Lace Marie Riggs


Circuit mechanisms underlying autism-related anxiogenesis


Guoping Feng, Ph.D. and Fan Wang, Ph.D.

Biographical Information:

Lace received her B.A. in Biological Psychology and M.A. in Experimental Psychology from California State University in San Bernardino, CA. In 2021, she earned her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. In Dr. Todd Gould’s lab, Lace discovered a cell-type specific cAMP-PKA-dependent form of presynaptic plasticity underlies the rapid antidepressant actions of ketamine metabolites.             

Current Work:

Psychiatric comorbidities in autism can further impair functional independence and may suggest a convergence in the neural substrates that underly these conditions. The current study will assess the role of a novel thalamocortico-corticothalamic circuit in cortical excitability that promotes anxiogenesis in a preclinical model of autism. Understanding the circuit basis of anxiety will improve our understanding of persistent synaptic changes in autism while also fostering the design of targeted treatments that can promote well-being and independence.

Key Words:

electrophysiology, circuit, endophenotype


LM Riggs, EFR Pereira, SM Thompson, TD Gould (2024). cAMP-dependent protein kinase signaling is required for (2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine to potentiate hippocampal glutamatergic transmission. Journal of Neurophysiology.

Hasin N, Riggs LM, Shekhtman T, Ashworth J, Lease R, Oshone RT, Humphries EM, Badner JA, Thomson PA, Glahn DC, Craig DQ, Edenberg HJ, Gershon ES, McMahon FJ, Nurnberger JI, Zandi PP, Kelsoe JR, Roach JC, Gould TD, Ament SA (2022). Rare variants implicate NMDA receptor signaling and cerebellar gene networks in risk for bipolar disorder. Molecular Psychiatry.

Riggs LM, Gould TD (2021). Ketamine and the future of rapid-acting antidepressants. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology.

Riggs LM, Aracava Y, Zanos P, Fischell J, Albuquerque EX, Pereira EFR, Thompson SM, Gould TD (2020). (2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine rapidly potentiates hippocampal glutamatergic transmission through a synapse-specific presynaptic mechanism. Neuropsychopharmacology.