Sanford School of Medicine Basic Biomedical Sciences

Michael Watt, Ph.D.

Mick Watt
Assistant Professor
Medicine: Basic Biomedical Sciences, Health Affairs
UMS Lee Med/Sanford School of Medicine 265
Phone: 605-677-6743
Research Interests:
My previous studies have used various animal models to examine how differences in individual social responses can be related to alterations in limbic monoaminergic activity and endocrine stress responses, and how this can be further differentiated by prior social experience. Currently, I am using a rat model to investigate how teenage bullying negatively affects prefrontal cortex dopamine function and related behavior. Other collaborative projects include (i) how drugs of abuse, such as amphetamine, alter central neuroendocrine and monoamine systems to induce stress-induced relapse during drug withdrawal; and (ii) whether social stress concurrent with mild traumatic brain injury results in alterations to neuropeptide and serotonin systems that lead to increased anxiety states in a rat model of PTSD.
Education:
  • Ph D, Behavioral endocrinology, Macquarie University, 2002
  • Bachelor of Science, First Class Honours, Evolutionary zoology, Macquarie University, 1996
Publications:
  • Novick, A. M., Miiller, L. C., Forster, G., Watt, M., (2013), Adolescent social defeat decreases spatial working memory performance in adulthood, Behavioral and Brain Functions, vol. 9, pp. 39-50.
  • Watt, M., Roberts, C. L., Scholl, J. L., Meyer, D. L., Miiller, L. C., Barr, J. L., Novick, A. M., Renner, K., Forster, G., Decreased prefrontal cortex dopamine activity following adolescent social defeat in male rats: role of dopamine D2 receptors., Psychopharmacology, vol. Epub ahead of print.
  • Burke, A., Forster, G., Novick, A., Roberts, C., Watt, M., (2013), Effects of adolescent social defeat on adult amphetamine-induced locomotion and corticoaccumbal dopamine release in male rats, Neuropharmacology, vol. 67, pp. 359-369.
  • Barr, J., Scholl, J., Solanki, R., Watt, M., Lowry, C., Renner, K., Forster, G., (2013), Influence of chronic amphetamine treatment and acute withdrawal on serotonin synthesis and clearance mechanisms in the rat ventral hippocampus, European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 37, pp. 479-90.
  • Forster, G., Novick, A., Scholl, J., Watt, M., (2012), The role of the amygdala in anxiety disorders, InTech, pp. 61-102.
  • Novick, A., Forster, G., Tejani-Butt, S., Watt, M., (2011), Adolescent social defeat alters markers of adult dopaminergic function, Brain Research Bulletin, vol. 86, pp. 123-128.
  • Burke, A., Watt, M., Forster, G., (2011), Adolescent social defeat increases adult amphetamine conditioned place preference and alters D2 dopamine receptor expression., Neuroscience, vol. 197, pp. 269-279.
  • Burke, A., Forster, G., Novick, A., Roberts, C., Watt, M., (2011), Adult amphetamine-induced locomotion and dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens following adolescent social defeat in rats , Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, p. 927.10.
  • Burke, A. R., Forster, G., Novick, A. M., Watt, M., (2011), Adult medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens amphetamine-induced dopamine release following adolescent social defeat, p. 19.
  • Forster, G., Scholl, J., Reinbold, E., Oliver, K., Watt, M., (2011), Central CRF2 receptor antagonism reduces anxiety states during amphetamine withdrawal , Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, p. 901.20.
  • Miiller, L., Novick, A., Forster, G., Watt, M., (2011), Effects of adolescence social defeat on adult cognitive function and reward motivation, Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Abstracts, p. 66.
  • Novick, A., Forster, G., Watt, M., (2011), Effects of adolescent social defeat on adult working memory , Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, p. 927.03.
  • Roberts, C., Mingo, M., Scholl, J., Meyer, D., Oliver, K., Barr, J., Forster, G., Watt, M., (2011), Mechanisms underlying disruptions to cortical dopamine activity caused by adolescent social defeat, Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Abstracts, p. 72.
  • Burke, A. R., Renner, K., Forster, G., Watt, M., (2010), Adolescent social defeat alters neural, endocrine and behavioral responses to amphetamine in adult male rats, Brain Research, vol. 1352, pp. 147-156.
