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Suzanne N. Haber, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Administrative: (585) 273-2144

Office: (585) 275-4538

Fax: (585) 273-2652

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Research Labs

Faculty Appointments



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.



BA | Kent St University

Ph.D. | Stanford University
Neuro- & Bio-Behavioral Science

Postdoctoral | University of Minnesota

Postdoctoral | Massachusetts Institute of Technology


2012 - Present
Elected on Council: American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

2011 - Present
Margaret L. Wendt Foundation Investigator

NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award

Special Lecture: Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting

2009 - Present
Director, Silvio Conte O. Center, Neurocircuitry underlying DBS effects in OCD

Elected to the NARSAD Scientific Board

Elected Fellow of American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

2003 - Present
Elected, member of American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

1989 - 1997
NIMH Merit Award

1985 - 1990
NIH Research Career Development Award

1980 - 1982
National Institute of Drug Abuse Fellowship Award

1979 - 1980
Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Foundation Fellowship Award

Doctoral thesis and oral presentation passed with Distinction

1977 - 1978
Scottish Rite Schizophrenia Research Program: Dissertation Fellowship Award

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Journal Articles

Haber SN, Lehman J, Maffei C, Yendiki A. "The Rostral Zona Incerta: A Subcortical Integrative Hub and Potential Deep Brain Stimulation Target for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder." Biological psychiatry.. 2023 Jan 18; Epub 2023 Jan 18.

Monosov IE, Ogasawara T, Haber SN, Heimel JA, Ahmadlou M. "The zona incerta in control of novelty seeking and investigation across species." Current opinion in neurobiology.. 2022 Nov 15; 77:102650. Epub 2022 Nov 15.

Maffei C, Girard G, Schilling KG, Aydogan DB, Adluru N, Zhylka A, Wu Y, Mancini M, Hamamci A, Sarica A, Teillac A, Baete SH, Karimi D, Yeh FC, Yildiz ME, Gholipour A, Bihan-Poudec Y, Hiba B, Quattrone A, Quattrone A, Boshkovski T, Stikov N, Yap PT, de Luca A, Pluim J, Leemans A, Prabhakaran V, Bendlin BB, Alexander AL, Landman BA, Canales-Rodríguez EJ, Barakovic M, Rafael-Patino J, Yu T, Rensonnet G, Schiavi S, Daducci A, Pizzolato M, Fischi-Gomez E, Thiran JP, Dai G, Grisot G, Lazovski N, Puch S, Ramos M, Rodrigues P, Pr?kovska V, Jones R, Lehman J, Haber SN, Yendiki A. "Insights from the IronTract challenge: Optimal methods for mapping brain pathways from multi-shell diffusion MRI." NeuroImage.. 2022 May 26; 257:119327. Epub 2022 May 26.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: Neural circuits affected by deep brain stimulation for psychiatric disorders
Book Title: Deep Brain Stimulation: A New Frontier in Psychiatry
Author List: Haber, S. N., and Greenberg, B.D.
Edited By: Edited by Denys, Feenstra, and Schuurman
Published By: Springer Press 2012

Chapter Title: Neuroanatomy of reward: a view from the ventral striatum
Book Title: Neurobiology of Sensation and Reward
Author List: Haber, S.N.
Edited By: Edited by JA Gottfried
Published By: CRC Press 2011

Chapter Title: Integrative Networks Across Basal Ganglia Circuits
Book Title: Handbook of Basal Ganglia Structure and Function
Author List: Haber, S.N.
Edited By: Edited by H. Steiner and K.Y. Tseng
Published By: Academic Press 2010




Obsessive-compulsive disorder and deep brain stimulation