Christopher T. Gregg, PhD

Research Interests

  • Neurosciences
  • Genomic and Personalized Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neuronal Circuitry
  • Computational Biology
  • Epigenetics
  • Human and Mouse Genetics
  • Genome Engineering
  • Evolution
  • Brain Diseases
  • Motivated Behaviors

Labs

Lab Website

Languages

  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Human Genetics - Adjunct Assistant Professor, Neurobiology and Anatomy - Assistant Professor

Academic Office Information

  • 801-581-8212
  • Biomedical Polymers Research Bldg
    Neurobiology and Anatomy
    20 S 2030 E, Room: 408B
    Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Email: chris.gregg@neuro.utah.edu

Academic Bio

RESEARCH OVERVIEW

A major goal of our research is to uncover novel genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in the brain that regulate motivated behaviors. Alterations to motivated behaviors occur in a wide range of disorders, including anxiety disorders, major depression, addiction, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorders and eating disorders. Motivated beahviors involve opposing behavioral drives, such as hunger and satiety, reward and aversion, sleep and wake, or social and anti-scoial behaviors. The Gregg Lab is developing novel approaches to study complex motivated behaviors and to uncover functionally antagonistic pathways that regulate opposing motivational states. Our goal is to develop approaches to engineer specific patterns of behavior and to develop novel strategies to diagnose and treat complex psychiatric disorders. We are developing novel computation, genomics genome engineering and behavioral approaches to achieve these goals.

AREAS OF INTEREST

Allele-Specific Expression Effects in Neuronal Circuits Regulating Motivated Behaviors. We are developing novel genomics and imaging based approaches to study allele-specific expression effects in different neuronal circuits that regulate anxiety, feeding exploration and other complex motivated behaviors. In particular, we have been focused on a form of allele-specific expression called genomic imprinting, in which the maternally or paternally inherited allele is preferentially expressed for some genes in the genome. We have discovered numerous imprinting effects that influence gene expression in specific tissues and regions of the brain. Our goal is to understand the function and regulation of the seffects and how they influence brain function and susceptibility to brain disorders.

Deconstruction of Complex Motivated Behaviors. Our lab has extensive expertise in the analysis of large-scale datasets. We are building on our expertise to develop novel approaches to study complex patterns of behavior. Using machine learning and video tracking, we are designing "high-content behavioral assays" that allow us to deconstruct motivated behaviors, such as foraging behavior, into over 200 distinct behavioral measures. We are developing these methods to study mechanisms that regulate the development of complex motivated behaviors in offspring and to perform unbiased screens for behavioral phenotypes in transgenic mice and mouse models of brain disorders.

Defining Functionally Antagonistic Mechanisms that Regulate Behavioral Drives. Using computational and genomics approaches, we are developing enw methods to "decode" gene networks in the brain to find functionally antagonistic pathways that regulate behavioral drives. Following the discovery of candidate opposing mechanisms, we use genome engineering based approaches, such as CRISPR technology and viral gene delivery, in combination with mouse genetics and novel behavioral screens to test for functionally antagonistic effects on specific aspects of behaviour. We expect that defining these mechanisms in the brain will transform our ability to diagnose and treat a wide range of psychiatric disorders and human health issues.

Education History

Type School Degree
Other Training Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Integrative Statistical Analysis of Genomic Data
Certificate
Postdoctoral Fellowship Harvard University
Catherine Dulac Laboratory
Postdoctoral Fellow
Other Training Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Programming for Biology
Certificate
Doctoral Training Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
Neuroscience, Samuel Weiss Laboratory
Ph.D.
Undergraduate University of Lethbridge
Biochemistry
B.Sc.

Global Impact

Education History

Type School Degree Country
Doctoral Training Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
Neuroscience, Samuel Weiss Laboratory
Ph.D. Canada
Undergraduate University of Lethbridge
Biochemistry
B.Sc. Canada

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. High-resolution analysis of parent-of-origin allelic expression in the mouse brain.Gregg C, Zhang J, Weissbourd B, Luo S, Schroth GP, Haig D, Dulac C (2010). High-resolution analysis of parent-of-origin allelic expression in the mouse brain. Science, 329(5992), 643-8.
  2. Sex-specific parent-of-origin allelic expression in the mouse brain.Gregg C, Zhang J, Butler JE, Haig D, Dulac C (2010). Sex-specific parent-of-origin allelic expression in the mouse brain. Science, 329(5992), 682-5.
  3. Gregg C (2009). Pregnancy, Prolactin and White Matter Regeneration. Journal of Neurological Sciences, 285(1-2), 22-7.
  4. White matter plasticity and enhanced remyelination in the maternal CNS.Gregg C, Shikar V, Larsen P, Mak G, Chojnacki A, Yong VW, Weiss S (2007). White matter plasticity and enhanced remyelination in the maternal CNS. J Neurosci, 27(8), 1812-23.
  5. Male pheromone-stimulated neurogenesis in the adult female brain: possible role in mating behavior.Mak GK, Enwere EK, Gregg C, Pakarainen T, Poutanen M, Huhtaniemi I, Weiss S (2007). Male pheromone-stimulated neurogenesis in the adult female brain: possible role in mating behavior. Nat Neurosci, 10(8), 1003-11.
  6. Kolb B, Morshead C, Gonzalez C, Kim M, Gregg C, Shingo T, Weiss S (2006). Growth factor-stimulated generation of new cortical tissue and functional recovery after stroke damage to the motor cortex of rats. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab, 27(5), 983-97.
  7. Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide regulates forebrain neural stem cells and neurogenesis in vitro and in vivo.Ohta S, Gregg C, Weiss S (2006). Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide regulates forebrain neural stem cells and neurogenesis in vitro and in vivo. J Neurosci Res, 84(6), 1177-86.
  8. CNTF/LIF/gp130 receptor complex signaling maintains a VZ precursor differentiation gradient in the developing ventral forebrain.Gregg C, Weiss S (2005). CNTF/LIF/gp130 receptor complex signaling maintains a VZ precursor differentiation gradient in the developing ventral forebrain. Development, 132(3), 565-78.
  9. Aging results in reduced epidermal growth factor receptor signaling, diminished olfactory neurogenesis, and deficits in fine olfactory discrimination.Enwere E, Shingo T, Gregg C, Fujikawa H, Ohta S, Weiss S (2004). Aging results in reduced epidermal growth factor receptor signaling, diminished olfactory neurogenesis, and deficits in fine olfactory discrimination. J Neurosci, 24(38), 8354-65.
  10. Pregnancy-stimulated neurogenesis in the adult female forebrain mediated by prolactin.Shingo T, Gregg C, Enwere E, Fujikawa H, Hassam R, Geary C, Cross JC, Weiss S (2003). Pregnancy-stimulated neurogenesis in the adult female forebrain mediated by prolactin. Science, 299(5603), 117-20.
  11. Glycoprotein 130 signaling regulates Notch1 expression and activation in the self-renewal of mammalian forebrain neural stem cells.Chojnacki A, Shimazaki T, Gregg C, Weinmaster G, Weiss S (2003). Glycoprotein 130 signaling regulates Notch1 expression and activation in the self-renewal of mammalian forebrain neural stem cells. J Neurosci, 23(5), 1730-41.
  12. Generation of functional radial glial cells by embryonic and adult forebrain neural stem cells.Gregg C, Weiss S (2003). Generation of functional radial glial cells by embryonic and adult forebrain neural stem cells. J Neurosci, 23(37), 11587-601.

