Robert Huber, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Bowling Green State University, explores the neurochemical basis of complex behavior associated with aggression and drug addiction. Using simpler systems approaches, he chooses model systems that are suitable to experimental manipulations at the molecular, neural, and pharmacological levels.
Huber’s fellowship project explores serotonin’s role in a validated fruit fly model of aggression. A novel genetic strategy, intersectional genetics, has identified a single pair of serotonergic neurons that enhance aggression when activated. With a background in computational ethology, Huber will develop techniques for a fine-scale characterization of resultant behavioral phenotypes in this model system. The primary significance of this project derives from its potential to connect higher-order behavioral decisions with the neural functioning of identified components of the nervous system.
Huber earned a master's degree in animal behavior, mentored by the Nobel laureate Konrad Lorenz, at Universität Salzburg, in Austria, followed by a doctorate in neuroanatomy at Texas Tech University and a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. He serves as editor of several international journals and recently published a special volume on aggression that integrates theoretical models of social interactions, neurogenetics of aminergic systems, with recent advances in neurocriminology.