Robert Sweet

  • Endowed Professor, Department of Psychiatry
  • Professor, Neurology

Current Research

Sweet Lab's ongoing studies utilize human postmortem tissue, quantitative fluorescent microscopy, discovery and targeted proteomics, genetic mouse models, and primary neuronal culture.

Regarding schizophrenia, studies conducted by the Sweet Lab have been groundbreaking in their direct observation of auditory cortex pathology underlying the in vivo observations of functional impairments. These include reduced pyramidal neuron volume and dendritic spine number within primary auditory cortex. Importantly, we found these impairments of excitatory neurons did not result from neuron loss, nor were they recapitulated by long-term antipsychotic exposure in an animal model. Currently we are evaluating how impairments of protein networks which mediate glutamate signaling to the cytoskeleton may lead to the auditory cortex pyramidal neuron pathology found in schizophrenia.



Selected Recent Publications

Papa I, Saliba D, Ponzoni M, Bustamante S, Canete PF, Gonzalez-Figueroa P, McNamara HA, Valvo S, Grimbaldeston M, Sweet RA, Vohra H, Cockburn IA, Meyer- Hermann M, Dustin ML, Doglioni C, Vinuesa CG (2017). TFH-derived Dopamine Accerlates Productive Synapses in Germinal Centres. Nature. 2017 Jul 20;547(7663):318-323. doi: 10.1038/nature23013. Epub 2017 Jul 12.

McKinney BC, Lin H, Ding Y, Lewis DA, Sweet RA (2017). DNA Methylation age is not Accelerated in Brain or Blood of Subjects with Schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2017 Oct 5. pii: S0920-9964(17)30587-X. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2017.09.025. [Epub ahead of print]

Sweet RA, Nickerson KM, Cullen JL, Wang Y, Shlomchik MJ (2017). B Cell-Extrinsic Myd88 and Fcer1g Negatively Regulate Autoreactive and Normal B Cell Immune Responses. J Immunol. 2017 Aug 1;199(3):885-893. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1600861. Epub 2017 Jun 28.

McKinney BC, Lin H, Ding Y, Lewis DA, Sweet RA (2017). DNA Methylation Evidence Against the Accelerated Aging Hypothesis of Schizophrenia. NPJ Schizophr. 2017 Mar 23;3:13. doi: 10.1038/s41537-017-0017-5. eCollection 2017.

DeMichele-Sweet MAA, Weamer EA, Klei L, Vrana DT, Hollingshead DJ, Seltman HJ, Sims R, Foroud T, Hernandez I, Moreno- Grau S, Tarraga L, Boada M, Ruiz A, Williams J, Mayeux R, Lopez OL, Sibille EL, Kamboh MI, Devlin B, Sweet RA (2017). Genetic Risk for Schizophrenia and Psychosis in Alzheimer disease. Mol Psychiatry. 2017 May 2. doi: 10.1038/mp.2017.81. [Epub ahead of print]

MacDonald ML, Alhassan J, Newman JT, Richard M, Gu H, Kelly RM, Sampson AR, Fish KN, Penzes P, Wills ZP, Lewis DA, Sweet RA (2017). Selective Loss of Smaller Spines in Schizophrenia.Am J Psychiatry. 2017 Jun 1;174(6):586-594. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.16070814. Epub 2017 Mar 31.

Krivinko JM, Erickson SL, Abrahamson EE, Wills ZP, Ikonomovic MD, Penzes P, Sweet RA. Kalirin Reduction Rescues Psychosis-associated Behavioral Deficits in APPswe/PSEN1dE9 Transgenic Mice. Neurobiol Aging. 2017 Jun;54:59-70. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.02.006. Epub 2017 Feb 16. PubMed PMID: 28319837; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5502748.

Mi Z, Abrahamson EE, Ryu AY, Fish KN, Sweet RA, Mufson EJ, Ikonomovic MD (2017). Loss of Precuneus Dendritic Spines Immunopositive for Spinophilin is Related to Cognitive Impairment in Early Alzheimer's Disease. Neurobiol Aging. 2017 Jul;55:159-166. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.01.022. Epub 2017 Feb 4. PubMed PMID: 28259365; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5440205.

Tosto G, Bird TD, Tsuang D, Bennett DA, Boeve BF, Cruchaga C, Faber K, Foroud TM, Farlow M, Goate AM, Bertlesen S, Graff-Radford NR, Medrano M, Lantigua R, Manly J, Ottman R, Rosenberg R, Schaid DJ, Schupf N, Stern Y, Sweet RA, Mayeux R (2017). Polygenic Risk Scores in Familial Alzheimer Disease. Neurology. 2017 Mar 21;88(12):1180-1186. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003734. Epub 2017 Feb 17. PubMed PMID: 28213371; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5373783.

McKinney B, Ding Y, Lewis DA, Sweet RA (2017). DNA Methylation as a Putative Mechanism for Reduced Dendritic Spine Density in the Superior Temporal Gyrus of Subjects with Schizophrenia. Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Feb 14;7(2):e1032. doi:10.1038/tp.2016.297. PubMed PMID: 28195572; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5438028