Review

  1. Gregg C (2014). Known unknowns for allele-specific expression and genomic imprinting effects. [Review]. F1000Research, 4(6), 75-77.
  2. Gregg C (2010). Eppendorf winner. Parental Control Over The Brain. [Review]. Science, 330(6005), 770-1.
  3. Gregg C (2009). Pregnancy, Prolactin and White Matter Regeneration. [Review]. Journal of Neurological Sciences, 285(1-2), 22-7.
  4. Radial glial cells as neuronal precursors: the next generation?Gregg CT, Chojnacki AK, Weiss S (2002). Radial glial cells as neuronal precursors: the next generation? [Review]. J Neurosci Res, 69(6), 708-13.
  5. Neural stem cells of the mammalian forebrain.Gregg CT, Shingo T, Weiss S (2001). Neural stem cells of the mammalian forebrain. [Review]. Symp Soc Exp Biol, (53), 1-19.

Book Chapter

  1. Bonthuis P and Gregg C (2015). Decoding the Transcriptome of Neuronal Circuits. In Adam Douglass (Ed.), New Techniques in Systems Neuroscience (pp. 29-56). New York: Springer.
  2. Dulac, C and Gregg C (2013). Genomic imprinting in the Adult and Developing Brain. In: Multiple Origins of Sex Differences in Brain. In D.W. Pfaff and Y. Christen (Eds.), Research and Perspectives in Endocrine Interactions. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
  3. Huang, WC and Gregg C (2013). Genomic Imprinting in the Mammalian Brain. In R Kageyama, T. Yamamori (Eds.), Cortical development: neural diversity and neocortical organization. Springer.
  4. Gregg C, Shingo T, and Weiss S (2001). Neural Stem Cells of the Forebrain. In J.A. Miyan et al. (Ed.), Brain Stem Cells: Development and Regeneration. BIOS Scientific Publishers. Oxford.

Abstract

  1. Huang WC, Ferris E, Cheng T, Hrndli CS, Gleason K, Tamminga C, Gregg C (2016). Non-genetic Allelic Effects in the Human Brain [Abstract]. Human Epigenetics & Disease. Keystone meeting. Seattle, WA, USA.
  2. Huang WC, Ferris E, Cheng T, Hrndli CS, Gleason K, Tamminga C, Wagner JD, Boucher KM, Christian JL, Gregg C (2016). Diverse Non-genetic Allele-Specific Expression Effects Shape Genetic Architecture at the Cellular Level in the Mammalian Brain [Abstract]. Human Epigenetics & Disease. Keystone Meeting. Seattle, WA, USA.

Patent

  1. Huang WC, Ferris E, Gregg C (2017). Algorithm to identify non-genetic allelic effects using RNASeq. U.S. Patent No. Provisional. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  2. Gregg C, Ferris E (2016). Methods for Detecting Rapidly Processed Introns to Evaluate Allelic Expression. U.S. Patent No. 62/494,162 (July 29, 2016). Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  3. Gregg C, Weiss S (2009). Pregnancy-induced oligodendrocyte precursor cell proliferation regulated by prolactin. U.S. Patent No. 7,534,765. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  4. Weiss S, Gregg C, Davidoff A, Tucker J (2009). Continuous dosing regimes for neural stem cell proliferating agents and neural stem cell differentiating agents. U.S. Patent No. 0081205 A1. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  5. Weiss S, Gregg C, Davidoff A, Tucker J (2008). Dosing regimes for neural stem cell proliferating agents for the treatment of neurological disorders. U.S. Patent No. 0039389 A1. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  6. Weiss S, Gregg C (2006). Production of radial glial cells. U.S. Patent No. 7,033,995 B2. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  7. Weiss S, Enwere E, Andersen L, Gregg C (2005). Pheromones and the lutenizing hormone for inducing proliferation of neural stem cells and neurogenesis. U.S. Patent No. 0245436 A1. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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