Austen Casey, PhDPostdoctoral Scholar


    Austen Casey became interested in the chemistry and pharmacology of neuropsychiatric medications at Warren Wilson College where he earned a B.S. in Chemistry: concentration in Biochemistry. He then pursued training in Medicinal Chemistry at Northeastern University (advisor: Raymond G. Booth, PhD, RPh), where he focused on the design and characterization of a new class of serotonin 5-HT2A receptor inverse agonists, as well as the preclinical development of the 5-HT receptor agonist (S)-FPT.

    Austen joined the Heifets lab as a postdoctoral scholar in 2021, where he helped develop UNRAVEL, an unbiased, automated computational pipeline to identify neural activity in the mouse brain associated with acute administration of rapid-acting psychiatric medications. His current project involves identifying neural circuit mechanisms by which MDMA impacts sociability and fear expression in mice.  Austen’s long term goal is to integrate his training in medicinal chemistry and neuroscience to discover mechanistically novel psychiatric medications.

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