Vanderbilt University
Institute of Imaging Science

Robert Gould, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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Broadly, my interests lie in understanding how drugs (illicit and potential treatments) affect brain function and behavior. My research strives to identify untreated symptoms associated with CNS disorders, and to apply highly translational methods (e.g. EEG, MRI, PET imaging) to assess brain function in animal models at a global, circuit-specific, and biochemical level to establish brain-behavior relationships to understand symptomatology and develop novel treatments.


I am currently applying classic animal models of drug abuse with small animal functional MRI and EEG to investigate co-morbid conditions (e.g. sleep disturbances, cognitive impairments, anxiety, stress, depression) that contribute to relapse in an effort to develop treatments to aid relapse prevention. I am focusing on understanding how modifying function of a specific glutamate receptor subtype (metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 [mGlu5]) using novel pharmacological compounds will affect drug-related behaviors contributing to relapse as well as underlying brain function and biochemistry.


Gould RW*, Amato RJ*, Bubser M, Joffe ME, Nedelcovych MT, Thompson AD, et. al., Partial mGlu5 negative allosteric modulators attenuate cocaine-mediated behaviors and lack psychotomimetic-like effects. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2016; 41(4): 1166-78. PMID: 26315507. *contributed equally

Gould RW, Nedelcovych MT, Gong X, Tsai E, Bubser M, Bridges TM, Wood MR, Duggan ME, Brandon NJ, Dunlop J, Wood MW, Ivarsson M, Noetzel MJ, Daniels JS, Niswender CM, Lindsley CW, Conn PJ, Jones CK. State-Dependent Alterations in Sleep/Wake Architecture elicited by the M4 PAM VU0467154 - Relation to Antipsychotic-like Drug Effects. Neuropharmacology. 2016; 102: 244-53. PMID: 26617071.