Jessica L Ables, MD, PhD
- ASSISTANT PROFESSOR | Psychiatry
- ASSISTANT PROFESSOR | Neuroscience
Research Topics:Addiction, Bioinformatics, Brain, Depression, Diabetes, Metabolism, Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Post-Transcriptional Processing, RNA, Systems Neuroscience, Transcriptional Activation and Repression, Transgenic Mice
Dr. Jessica Ables is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, a New York State licensed physician and an ABPN board-certified psychiatrist. She works in the Student Trainee Mental Health Program at Icahn School of Medicine one day a week and conducts research on the basic biology underlying mental illness the other four days of the week. Dr. Ables practices general psychiatry and her reserch interests are in the effects of diabetes on the brain and the mechanisms underlying tolerance and addiction.
Dr. Ables completed her undergraduate education in Chemistry at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. She then entered the Medical Scientist Training Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where she completed her PhD in Integrative Biology. She then transferred to Mount Sinai to complete her medical schooling, graduating. After medical school, Dr. Ables went to The Rockefeller University for a 4 year postdoctoral fellowship in molecular Neuroscience prior to returning to Mount Sinai to complete her residency training in Psychiatry.
- Adjustment Disorder
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder And Attention Deficit Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Drug Abuse And Drug Addiction
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Mental Health Services
- Mental Illness
- Mood Disorders
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Suicidal Tendencies
Multi-Disciplinary Training AreaNeuroscience [NEU]
PhD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
MD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
MD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
The Rockefeller University
Mount Sinai Hospital
Residency, Clinical Psychiatry, Mount Sinai Hospital
NARSAD Young Investigator
Fellow in Neuroscience
Outstanding Resident Award
The goal of our research is to better understand the effects of chronic metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, on brain function. Given the high utilization of energy by the brain, we aim to explore the implications of altered metabolism at the behavioral, circuit, cellular and molecular levels. Currently, we use animal models of diabetes to identify the ways in which long-term exposure to hyperglycemia can lead to increased susceptibility to stress and to addiction- or depression- or anxiety-like syndromes. A major focus of our work is on hyperglycemia-induced changes in gene expression and chromatin structure within the brain’s reward and aversion circuitry, and the mechanisms by which those lasting adaptations alter neuronal and circuit function to produce behavioral abnormalities. Our goal is to eventually translate these findings to human patients.
Nitric Oxide in the Development of Tolerance
The interpeduncular nucleus (IPN) is a GABAergic nucleus that is characterized by high expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (Nos1) as well as striking vascularity. We have recently found that Nos1 is increased in IPN after chronic exposure to nicotine. We hypothesize that this increase in Nos1 mediates the development of tolerance to the aversive effects of nicotine, as we found that eliminating Nos1 in the IPN reduces preference for a rewarding dose of nicotine (Ables et al. PNAS 2017). Our goal is to determine if this increase in Nos1 in the IPN generalizes to other drugs of abuse or to stress and might represent a target for treatment of addiction. Future studies will focus on visualizing nitric oxide release from the IPN and the effects of nitric oxide on the epigenome, transcriptome and function of neurons in the reward circuitry.
Recent research has revealed that neuronal axons have specialized mechanisms to regulate delivery and utilization of mRNAs independently of the neuronal cell body, where the nucleus resides. This is not surprising given that in many cases (e.g. motor neurons in the limbs), the axons are far removed from the cell body and require the ability to respond to stimuli on timescales that would prohibit gene expression from the nucleus and subsequent delivery to the distal axon. Projection neurons in the brain provide a unique opportunity to profile the transcripts that are utilized in discrete compartments of the cell, as the axons are physically separate from the cell body. Our lab is currently profiling axonal transcriptomes in specific cell populations in the normal mouse brain. Our goal is to determine how translation is locally regulated in response to various stimuli, including stress and metabolic derangements.