, Kramer AF, Lynch M, Mayberg HS, McQuillen PS, Nitkin R, Pascual-Leone A, Reuter-Lorenz P, Schiff N, Sharma A, Shekim L, Stryker M, Sullivan EV, Vinogradov S. "Harnessing neuroplasticity for clinical applications." Brain : a journal of neurology. 2011 Jun; 134(Pt 6):1591-609. Epub 2011 Apr 10.

Current Appointments

Professor - Department of Pharmacology and Physiology (SMD) - Primary
Professor - Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy (SMD)


Postdoctoral | Anatomy | Massachusetts Institute of Technology1982
Postdoctoral | Anatomy | University of Minnesota1980
Ph.D. | Neuro- & Bio-Behavioral Science | Stanford University1978
BA | Psychology | Kent St University1968