Jennifer Felger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

felgerDr. Felger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and an Associate Member of the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory. She received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida (2001), a PhD in Neuroscience from Emory (2007), and then continued her training in neuroscience and immunology as a postdoctoral fellow in the Neuroimmune Group in the Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at Rockefeller University (2007-2009). Dr. Felger returned to Emory to extend her previous work on immune activation and behavior by focusing on cytokine effects on neurotransmitters and neural circuits. Her recent work established that peripheral administration of the inflammatory cytokine interferon (IFN)-alpha decreases basal ganglia dopamine, as assessed in a translational model of cytokine-induced depressive and anhedonic behavior. Dr. Felger is currently exploring the role of dopamine in alterations in neurocircuitry associated with increased inflammation in patients with major depression using fMRI, and continuing her translational work to better understand the underlying neural and metabolic pathways by which cytokines may affect dopamine and glutamate to mediate depressive symptoms. She is also involved in ongoing projects examining the molecular and cellular pathways of immune activation in patients with major depression and in cancer patients who experience behavioral change in response to therapy, and is the Laboratory Director for the Emory Behavioral Immunology Program. Dr. Felger has received several grants throughout her career, including two NRSA awards from the NIMH and a Glenn Family Breast Cancer Pilot grant. She is currently the recipient of a KL2 Scholarship through the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute and a 2014 NARSAD Young Investigator Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.