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)

Elected on Council: American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2012 - Present
NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award 2011
Margaret L. Wendt Foundation Investigator 2011 - Present
Special Lecture: Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting 2011
Director, Silvio Conte O. Center, Neurocircuitry underlying DBS effects in OCD 2009 - Present
Elected to the NARSAD Scientific Board 2008
Elected Fellow of American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2007
Elected, member of American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2003 - Present
NIMH Merit Award 1989 - 1997
NIH Research Career Development Award 1985 - 1990
National Institute of Drug Abuse Fellowship Award 1980 - 1982
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. 127 available »

2016 Nov
Dougherty DD, Chou T, Corse AK, Arulpragasam AR, Widge AS, Cusin C, Evans KC, Greenberg BD, Haber SN, Deckersbach T. "Acute deep brain stimulation changes in regional cerebral blood flow in obsessive-compulsive disorder." Journal of neurosurgery. 2016 Nov; 125(5):1087-1093. Epub 2016 Feb 19.
2016 Sep 17
Choi EY, Tanimura Y, Vage PR, Yates EH, Haber SN. "Convergence of prefrontal and parietal anatomical projections in a connectional hub in the striatum." NeuroImage. 2016 Sep 17; Epub 2016 Sep 17.
2016 Aug 15
Haber S. "Perspective on basal ganglia connections as described by Nauta and Mehler in 1966: Where we were and how this paper effected where we are now." Brain research. 2016 Aug 15; 1645:4-7. Epub 2016 Apr 07.
2016 Mar
Haber SN. "Corticostriatal circuitry." Dialogues in clinical neuroscience. 2016 Mar; 18(1):7-21.
2015 Nov
Jbabdi S, Sotiropoulos SN, Haber SN, Van Essen DC, Behrens TE. "Measuring macroscopic brain connections in vivo." Nature neuroscience. 2015 Nov; 18(11):1546-55. Epub 2015 Oct 27.

Current Appointments

Professor - Department of Pharmacology and Physiology (SMD) - Primary
Professor - Department of Neuroscience (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