Brad A. Grueter, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Faculty Appointments
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology & BiophysicsAssistant Professor of PharmacologyAssistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Ph.D., Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeM.S., University of Illinois, Chicago, IllinoisB.S., Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois
Office Address
P435G Medical Research Building IV
Nashville, TN 37232
Research Description
The Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) circuitry is a complex system of brain nuclei integrating information from diverse inputs. Synaptic drive in this circuitry is thought to trigger complex behaviors. The goal of the Grueter lab is to contribute to the field of addiction and neuroscience in general by dissecting the complex behaviors underlying pathophysiological states into elemental biological entities. These biological entities represent synapses in specific reward-related neurocircuits. By understanding the synaptic modifications brought about by in vivo experience we can begin to parse out molecular and therapeutic targets for disease intervention.
Research Keywords
Neuroscience, motivation, reward, synapse, neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity
Kashima DT, Grueter BA. Toll-like receptor 4 deficiency alters nucleus accumbens synaptic physiology and drug reward behavior. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A [print-electronic]. 2017 Aug 8/15/2017; 114(33): 8865-70. PMID: 28760987, PII: 1705974114, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1705974114, ISSN: 1091-6490.

Ghoshal A, Moran SP, Dickerson JW, Joffe ME, Grueter BA, Xiang Z, Lindsley CW, Rook JM, Conn PJ. Role of mGlu5 Receptors and Inhibitory Neurotransmission in M1 Dependent Muscarinic LTD in the Prefrontal Cortex: Implications in Schizophrenia. ACS Chem Neurosci [print-electronic]. 2017 Aug 8/9/2017; PMID: 28679049, DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.7b00167, ISSN: 1948-7193.

Joffe ME, Vitter SR, Grueter BA. GluN1 deletions in D1- and A2A-expressing cell types reveal distinct modes of behavioral regulation. Neuropharmacology [print-electronic]. 2017 Jan; 112(Pt A): 172-80. PMID: 27012890, PMCID: PMC5031515, PII: S0028-3908(16)30098-3, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2016.03.026, ISSN: 1873-7064.

Joffe ME, Grueter BA. Cocaine Experience Enhances Thalamo-Accumbens N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Function. Biol. Psychiatry [print-electronic]. 2016 Nov 11/1/2016; 80(9): 671-81. PMID: 27209241, PMCID: PMC5050082, PII: S0006-3223(16)32265-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2016.04.002, ISSN: 1873-2402.

Báldi R, Ghosh D, Grueter BA, Patel S. Electrophysiological Measurement of Cannabinoid-Mediated Synaptic Modulation in Acute Mouse Brain Slices. Curr Protoc Neurosci. 2016 Apr 4/8/2016; 75: 6.29.1-6.29.19. PMID: 27063786, PMCID: PMC4866814, DOI: 10.1002/cpns.8, ISSN: 1934-8576.

Klar R, Walker AG, Ghose D, Grueter BA, Engers DW, Hopkins CR, Lindsley CW, Xiang Z, Conn PJ, Niswender CM. Activation of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 7 Is Required for Induction of Long-Term Potentiation at SC-CA1 Synapses in the Hippocampus. J. Neurosci. 2015 May 5/13/2015; 35(19): 7600-15. PMID: 25972184, PMCID: PMC4429158, PII: 35/19/7600, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4543-14.2015, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Joffe ME, Grueter CA, Grueter BA. Biological substrates of addiction. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Cogn Sci [print-electronic]. 2014 Mar; 5(2): 151-71. PMID: 24999377, PMCID: PMC4078878, DOI: 10.1002/wcs.1273, ISSN: 1939-5086.

Gosnell HB, Silberman Y, Grueter BA, Duvoisin RM, Raber J, Winder DG. MGluR8 modulates excitatory transmission in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in a stress-dependent manner. Neuropsychopharmacology [print-electronic]. 2011 Jul; 36(8): 1599-607. PMID: 21451497, PMCID: PMC3138653, PII: npp201140, DOI: 10.1038/npp.2011.40, ISSN: 1740-634X.

McElligott ZA, Klug JR, Nobis WP, Patel S, Grueter BA, Kash TL, Winder DG. Distinct forms of Gq-receptor-dependent plasticity of excitatory transmission in the BNST are differentially affected by stress. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A [print-electronic]. 2010 Feb 2/2/2010; 107(5): 2271-6. PMID: 20133871, PMCID: PMC2836642, PII: 0905568107, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0905568107, ISSN: 1091-6490.

Grueter BA, McElligott ZA, Robison AJ, Mathews GC, Winder DG. In vivo metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) antagonism prevents cocaine-induced disruption of postsynaptically maintained mGluR5-dependent long-term depression. J. Neurosci. 2008 Sep 9/10/2008; 28(37): 9261-70. PMID: 18784306, PMCID: PMC2562219, PII: 28/37/9261, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2886-08.2008, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Grueter BA, McElligott ZA, Winder DG. Group I mGluRs and long-term depression: potential roles in addiction?. Mol. Neurobiol [print-electronic]. 2007 Dec; 36(3): 232-44. PMID: 17955198, DOI: 10.1007/s12035-007-0037-7, ISSN: 0893-7648.

Grueter BA, Gosnell HB, Olsen CM, Schramm-Sapyta NL, Nekrasova T, Landreth GE, Winder DG. Extracellular-signal regulated kinase 1-dependent metabotropic glutamate receptor 5-induced long-term depression in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis is disrupted by cocaine administration. J. Neurosci. 2006 Mar 3/22/2006; 26(12): 3210-9. PMID: 16554472, PII: 26/12/3210, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0170-06.2006, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Grueter BA, Winder DG. Group II and III metabotropic glutamate receptors suppress excitatory synaptic transmission in the dorsolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2005 Jul; 30(7): 1302-11. PMID: 15812571, PII: 1300672, DOI: 10.1038/sj.npp.1300672, ISSN: 0893-133X.

Weitlauf C, Egli RE, Grueter BA, Winder DG. High-frequency stimulation induces ethanol-sensitive long-term potentiation at glutamatergic synapses in the dorsolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. J. Neurosci. 2004 Jun 6/23/2004; 24(25): 5741-7. PMID: 15215296, PII: 24/25/5741, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1181-04.2004, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Available Postdoctoral Position Details
Posted: 9/7/2016

Postdoctoral position in mechanisms of reward-related learning and memory.

Highly motivated candidates are sought for a postdoctoral fellowship position in the lab of Dr. Brad A. Grueter ( at Vanderbilt University Medical Center to study the molecular constituents in the reward circuits that are necessary and sufficient to drive complex motivated behaviors utilizing optogenetic approaches. The successful candidate will be a creative, highly motivated individual with a strong background in behavioral analysis and/or acute slice electrophysiology. Applicants should have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in neuroscience or related fields.

Qualified applicants should submit a cover letter describing previous research experience as well as current interests, curriculum vitae and contact details of three references to Brad Grueter, Ph.D. by email at