Dr. Dölen earned her M.D., Ph.D. at Brown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she carried out seminal work on the pathogenesis of autism. Dr. Dölen completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University, where she did paradigm-shifting work on the neural circuits underlying social reward learning. In 2014, Dr. Dölen began her faculty position in the Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. Her laboratory studies the neurotransmitters, brain circuits, developmental programs, and evolution of social behaviors, with a focus on diseases of the social brain (including autism, schizophrenia, PTSD, and addiction). Recently, her lab has become interested in uncovering how in (+/-)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) induces prosocial behaviors across species (including humans, mice, and octopuses), as well as shedding light on the mechanisms underlying MDMA’s profound therapeutic effects.
Continuing her long-standing interest in understanding the mind from philosophical, spiritual, linguistic, and artistic perspectives, Dr. Dölen currently serves on the Executive Advisory Board for the International Arts and Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University, as well as the Scientific Advisory Boards of The Carnie Institute at Brown University, and Compass Pathways. In addition, she serves on the editorial board for two journals: Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology (CEMN) and Social Neuroscience. Dr. Dölen is the recipient of several prestigious awards including: the Joukowsky Family Foundation Award, the Conquer Fragile X Rising Star Award, the Angus MacDonald Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Society for Social Neuroscience Early Career Award, the Searle Scholars Award, and the Johns Hopkins University President’s Frontier Award.
Visit Dr. Dölen’s webpage at: www.dolenlab.org