Dr. Pfaff concentrates his research in examining the cellular mechanisms by which the brain controls behavior, using neuroanatomical, neurochemical and neurophysiological methods. Specifically the Neurobiology and Behavior Laboratory explores steroid hormone effects on nerve cells as they direct natural and instinctive behaviors, as well as the influences of hormones and genes on generalized brain arousal.
Gagnidze, K., Weil, Z. M., Faustino, L. C., Schaafsma, S. M., & Pfaff, D. W. (2013). Early histone modifications in the ventromedial hypothalamus and preoptic area following oestradiol administration. Journal of neuroendocrinology, 25(10), 939–55. doi:10.1111/jne.12085
Hunter, R. G., Murakami, G., Dewell, S., Seligsohn, M., Baker, M. E. R., Datson, N. a, … Pfaff, D. W. (2012). Acute stress and hippocampal histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation, a retrotransposon silencing response. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(43), 17657–62. doi:10.1073/pnas.1215810109
Pfaff, D. W., Martin, E. M., & Faber, D. (2012). Origins of arousal: roles for medullary reticular neurons. Trends in neurosciences, 35(8), 468–76. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2012.04.008