  • Watt, M., Roberts, C., Renner, K., Scholl, J., Haaland, E., Forster, G., (2010), Mechanisms and consequences of disrupting cortical dopamine activity during adolescence, Neuroscience Abstracts, p. 125.
  • Ling, T. J., Summers, C., Renner, K., Watt, M., (2010), Opponent recognition and social status differentiate rapid neuroendocrine responses to social challenge, Physiol Behav, vol. 99, pp. 571-578.
  • Waters, R. P., Renner, K., Summers, C., Watt, M., Forster, G., Koch, L. G., Britten, S. L., Swallow, J., (2010), Selection for intrinsic endurance modifies endocrine stress responsiveness , Brain Research, vol. 1357, pp. 53 - 61.
  • Watt, M., Burke, A., Renner, K., Forster, G., (2009), Adolescent male rats exposed to social defeat exhibit altered anxiety behaviour and limbic monoamines as adults., Behavioral Neuroscience, iss. 123, pp. 564-576.
  • Watt, M., Forster, G., (2009), Adolescent social defeat alters 3H MK801 binding to NMDA receptors in adult rat brain., Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, iss. 251, p. 20.
  • , Watt, M., , Forster, G., (2009), Consequences of post-weaning social isolation on behavior and monoaminergic activity in anxiety-related neurla circuits in rats., Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, iss. 3, pp. 1-12.
  • Carpenter, R., Korzan, W., Bockholt, C., Watt, M., Forster, G., (2009), Corticotropin-releasing factor influences aggression and monoamines; modulation of attacks and retreats., Neuroscience, iss. 158, pp. 412-425.
  • Watt, M., Forster, G., (2009), Increased amphetamine conditioned place preference in adulthood following adolescent social defeat is associated with altered D2 dopamine receptors., Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, iss. 650, p. 19.
  • , , Watt, M., Renner, K., Forster, G., (2009), Individual differences in amphetamine sensitization, behaviour and central monoamines., Physiology and Behavior, iss. 96, pp. 493-504.
  • Watt, M., Forster, G., (2009), Long-lasting consequences of cortical D2 dopamine receptor activation during adolescence., Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, iss. 573, p. 26.
  • , Forster, G., Watt, M., , (2009), Social status differentiates rapid neuroendocrine responses to restraint stress, Physiology and Behavior, iss. 96, pp. 218-232.
  • Ling, T. J., Watt, M., Forster, G., Korzan, W. J., Renner, K., Summers, C., (2009), Social status differentiates rapid neuroendocrine responses to restraint stress, Physiology and Behavior, vol. 96, pp. 218-232.
  • Carpenter, R. E., Korzan, W. J., Bockholt, C., Watt, M., Forster, G., Renner, K., Summers, C., (2009), Corticotropin releasing factor influences aggression and monoamines:, Neuroscience, vol. 158, pp. 412-425.
  • Forster, G., Pringle, R. B., Mouw, N. J., Vuong, S. M., Watt, M., Burke, A. R., Lowry, C. A., Summers, C., Renner, K., (2008), Corticotrophin-releasing factor in the dorsal raphe increases medial prefrontal cortical serotonin via type 2 receptors and median raphé activity, European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 28, pp. 299-310.
  • Carpenter, R. E., Watt, M., Forster, G., Øverli, Ø., Bockholt, C., Renner, K., Summers, C., (2007), Corticotropin releasing factor induces anxiogenic locomotion in trout and alters serotonergic and dopaminergic activity, Hormones and Behavior, vol. 52, pp. 600-611.
  • Korzan, W. J., Höglund, E., Watt, M., Forster, G., Øverli, Ø., Lukkes, J. L., Summers, C., (2007), Memory of opponents is more potent than visual sign stimuli after social hierarchy has been established, Behavioural Brain Research, vol. 183, pp. 31-42.
  • Watt, M., Forster, G., Korzan, W. J., Renner, K., Summers, C., (2007), Rapid neuroendocrine responses evoked at the onset of social challenge, Physiology and Behavior, vol. 90, pp. 567-575.
  • Forster, G., Feng, N., Watt, M., Korzan, W. J., Mouw, N. J., Summers, C., Renner, K., (2006), Corticotropin-releasing factor in the dorsal raphe elicits temporally distinct serotonergic responses in the limbic system , Neuroscience , vol. 141, pp. 1047-1055.
