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Alder, Janet PhD

   Associate Professor
   PhD, Columbia University, 1994

   Phone: (732) 235-5392
   Fax: (732) 235-4990



Research Interests: Trophic factors and neuropeptides in neuronal development, psychiatric disorders and traumatic brain injury.

Selected Publications: For complete list PubMed


  • Alder J, Fujioka W, Giarratana A, Wissocki J, Thakkar K, Vuong P, Patel B, Chakraborty T, Elsabeh R, Parikh A, Girn HS, Crockett D, Thakker-Varia S. Brain Inj. 2016;30 Genetic and pharmacological intervention of the p75NTR pathway alters morphological and behavioural recovery following traumatic brain injury in mice. (1):48-65. doi:10.3109/02699052.2015.1088963. Epub 2015 Nov 18. PMID: 26579945
  • Thakker-Varia, S., Behnke, J., Doobin, D., Dalal, V., Thakkar, K., Khadim, F., Wilson, E., Palmieri, A., Antila, H., Rantamäki,T., Alder, J. (2014) VGF-induced neurogenesis targets early phase neural progenitor cells in the adult hippocampus and requires glutamate signaling. Stem Cell Research, 12(3): 762-77 doi: 10.1016/j.scr.2014.03.005.
  • Alder, J., Kallman, S., Palmieri, A., Khadim, F., Ayer, J.J., Kumar, S., Tsung, K., Grinberg, I., Grinberg, I., Thakker-Varia, S. (2013) Neuropeptide orphanin FQ inhibits dendritic morphogenesis through activation of RhoA., Developmental Neurobiology, 73(10): 769-84 doi: 10.1002/dneu.22101 PMID: 23821558

  • Alder, J.  Kramer, B.C., Hoskin, C., Thakker-Varia. S. (2012) Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) produced by human umbilical tissue-derived cells (hUTC) Is required for its effect on hippocampal dendritic differentiation, Developmental Neurobiology, 72(6), 755-65. PMID: 21954108

  • Alder J., Kramer B.C., Hoskin C., and Thakker-Varia S. (2011) Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) produced by human umbilical tissue-derived cells (hUTC) is required for its effect on hippocampal dendritic differentiation. Dev Neurobiol.  doi: 10.1002/dneu.20980.

  • Thakker-Varia, S., Jean Y., Parikh, P., Sizer, C.F., Ayer, J.J., Parikh, A., Hyde, T.M., Buyske, S., and Alder, J. (2010) The neuropeptide VGF is reduced in human postmortem brain and contributes to some of the behavioral and molecular effects of lithium. J. Neurosci, 30(28), 9368-9380.
  • Thakker-Varia, S. and Alder, J. (2009). Neuropeptides in depression: role of VGF. Behavioral Brain Research, 197, 262-278.
  • Thakker-Varia, S., Jernstedt Krol, J., Nettleton, J., Bilimoria, P.M., Bangasser, D.A., Shors, T.J., Black, I.B. and Alder, J. (2007) The neuropeptide VGF produces antidepressant-like behavioral effects and enhances proliferation in the hippocampus. J. Neurosci. 27(45), 12156-12167.
  • Ring, R.H., Alder, J., Fennell, M., Kouranova, E., Black, I.B., and Thakker-Varia, S. (2006) Transcriptional profiling of BDNF-induced neuronal plasticity: a novel role for nociceptins in hippocampal neurite outgrowth. J. Neurobiol. 66(4), 361-377.
  • Alder, J*., Thakker-Varia, S*., Crozier, R.A., Shaheen, A., Plummer, M.R., and Black, I.B. (2005) Early presynaptic and late postsynaptic components contribute independently to BDNF-induced synaptic plasticity. J. Neurosci., 25(21), 3080-3085.
  • Alder, J*., Thakker-Varia, S*. Bangasser D.A., Kuroiwa, M., Plummer, M.R., Shors, T.J., and Black, I.B. (2003) BDNF-induced gene expression reveals novel actions of VGF in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. J. Neurosci., 23(34), 10800-10808.
  • Thakker-Varia, S*., Alder, J*., Crozier, R.A., Plummer, M.R. and Black, I.B. (2001) Rab3A is required for brain-derived neurotrophic factor-induced synaptic plasticity: transcriptional analysis at the population and single-cell levels. J. Neurosci., 21(17), 6782-6790.

*Equal contribution