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Vineet Augustine


The overarching theme of the Augustine lab is to understand in unprecedented detail how various peripheral neurons control basic cardiac physiology and how signals from the heart also influence the brain in a recurrent loop to give rise to appropriate behavior in health and disease. Even though cardiology is an old discipline, lack of genetic technologies has limited neuroscience research in this area. We seek to address the following specific challenges a) Genetic and functional characterization of cardiac sensory neurons b) Assessment of the influence of cardiac sensory neurons on brain networks- from sensation to behavior c) Exposition of aberrant signaling at the heart-brain axis in cardiovascular pathologies like myocardial infarction (heart attack). We use state-of-the art neuroscience and molecular biology techniques including opto/chemogenetics, calcium imaging, ultrasonography, tissue clearing and light sheet microscopy, mesoscale electrophysiological recordings and machine learning assisted behavior phenotyping. Elucidating the neurobiology of the heart is not only a crucial basic scientific endeavor, but it also offers significant translational promise for cardiovascular disorders that remain the largest killer globally.


Augustine, V., Gokce, S.K., Lee, S., Wang, B., Davidson, T.J., Reimann, F., Gribble, F., Deisseroth, K., Lois, C. and Oka, Y., 2018. Hierarchical neural architecture underlying thirst regulation. Nature

Augustine, V., Gokce, S.K and Oka, Y., 2018. Peripheral and central nutrient sensing underlying appetite regulation. Trends in Neurosciences

Yamamoto, T, Augustine, V. and Oka, Y., 2019. Neural populations for maintaining body fluid balance. Current Opinion in Neurobiology

Lee, S., Augustine, V., Zhao, Y., Ebisu, H., Ho, B., Kong, D. and Oka, Y., 2019 Chemosensory modulation of neural circuits for sodium appetite. Nature

Augustine, V.*, Ebisu, H.*, Lee, S., Zhao, Y., Ho, B., Tian, L. and Oka, Y., 2019 Temporally-and spatially-distinct thirst satiation signals. Neuron

Augustine, V.*, Lee, S.*, Oka, Y., 2020 Neural control and modulation of thirst., sodium appetite, and hunger. Cell


Vineet Augustine received his BS-MS from IISER, Kolkata (2013) followed by a PhD from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (2019). As a result of his exemplary PhD work, he was awarded the prestigious Scripps Fellowship to skip the traditional postdoc and start his own lab at Scripps Research, La Jolla in 2019. His lab moved to UCSD in 2022. His research has been covered by multiple news outlets including The New York Times, Scientific American and National Public Radio. The NIH Director has also written a personal blog about his work.