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Michael Drew

Associate Professor
Department of Neuroscience

To understand how adult hippocampal neurogenesis influences learning and cognition.


Phone: 512-232-6367

Office Location
NHB 3.132

Postal Address
The University of Texas at Austin
100 E 24TH STREET, Stop C7000
AUSTIN, TX 78712

Postdoctoral Fellowship, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University (2004-2010)
Ph.D., Columbia University (2004)

Research Summary:
A broad aim of my research is to understand how adult hippocampal neurogenesis influences learning and cognition. The work is based on growing evidence that adult neurogenesis constitutes a functionally and, perhaps, clinically significant form of brain plasticity. Neurons are added to the adult hippocampal formation of all mammalian species studied to date, and the cells that are born appear to impact both cognitive and emotional aspects of hippocampal function. Manipulations that suppress adult neurogenesis impair performance in some hippocampus-dependent learning tasks, and adult neurogenesis is bi-directionally regulated by stimuli that affect the risk for emotional disorders. For instance, psychosocial stress potently suppresses hippocampal neurogenesis, while exercise, environmental enrichment, and virtually all antidepressant treatments stimulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis. My approach to understanding the functional significance of adult hippocampal neurogenesis relies on inducible genetic manipulations in mice, combined with rigorous behavioral analysis, and addresses questions such as (1) what underlying psychological processes depend on adult-generated neurons, (2) how do decreases or increases in adult neurogenesis affect these processes, (3) and what special properties of adult-generated neurons are instrumental in producing these effects?

Swan, A.A., Clutton, J.E., Chary, P.K., Cook, S.G., Liu, G.G., & Drew, M.R. (in revision) Characterization of the role of adult neurogenesis in touch-screen discrimination learning

Denny, C.A., Burghardt, N.S., Schachter, D.M., Hen, R. and Drew, M.R. (2012). 4-6 week old adult-born hippocampal neurons influence novelty-evoked exploration and contextual fear conditioning. Hippocampus.

Drew, M.R., Denny, C.A., & Hen, R. (2010).  Arrest of adult hippocampal neurogenesis impairs single- but not multiple-trial contextual fear conditioning. Behavioral Neuroscience, 124, 446-54.

Balsam, P.D., Drew, M.R., Gallistel, C.R. (2010). Time and Associative Learning.  Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews, 5, 1-22.

David, D.J., Samuels, B.A., Rainer, Q., Wang, J.W., Marsteller, D., Mendez, I., Drew, M.R., Craig, D.A., Giard, B.P., Guilloux, J.P., Artymyshyn, R.P., Gardier, A.M., Gerald, C., Antonijevic, I.A., Hen, R. (2009). Behavioral Effects Of Fluoxetine In An Animal Model Of Anxiety/Depression Are Mediated By Both Neurogenesis-Dependent And Independent Mechanisms.  Neuron, 62, 479-93.

Ward, R.D., Kellendonk, C., Simpson, E.H., Lipatova, O., Drew, M.R., Fairhurst, S., Kandel, E.R., Balsam, P.D. (2009). Impaired timing precision produced by striatal D2 receptor overexpression is mediated by cognitive and motivational deficits. Behavioral Neuroscience, 123, 720-730.

Pollak D.D., Monje, F.J., Zuckerman L., Denny, C.A., Drew, M.R., & Kandel, E.R. (2008). Conditioned Inhibtion of Fear Acts as a Behavioral Antidepressant.  Neuron, 60, 149-61.

Drew M.R., Simpson E.H., Kellendonk C., Herzberg W.G., Lipatova O., Fairhurst S., Kandel E.R., Malapani C., Balsam P.D. (2007). Transient overexpression of striatal D2 receptors impairs operant motivation and interval timing. Journal of Neuroscience, 27, 7731-9.

Drew, M.R. & Hen, R.H. (2007). Adult hippocampal neurogenesis as a target of antidepressant treatments. CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets, 6, 205-18.

Ponder, C.A., Kliethermes, C.L., Drew, M.R., Muller, J.M., Das, K., Risbrough, V, Crabbe, J.C.,  Gilliam, T.C., & Palmer, A.A (2007). Selection for contextual fear conditioning affects anxiety-like behaviors and gene expression. Genes, Brain & Behavior, 6, 736-49.

Sahay, A., Drew, M.R, & Hen, R. (2007). Dentate Gyrus Neurogenesis and Depression. Progress in Brain Research, 163, 697-722.

Saxe, M.D., Battaglia, F., Wang, J.W., Malleret, G., David, D.J., Monckton, J.E., Garcia, D.R., Sofroniew, M.V., Kandel, E.R., Santarelli, L., Hen, R., & Drew, M.R. (2006). Ablation of hippocampal neurogenesis impairs contextual fear conditioning and synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,103,17501-506.

*Meshi, D.B., *Drew, M.R., Moore, H., Malapani, C., Hen., R.. (2006). Hippocampal neurogenesis is not required for the effect of environmental enrichment on spatial learning and anxiety-like behavior. Nature Neuroscience, 9, 729-31.     *Indicates equal contribution with first author

Drew, M.R., Zupan, B., Cooke, A., Couvillon, P.A., & Balsam, P.D. (2005).  Temporal control of conditioned responding in goldfish.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 31, 31-39.

Balsam, P.D. & Drew, M.R. (2004). Learning theory, feed-forward mechanisms, and the adaptiveness of conditioned responding.  [Commentary] Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27, 698.

Drew, M.R., Yang, C., & Balsam, P.D. (2004). Temporal Specificity of Extinction in Autoshaping. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes 30, 163-176.

Drew M.R., Fairhurst S., Malapani C., Horvitz J.C., Balsam P.D. (2003). Effects of dopamine antagonists on the timing of two intervals. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 75, 9-15.

Balsam, P.D., Drew, M.R., & Yang, C. (2002). Timing at the start of associative learning.  Learning & Motivation, 33, 141-155.

Compton, A.D., Slemmer, J.E., Drew, M.R., Hymna, J.M., Golden, K.M., Balster, R.L., & Wiley, J.L. (2001). Combinations of clozapine and phencyclidine: Effects on drug discrimination and behavioral inhibition in rats. Neuropharmacology, 40, 289-297. 

Ohyama, T., Horvitz, J.C., Drew, M.R., Gibbon, J., Malapani, C. & Balsam, P.D (2001).  Conditioned and unconditioned behavior/cognitive effects of a dopamine antagonist. Behavioral Neuroscience, 114, 1251-1255.

Brown, M.F. & Drew, M.R. (1998).  Exposure to spatial cues facilitates visual discrimination but not spatial guidance.  Learning & Motivation, 29, 367-382.


  • 2008-2013 NIMH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)
  • 2006-2008 Charles H. Revson Foundation Senior Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences
  • 2006-2008 NARSAD Young Investigator Award
  • 2004-2006 NIMH Postdoctoral Trainee in Psychobiological Science

NEU 335: Neural Systems II