Dr. Eoin O'Connor
Phone : (0041) 22 329 53 90

I am interested to understand how brain circuits control emotions, such as pleasure or fear, and how these circuits contribute to major brain disorders like addiction. To achieve these goals, I combine neural tracing, electrophysiology and behavioral tasks in genetically modified mouse lines.

2011-2015: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Geneva (Prof. C. Lüscher)

2007-2011: Graduate Student, University of Sussex, UK (Prof. D. Stephens)

2004-2007: Scientist, Pfizer Global Research and Development, Sandwich, UK

2001-2004: BMedSc (Hons, Class I), University of Birmingham, UK

Publications :

  • Bariselli S, Tzanoulinou S, Glangetas C, Prévost-Solié C, Pucci L, Viguié J, Bezzi P, O’Connor EC, Georges F, Lüscher C and Bellone C. SHANK3 controls maturation of social reward circuits in the VTA. (2016) Nature Neuroscience 19, 926-934
  • O’Connor EC, Kremer Y, Lefort S, Harada M, Pascoli V, Rohner C and Lüscher C. (2015). Accumbal D1R neurons projecting to lateral hypothalamus authorize feeding. Neuron 88(3), 553-564
  • Pascoli V*, Terrier J*, Espallergues J, Valjent E, O'Connor EC and Lüscher C. Contrasting forms of cocaine-evoked plasticity control components of relapse. Nature, 2014.

  • O'Connor EC*, Bariselli S* and Bellone C. Synaptic Basis of Social Dysfunction: A focus on Postsynaptic Proteins Linking Group-I mGluRs with AMPARs and NMDARs. European Journal of Neuroscience, 2014.

  • Yuan T, Mameli M, O'Connor EC, Narayan De P, Verpelli C, Sala C, Perez-Otano I, Lüscher C, Bellone C. Expression of cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity by GluN3A-containing NMDA receptors. Neuron, 2013.

  • Brown MTC*, Tan KR*, O'Connor EC*, Nikonenko I, Muller D, Lüscher C. VTA inhibitory projections pause accumbal cholinergic interneurons to enhance stimulus-outcome learning. Nature, 2012.

  • O’Connor EC, Chapman K, Butler P, Mead AN. The predictive validity of the rat self-administration model for abuse liability. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews (2011), 35 (3): 912-938.

  • O'Connor EC, Stephens DN, Crombag HS. Modelling appetitive Pavlovian-instrumental interactions in mice. Current Protocols in Neuroscience (2010), Chapter 8: Unit 8.25

  • Novak M*, Halbout B*, O'Connor EC*, Rodriguez Parkitna J, Su T, Chai M, Crombag HS, Bilbao A, Spanagel R, Stephens DN, Schütz G, Engblom D. Incentive learning underlying cocaine-seeking requires mGluR5 receptors located on dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons. Journal of Neuroscience (2010), 30 (36): 11973-11982. *contributed equally to the work

  • O'Connor EC and Mead AN. Tramadol acts as a weak reinforcer in the rat self-administration model, consistent with its low abuse liability in humans. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior (2010), 96: 279-286.

  • O'Connor EC, Mead AN, Crombag HS, Stephens DN. The mGluR5 antagonist MTEP dissociates the acquisition of predictive and incentive motivational properties of reward-paired stimuli in mice. Neuropsychopharmacology (2010), 35: 1807-1817.

  • O'Connor EC, Parker D, Rollema H, Mead AN. The alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine-receptor partial agonist varenicline inhibits both nicotine self-administration following repeated dosing and reinstatement of nicotine seeking in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl) (2009), 208: 365-376.

Click there to download articles from the Lüscher lab