Social interactions are indispensable for our survival, wellbeing and successful propagation. In mammals, these interactions are facilitated by innate behaviors such as general sociability, sexual behavior, pair bonding, maternal behavior, aggression, and eusociality. Social situations often present themselves as a complex combination of visual, olfactory, auditory and tactile stimuli, which requires the coordinated orchestration of multiple neuronal and molecular pathways within the brain to generate an appropriate response. These social stimuli can have either a positive (appetitive) or a negative (aversive) valence.
My main research interest is in studying as to how these mechanisms within the mouse brain orchestrate adaptive responses and designate valence to social situations. I am specifically interested in the molecular and neuronal mechanisms of social fear/avoidance in mice. Answering this questions requires a combination of behavioral, pharmacological and molecular techniques such as social fear conditioning, cued fear conditioning, social preference testing with chemogenetic and pharmacological manipulations in selected brain regions using stereotactic surgeries, immunohistochemistry and confocal imaging, qPCR, bisulfite sequencing, western blotting, chromatin immunoprecipitation and in vitro stimulation of cell cultures amongst others.
Postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Neumann’s group with research focus on the molecular mechanisms within the lateral septum regulating social fear in mice.
Was awarded a PhD degree for the thesis entitled: “Molecular and Neuronal correlates of social fear in mice”.
2013 - 2018:
PhD student in Molecular Neurobiology at Prof. Dr. Inga D. Neumann’s laboratory, Department of Molecular and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
2012 - 2013:
Masters Thesis with Prof. Dr. Helgi B. Scioth’s at the Department of Neurobiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
2010 - 2012:
Masters of Science in Biology with specialization in Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppasala University, Sweden
2008 - 2010 :
Post Graduate Diploma in Biotechniques, with focus on basic molecular biology and biochemical techniques at tha Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, Bangalore, India.
2004 - 2008:
Bachelors studies in Biotechnology, with focus on Biotechnology, molecular Biology and biochemistry at Rai Foundation Colleges, Mumbai, India.
Born on 23rd July 1986 at Kochi, India.
Menon R, Suess T, Oliveira VEM, Neumann ID, Bludau A. Neurobioloy of the lateral septum: regulation of the social behavior. Trends in neuroscience.
Bludau A, Royer M, Meister G, Neumann ID, Menon R. Epigenetics regulation of the social brain. Trends in neuroscience.
Menon R, Grund T, Zoicas I, Althammer F, Fiedler D, Biermeier V, Bosch OJ, Hiraoka Y, Nishimori K, Eliava M, Grinevich V, Neumann ID. Oxytocin Signaling in the Lateral Septum Prevents Social Fear during Lactation. Current Biology
Muttenthaler M, Andersson Å, Vetter I, Menon R, Busnelli M, Ragnarsson L, Bergmayr C, Arrowsmith S, Deuis JR, Chiu HS, Palpant NJ, O'Brien M, Smith TJ, Wray S, Neumann ID, Gruber CW, Lewis RJ, Alewood PF. Subtle modifications to oxytocin produce ligands that retain potency and improved selectivity across species. Science Signaling
De Jong TR, Menon R, Bludau A, Grund T, Biermeier V, Klampfl SM, Jurek B, Bosch OJ, Hellhammer J,
Neumann ID: Salivary oxytocin concentrations in response to running, sexual self-stimulation, breastfeeding and the TSST: The Regensburg Oxytocin Challenge (ROC) study. Psychoneuroendocrinology
Zoicas I, Menon R, Neumann ID. Neuropeptide S reduces fear and avoidance of con-specifics induced by social fear conditioning and social defeat, respectively. Neuropharmacology