  • Waters, R. P., Emerson, A. J., Watt, M., Forster, G., Swallow, J., Summers, C., (2005), Stress induces rapid changes in central catecholaminergic activity in Anolis carolinensis: Restraint and forced physical activity. , Brain Research Bulletin, vol. 67, pp. 210-218.
Presentations:
  • Scholl, J. L., Li, H., Tu, W., Hassell, J., Watt, M., Renner, K., Forster, G. (2013). Increased stress responsiveness associated with altered serotonergic and glucocorticoid function in the limbic system during amphetamine withdrawal .. Presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.
  • Watt, M., Miiller, L. C., Scholl, J. L., Renner, K., Novick, A. M., Forster, G. (2013). Trajectory of alterations to cortical dopamine activity in a model of teenage bullying .. Presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.
  • Scholl, J., Reinbold, E., Oliver, K., Watt, M., Forster, G. (2012). Reducing Anxiety During Amphetamine Withdrawal. Presented at the School of Health Sciences Research Conference, Vermillion.
  • Watt, M. (2012, November). Modeling neurobehavioral changes following adolescent bullying. Presented at the Biology Faculty Seminar Series, Vermillion, SD.
  • Novick, A., Scholl, J., Roberts, C., Tejani-Butt, S., Hassell, J., Forster, G., Watt, M. (2012, October). Altered prefrontal cortex dopamine transporter expression and function following adolescent social defeat . Presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, New Orleans.
  • Scholl, J., Roberts, C., Oliver, K., Forster, G., Watt, M. (2012, October). Increased fear conditioning and raphe CRF-2 receptor expression following adolescent social defeat. Presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, New Orleans.
  • Watt, M., Novick, A., Roberts, C., Meyer, D., Oliver, K., Scholl, J., Barr, J., Renner, K., Forster, G. (2012, October). Mechanisms underlying deficits in prefrontal cortex dopamine activity caused by adolescent social defeat . Presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, New Orleans.
  • Li, H., Hassell, J., Scholl, J., Watt, M., Renner, K., Forster, G. (2012, October). Stress-induced increases in extracellular serotonin in the ventral hippocampus are attenuated in rats during amphetamine withdrawal. Presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, New Orleans.
  • Olson, D. M., Meyer, D. L., Scholl, J. L., Watt, M., Manzerra, P., Renner, K., Forster, G. (2012, October). Effects of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychosocial Stress on Limbic Monoamines and Anxiety-like Behaviors.. Presented at the Society for Neuroscience Meeting, New Orleans, LA.
  • Davies, D., Watt, M., Meyer, D., Scholl, J., Forster, G. (2012, October). Combined Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychosocial Stress Mimics Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a Rat Model. Presented at the Society for Neuroscience Undergraduate Poster Session, New Orleans.
  • Miiller, L., Scholl, J., Renner, K., Forster, G., Watt, M. (2012, October). Trajectory of alterations to cortical dopamine activity in a model of teenage bullying. Presented at the Society for Neuroscience Undergraduate Poster Session, New Orleans.
  • Scholl, J., Reinbold, E., Oliver, K., Watt, M., Forster, G. (2012, June). CRF2 Receptors Mediate Anxiety States During Amphetamine Withdrawal. Presented at the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting, Hawaii.
  • Scholl, J., Reinbold, E., Oliver, K., Watt, M., Forster, G. (2012, May). Reducing Anxiety During Amphetamine Withdrawal. Presented at the Sanford-USD Research Symposium, Vermillion.
  • Novick, A. M., Miiller, L. C., Forster, G., Watt, M. (2012, May). Effects of adolescent social defeat on adult working memory. Presented at the Sanford Health - USD Biomedical Research Symposium, Vermillion, SD.
  • Watt, M. (2012, May). Modeling neurobehavioral changes following adolescent bullying. Presented at the Sanford Health - USD Biomedical Research Symposium, Vermillion, SD.
  • Li, H., Hassell, J. E., Barr, J. L., Scholl, J. L., Watt, M., Forster, G., Renner, K. (2012, April). Stress-induced increases in extracellular serotonin in the ventral hippocampus is attenuated in rats during amphetamine withdrawal. Presented at the South Dakota Academy of Science, Vermillion, SD.