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

Latest News


CONGRATS to Dr. Teresa Spix or passing her thesis defense!

CONGRATS to Asier for his Spotlight article for TINS!

CONGRATS to Aryn Gittis, Ph.D. and Jon Rubin, Ph.D. for their CRCNS grant titled: “CRCNS: Diverse effects of GABAergic inputs on a
basal ganglia output center”.

Welcome, Jeff Yurek, Research Technician!

CONGRATS to Katrina Nguyen for her publication in Neuroscience!

Welcome, Maxime Vounatsos, first-year Ph.D. Student!

Welcome, Dan Albaugh Ph.D, Postodoctoral Fellow!

CONGRATS to Dr. Tim Whalen for passing his thesis defense!

CONGRATS to Coach Jenna and her field hockey team’s for winning Nationals!


CONGRATS to Teresa and Dr. Gittis on their eLife Preview publication!

CONGRATS to Tim for his publication in the Journal of Neurophysiology!

CONGRATS to Ian for his publication!

Welcome, Shruti Nanivadekar, M.D./Ph.D. Student!

Aryn spent a sabbatical with Dr. Sylvia Arber’s Lab in Switzerland!


Congratulations to Dr. Gittis and Dr. Jin Wang at the University of Minnesota! They were awarded a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation!

Congratulations to Dr. Gittis and Dr. Rob Turner at Pittsburgh University! They were awarded an NIH Research Project Grant (R01)!

Dr. Aryn Gittis has received tenure! Congratulations!

More lab news >

Latest Publications

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

Nguyen, Katrina P., Sharma, Abhinav, Gil-Silva, Mauricio, Gittis, Aryn H., Chase, Steven 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)

Spix, Teresa, Gittis, Aryn H. “Parkinson’s Disease: Debunking an old theory.”
eLife Preview (2020)

Whalen, Timothy C., Willard, Amanda M., Rubin, Jonathan E., Gittis, Aryn H. “Delta oscillations are a robust biomarker of dopamine depletion severity and motor dysfunction in awake mice.”
Journal of Neurophysiology (2020)

Phillips, Ryan S., Rosner, Ian, Gittis, Aryn H., Rubin, Jonathan E. “A computational model explains and predicts substantia nigra pars reticulata responses to pallidal and striatal inputs.”
BioRxiv (2020)