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Bonthuis, Paul Jeffrey

Assistant Professor

Address and Contact Information

2001 South Lincoln
3619/3846 VMBSB
2001 S Lincoln
Urbana, IL  61802

Education

  • PhD, Neuroscience, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • BS, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Washington, Seattle

Academic Positions

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Lab of Chris Gregg,
    University of Utah, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
    Salt Lake City, UT

Industry Positions

  • Scientist Intern, Biomedical Technologies Group,
    Luna Innovations, Charlottesville, VA

Research Interests

My research objective is to understand how genes, epigenetic regulation of gene expression, and hormone signaling in the brain interact to regulate social behaviors. Most recently, my focus has been to investigate noncanonical genomic imprinting in the monoamine neurotransmitter system of the brain and the functional consequences on mammalian behavior. Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon in mammals where the expression of an allelic copy of a gene depends on whether it was inherited from the mother or the father. A major theory about genomic imprinting in the brain is that it functions to regulate social behaviors between mothers and offspring, and even between adult social groups. Using newly developed allelic-reporter mice made by CRISPR mediated knock-in mutagenesis, and neural histology methods, I have begun to identify which monoaminergic neurons in the brain are subject to genomic imprinting effects. In addition, genetic mouse models and ongoing behavioral experiments are characterizing which aspects of social behavior are impacted by genomic imprinting in the monoamine neurotransmitter system. Moving forward, my research will use genomic imprinting effects as a marker to identify cell-types and circuits important for regulating complex social behaviors in mammals.

Courses Taught

  • Medical Neuroanatomy Lab Instructor, School of Medicine, University of Utah
    Instructor, Pre-meeting Workshop: Basics and latest trends in CRISPR mouse genome editing technologies, 14th Transgenic Technology Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT

Grants

  • NIMH 1K99MH111912 Bonthuis(PI) 02/01/2017 – 01/31/2019
    Genomic imprinting in circuits for social behavior

    The goal of this project is to discover genomic imprinting effects in monoamine circuits of the hypothalamus that are regulated by hormone signaling and impact social behaviors related to mental illness

Honors and Awards

  • New Investigator Award, Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Annual Meeting, Bloomington, IN June, 2019

  • NIH Pathway to Independence Award K99, National Institutes of Mental Health 2017-2019

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Interdisciplinary Training Program in Metabolism Fellowship,
    University of Utah 2013-2014

  • Travel award, Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada July, 2010

  • First place poster presentation, Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Annual Meeting, June, 2009
    East Lansing, MI

  • Predoctoral Fellowship, Biotechnology Training Program, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 2008-2010

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