Dr. Milad’s research focuses on understanding the neurobiology of learning not to fear (fear extinction) in both the rat and human brains. Recently, the department of Psychiatry has built the behavioral neuroscience laboratory to allow Dr. Milad to continue his research. Particular emphasis of this new laboratory is to investigate the differences between males and females in their ability to inhibit fear and to understand the potential influence of gonadal hormones (i.e. estrogen and progesterone) on the neurobiology of fear extinction. The generous support of the Rappaport Family Fund has been instrumental in helping him to initiate this line of his research. The fund has allowed the purchase of animals and supplies for the laboratory. Moreover, the fund is contributing to the salary of a post-doctoral fellow to assist Dr. Milad in conducting his research. Dr. Milad is in the initial phase of gathering preliminary data that will permit him to apply for funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Through his recent work, Dr. Milad has identified a network of brain regions, including the vmPFC to be critical for fear inhibition in the human brain. Currently, Dr. Milad is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at MGH-HMS. He continues to conduct translation research that is primarily focused on understanding how fear inhibition can be strengthened, which could have substantial clinical implications.
Thus, the support from the Rappaport Family Fund has allowed 1) the initiation of an important line of research to help understand differences between men and women in learning not to fear, 2) the scientific development of a post-doctoral fellow, and 3) the scientific development of a junior faculty member in the department of psychiatry.