Sarah R. Heilbronner

Sarah R. Heilbronner

Contact Information

Lab: (585) 275-1465

Lab Information

Haber Lab

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Professional Bio


Research Bio

I am currently a postdoc in Dr. Suzanne Haber's lab, where I am studying the neural circuitry associated with reward processing, decision-making, and executive function. Before coming to URMC, I was a PhD student in Dr. Michael Platt's lab at Duke's Department of Neurobiology. In my thesis work, I recorded from single neurons and used reversible inactivation to probe the function of a specific brain region, the posterior cingulate cortex. This part of the brain is one of a set of areas, known as the default mode network, that are consistently activated at rest. I am now probing the anatomical connections that link together the default mode network. This includes mapping the white matter pathways, especially the cingulum bundle, most closely associated with these regions.

In addition, I am interested in delineating the circuits that are abnormal in obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depressive disorder, and addiction to drugs of abuse. Along with the other members of Dr. Haber's team, I am working to determine the anatomical connections that are affected by neurosurgical interventions for psychiatric disorders (such as deep brain stimulation).

Awards & Honors (Local)

Psychonomic Society Best Article Award for "The description-experience gap in risky choice in nonhuman primates" 2016
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry's Outstanding Postdoctoral Researcher Award 2016
Tourette Syndrome Association Postdoctoral Fellowship 2014
Postdoctoral Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, "Anatomical connections subserving the default mode network" 2014 - Present
American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Travel Award 2014
Predoctoral Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, "The role of cingulate cortex in reward-based decision-making" 2010 - 2012
Duke Primate Genomics Initiative Summer Graduate Fellowship 2009
James B. Duke Fellowship 2007 - 2011
Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard College 2007
Harvard Psychology Faculty Prize 2007

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 19 available »

2016 Oct 1
Heilbronner SR, Rodriguez-Romaguera J, Quirk GJ, Groenewegen HJ, Haber SN. "Circuit-Based Corticostriatal Homologies Between Rat and Primate." Biological psychiatry. 2016 Oct 1; 80(7):509-21. Epub 2016 May 24.
2016 Jul 8
Heilbronner SR, Hayden BY. "Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex: A Bottom-Up View." Annual review of neuroscience. 2016 Jul 8; 39:149-70. Epub 2016 Apr 18.
Heilbronner, SR; Hayden, BY. "The description-experience gap in risky choice in nonhuman primates". Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. 2016; 23(2): 593-600. Link
2014 Sep
Hayden BY, Heilbronner SR. "All that glitters is not reward signal." Nature neuroscience. 2014 Sep; 17(9):1142-4.
2014 Jul 23
Heilbronner SR, Haber SN. "Frontal cortical and subcortical projections provide a basis for segmenting the cingulum bundle: implications for neuroimaging and psychiatric disorders." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2014 Jul 23; 34(30):10041-54.


PhD | Neurobiology | Duke University2012
BA | Psychology | Harvard College2007
Postdoctoral training | Neuroanatomy | University of RochesterAttended: Present