Gittis Lab

Gittis Lab

CMU Biological Sciences

Welcome to the Gittis Lab!

What is the neural basis of motor control? Our research seeks to understand how neural circuits in the basal ganglia are organized and function to shape movement in health and disease.

We use optogenetics, electrophysiology, histology, and behavior to study the function of neural circuits in brain slices and in vivo.

We are now accepting Postdoc applications: Contact Aryn Gittis ( to apply
We are now accepting Lab Manager applications: Contact Aryn Gittis ( to apply

Latest News


CONGRATS to Dr. Mary Cundiff for passing her thesis defense!

Welcome to the lab, postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Krishna Muthukumarappan!


CONGRATS to Dr. Katrina Nguyen and Dr. Brian Isett for their publication in Neuron!

Welcome to the lab, Dr. Tom Fuchs!


CONGRATS to Dr. Katrina Nguyen for passing her thesis defense!

CONGRATS to Dr. Gittis for her promotion to full professor!! Woo!

More lab news >

Latest Publications

Isett, Brian R., Katrina P. Nguyen, Jenna C. Schwenk, Jeff R. Yurek, Christen N. Snyder, Maxime V. Vounatsos, Kendra A. Adegbesan, Ugne Ziausyte, and Aryn H. Gittis. “The indirect pathway of the basal ganglia promotes transient punishment but not motor suppression.” Neuron 111, no. 14 (2023).

Albaugh, D. L., Gittis, A. H. “Stressing the importance of cholinergic interneurons in striatal function.”
Movement Disorders (2021).

Spix, T. A. Nanivadekar, S., Toong, N. Kaplow, I. M., Isett, B. R., Goksen, Y., Pfenning, A. R.,  Gittis,  A. H. “Population-specific neuromodulation prolongs therapeutic benefits of deep brain stimulation.”
Science (2021)

Aristieta, A. and Gittis, A.H. “Distinct globus pallidus circuits regulate motor and cognitive functions.”
Trends in Neuroscience (2021).

Nguyen, K. P., Sharma, A., Gil-Silva, M., Gittis, A. H., Chase, S. M. “Distinct Kinematic Adjustments Accompany Locomotor Skill Development in Mice.”
Neuroscience (2021).

AH Gittis, BM Hooks, CR Gerfen. “Basal ganglia circuits.” Neural Circuit and Cognitive Development. Academic Press (2020) p.221-242

Alyssa J Lawler, Ashley R Brown, Rachel S Bouchard, Noelle Toong, Yeonju Kim, Nitinram Velraj, Grant Fox, Michael Kleyman, Byungsoo Kang, Aryn H Gittis, Andreas R Pfenning. “Cell Type-Specific Oxidative Stress Genomic Signatures in the Globus Pallidus of Dopamine-Depleted Mice.” Journal of Neuroscience (2020)

RS Phillips, I Rosner, AH Gittis, JE Rubin. “The effects of chloride dynamics on substantia nigra pars reticulata responses to pallidal and striatal inputs.” eLife (2020)