Meaghan Creed, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Neurosciences Program

  • 314 273 7922



  • @Meaghan_Creed

  • in vivo electrophysiology, patch clamp electrophysiology, deep brain stimulation, reward, dopamine, basal ganglia, chronic pain, addiction, genetics, pharmacology

  • Leveraging principals of synaptic physiology to develop novel treatment strategies for chronic pain and addiction.

Research Abstract:

**We are accepting rotation students for the 2021-2022 Academic year!**

Impaired reward processing is a hallmark feature of chronic pain- , mood- and substance use disorders. These disorders are driven in part by altered function of ventral basal ganglia circuits, a collection of brain structures involved in learning and selection of flexible behavior. In my research program, we ask:

How does the experience of chronic pain or self-administration of addictive drugs drive synaptic adaptations within ventral basal ganglia circuits?

Which experience-dependent circuit adaptations are causally related to altered or impaired reward seeking behavior?

How can we reverse plasticity to normalize circuit function to treat maladaptive behavior?

To answer these questions, we first apply complementary approaches of optogenetic manipulations, patch clamp and in vivo electrophysiology to determine how the experience of chronic pain or drug self-administration induces plasticity within the basal ganglia circuits, and how this plasticity at discrete synapses contributes to maladaptive reward seeking behaviors.  In a second step, we attempt to leverage this insight to develop novel neuromodulation strategies (optogenetics, targeted pharmacology and deep brain stimulation) to reverse this disease-induced plasticity to normalize circuit function and reduce maladaptive behavior.

We are particularly interested in how dopamine and endogenous opioids sculpt activity of the basal ganglia network, and how these adaptations alter hedonic processing, reward motivation and punishment-sensitivity. We work in mouse models of chronic pain and addiction, and all projects apply complementary approaches of in vivo electrophysiology, behavioral assays and synaptic physiology.

Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:
I believe that there is no one-size-fits all approach to mentoring.  I strive to be in lab as much as possible, to answer scientific or technical questions as they arise and provide hands-on guidance as needed. I also dedicate time weekly for a 1:1 meeting with each lab member where we can talk about data analysis and longer-range experimental plans or topics trainees would like to discuss. I encourage every lab member to work on an individual develop plan, which encompasses scientific, professional and training goals on longer time scales.  We'll meet formally to discuss this IDP 2-3 times per year; my role is to help lab members identify training opportunities and outline their own specific milestones that will help them achieve their professional and scientific goals, regardless of what that next steps or future career plans may be.

I have benefited immensely from supportive, unbiased mentors throughout my career. I also understand the importance of a mentor as a role model in creating an inclusive culture. In my own lab, I strive to promote such an inclusive culture, welcoming scholars from all socioeconomic, gender and ethnic groups and promoting scientific work from scholars from these groups. I am acutely aware of how racial and gender biases influence everyday interactions and long-term career trajectories of scholars from underrepresented groups, and I do my best to further educate myself and increase my sensitivity to these issues. In the lab, we do not tolerate discrimination in any form, and believe that a variety of perspectives enhances innovation and creativity.

Selected Publications:

Vachez YM*, Tooley JR*, Abiraman K, Matikainen-Ankeny B, Casey E, Earnest T, Ramos LM, Silberberg H, Godynyuk E, Uddin O, Marconi L, LePichon C, Creed M. Ventral arkypallidal neurons inhibit accumbal firing to promote reward consumption. Nature Neuroscience.  2021. 3(25):379-387.

Bariselli S, Miyazaki NL, Creed MC, Kravitz AV. Orbitofrontal-striatal potentiation underlies cocaine-induced hyperactivity. Nat Commun. 2020 Aug 10;11(1):3996

Godynyuk E, Bluitt MN, Tooley JR, Kravitz AV, Creed MC.An open-source, automated, home-cage sipper device for monitoring liquid ingestive behavior in rodents. eNeuro. 2019. 10;6(5).

LeGates TA, Kvarta MD, Tooley J, Francis CT, Lobo MK, Creed M, Thompson SM. (2019) Reward behavior is regulated by the strength of hippocampus-nucleus accumbens excitatory synapses. Nature. In Press.

Wulff AB, Tooley J, Marconi LJ, Creed MC. (2018) Ventral pallidal modulation of aversion processing. Brain Res. pii: S0006-8993(18)30514-6.

Creed M. (2018) Current and emerging neuromodulation therapies for addiction: insight from pre-clinical studies. Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 49:168-174.

Tooley J, Marconi L, Alipio JB, Matikainen-Ankney B, Georgiou P, Kravitz AV, Creed M. (2018) Biological Psychiatry. 83(12):1012-1023.

Chandra R, Engeln M, Patton M, Martin J, Werner C, Riggs L, Francis T, Das S, Girven K, Konkalmatt P, Gancarz A, Golden SA, Iniguez S, Russo SJ, Turecki G, Mathur B, Creed M, Dietz DM, Lobo MK. (2017) Mitochondrial fission in nucleus accumbens D1 neuron subtypes mediates cellular and behavioral plasticity to cocaine. Neuron. 96(6):1327-1341.

Creed M. (2017) Towards a targeted treatment for addiction. Science. 357(6350): 464-465.
Lee, D*, Creed M*, Jung K*, Stefanelli T, Wendler D, Oh WC, Mignocchi NL, Lüscher C, Kwon HB. (2017) Temporally precise labeling and control of neuromodulatory circuits in the mammalian brain. Nature Methods. 14(5):495-503.

Creed M, Ntamati R, Chandra R, Lobo MK, Lüshcer C. (2016)
Convergence of rewarding and anhedonic effects of cocaine in the ventral pallidum. Neuron. 92(1): 214-226.

Creed M*, Kaufling J*, Fois G, Jalabert M, Yuan T, Lüscher C, Georges F, and Bellone C. (2016) Cocaine exposure enhances the activity of VTA dopamine neurons via calcium impermeable NMDARs. Journal of Neuroscience. 36(42):10759-10768.

Creed M, Pascoli VP, Lüscher C. (2015) Refining deep brain stimulation to emulate optogenetic treatment of synaptic pathology. Science. 347(6222):659-64.

More publications with full-text links at

Last Updated: 3/28/2021 10:05:12 PM

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