Dave Root
Assistant Professor
Psychology and Neuroscience

Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
345 UCB
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0345

Dr. Root is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. He received his PhD in Psychology from Rutgers University in 2012, after which he joined the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Root joined the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience in 2018 and aims to identify how the brain's reward center, the ventral tegmental area (VTA), participates in reward, aversion, addiction, depression, and other neuropsychiatric illnesses. To accomplish this, the Root lab utilizes molecular, electrophysiological, imaging, and viral-based approaches to define, observe, and manipulate the specific neurons and pathways that govern motivation for natural and drug rewards.

Selected Publications

Root DH, Mejias-Aponte CA, Qi J, Morales M. (2014a). Role of glutamatergic projections from ventral tegmental area to lateral habenula in aversive conditioning. Journal of Neuroscience, 34(42):13906-13910. Pubmed

Root DH, Mejias-Aponte CA, Zhang S, Wang HL, Hoffman AF, Lupica CR, Morales M. (2014b). Single mesohabenular axons release both glutamate and GABA. Nature Neuroscience 17(11):1429-1622. Pubmed

Root DH, Wang HL, Liu B, Barker DJ, Mod L, Szocsics P, Silva AC, Magloczky Z, Morales M. (2016). Glutamate neurons are intermixed with midbrain dopamine neurons in nonhuman primates and humans. Scientific Reports, 6:30615. Pubmed