Dr. Ferguson has expertise in molecular genetics, molecular biology and addiction-related research. As a graduate student in Dr. Robert Sapolsky’s laboratory at Stanford University, he was trained in a broad array of animal models of reward. The results of his research have been published in several top-tier journals. Moreover, he was awarded several prestigious fellowships and grants (NIH-Predoctoral NRSA Fellowship, NIH Biotechnology Research Grant and UNCF Merck Predoctoral Research grant) to support his graduate research.
The next step in Dr. Ferguson's development as a scientific investigator was to acquire molecular and genetic expertise by transitioning into Dr. Eric Nestler’s molecular psychiatry laboratory at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. During his Postdoctoral training, he authored and co-authored several publications in highly prestigious journals including Science, Nature, Nature Neuroscience, and Journal of Neuroscience. Additionally, he was awarded the American Psychological Association (APA) Postdoctoral Research fellowship, Merck Postdoctoral Research Grant, NARSAD, and K99/R00 grants. More importantly, several months after successfully obtaining a faculty position at the University of Arizona College of Medicine (UA-COM), he published a manuscript (in a top-tier journal) that included members of his own independent research team from UA-COM. This highlights his independence as a scientific investigator and the ability to deliver and reach tangible benchmarks and milestones.
Dr. Ferguson's team currently consists of a highly trained postdoctoral fellow (whom obtained is graduate degree from the highest ranked University in South Korea where he published several high impact manuscripts) a graduate student (previously trained as a research technician in his lab) a full-time technician, and volunteer student. Moreover, his H-Index of 23 and 1674 citations for someone of his rank (first year Assistant Professor) is considered exceptional. In summary, based on his stellar track record for competing and acquiring grant funding, exceptional publication record, demonstrated ability to meet benchmarks, and the groundbreaking innovative research proposed in this grant, highlights his qualifications as an investigator capable of successfully conducting the research proposed.
Dr. Ferguson is also a member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center. This will offer many opportunities for collaboration.
- Ferguson D, Shao N, Heller E, Feng J, Neve R, Kim HD, Call T, Magazu S, Shen L and Nestler EJ. SIRT1-FOXO3a Regulate Cocaine Actions in the Nucleus Accumbens. J Neurosci. 2014 In Press
- Dias C, Feng J, Sun H, Shao NY, Mazei-Robison MS, Damez-Werno D, Scobie K, Bagot R, LaBonté B, Ribeiro E, Liu X, Kennedy P, Vialou V, Ferguson D, Peña C, Calipari ES, Koo JW, Mouzon E, Ghose S, Tamminga C, Neve R, Shen L, Nestler EJ. β-catenin mediates stress resilience through Dicer1/microRNA regulation. Nature. 2014 Nov 12.
- Heller EA, Cates HM, Peña CJ, Sun H, Shao N, Feng J, Golden SA, Herman JP, Walsh JJ, Mazei-Robison M, Ferguson D, Knight S, Gerber MA, Nievera C, Han MH, Russo SJ, Tamminga CS, Neve RL, Shen L, Zhang HS, Zhang F, Nestler EJ. Locus-specific epigenetic remodeling controls addiction- and depression-related behaviors. Nat Neurosci. 2014 Oct 27
- Feng J, Wilkinson M, Liu X, Purushothaman I, Ferguson D, Vialou V, Maze I, Shao N, Kennedy P, Koo J, Dias C, Laitman B, Stockman V, Laplant Q, Cahill M, Nestler EJ, Shen L. Chronic cocaine-regulated epigenomic changes in mouse nucleus accumbens. Genome Biol. 2014 Apr 22;15(4):R65.
- Gaspari S, Papachatzaki M, Koo JW, Carr F, Tsibamouli M, Stergiou E, Bagot R, Ferguson D, Mouzon E, Chakravarty S, Deisseroth K, Lobo MK and Zachariou V. Nucleus Accumbens specific interventions in RGS9-2 activity modulate responses to morphine. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 In Press