Dominik Biezonski, PhD

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Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry)

Current Focus: Our laboratory focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents, and the mechanisms by which treatment with stimulants leads to improvements in impulsivity and attention. Our ultimate goal is to unravel novel drug targets for treating this disorder more effectively, and with fewer side effects. To these ends, we are employing a translational neuroscience approach (i.e., magnetic resonance imaging, MRI) to study the neurocircuitry of impulsivity and attention in both humans and in a rodent model of stimulant treatment. A distinct advantage of MRI as a research tool is its unique potential to bridge preclinical and clinical neuroscience; in this regard, the use of rodents allows the study of brain circuits at all levels of analysis (i.e., cellular/molecular/systems/behavioral) which, when evaluated in the context of MRI findings in these animals, can provide more detailed information about the nature of MRI findings in humans. Moreover, rodents can be used to develop novel therapeutics that may have potential for benefiting human patients with ADHD.

Training: I have expertise in the fields of psychology/psychiatry, basic and clinical neuroscience, and neurotoxicology/neurodegeneration, and have addressed research questions using classical pharmacology, molecular neurobiology, and more recently, neuroimaging approaches. I have specific training in how monoamine systems (i.e., serotonin and dopamine) are affected by amphetamines and their derivatives, and in how the molecular neurodevelopment of the striatal nucleus of the basal ganglia may underlie the nascence of psychiatric disorders such as drug addiction and ADHD. In addition, I have received extensive training in clinical and pre-clinical neuroimaging.


  • Polish

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, 2004 Psychology/Biology, S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook
  • PhD, 2009 Neurobiology & Behavior, University of Massachusetts
  • Fellowship: 2010 Harvard Medical School
  • Fellowship: 2015 Columbia University Medical Center




Jul 1 2010 - Jun 30 2015

Selected Publications

1. Biezonski, D., et al., Kellendonk, K., Posner, J. Longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging reveals striatal hypertrophy in a rat model of long-term stimulant treatment. Translational Psychiatry, 2016, in press.

2. Biezonski, D., Cha, J., Steinglass, J., Posner, J. Evidence for Thalamocortical Circuit Abnormalities and Associated Cognitive Dysfunctions in Underweight Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2016, 41(6):1560-1568.

3. Cha, J., Fekete, T., Siciliano, F., Biezonski, D., Greenhill, L., Pliszka, S., Blader, J., Roy, A., Leibenluft, E., Posner, J. Neural correlates of aggression in medication naïve children with ADHD: multivariate analysis of morphometry and tractography. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2015, 40(7):1717-1725.

4. Frederick A., Yano H., Trifilieff P., Vishwasrao H., Biezonski D., Mészáros J., Sibley D., Kellendonk C., Sonntag K., Graham D., Colbran R., Stanwood G., Javitch J. Evidence against dopamine D1/D2 receptor heteromers. Molecular psychiatry, 2015, in press.

5. Biezonski, D., Trifilieff, P., Meszaros, J., Javitch, J., Kellendonk, C. Evidence for Limited D1 and D2 Receptor Co-Expression and Co-Localization Within the Dorsal Striatum of the Neonatal Mouse.  Journal of Comparative Neurology, 2015, 523(8): 1175-1189.

6. Simpson E.H., Morud J., Winiger V., Biezonski D., Zhu J.P., Bach M.E., Malleret G., Polan H.J., Ng-Evans S., Phillips P.E., Kellendonk C., Kandel E.R. Genetic variation in COMT activity impacts learning and dopamine release capacity in the striatum.  Learning and Memory, 2014, 21(4): 205-214.

7. Simpson E.H., Winiger V., Biezonski D., Haq I., Kandel E.R., Kellendonk C. Selective overexpression of dopamine D3 Receptors in the striatum disrupts motivation but not cognition. Biological Psychiatry, 2014, 76(10): 823-831.

8. Biezonski, D., Piper, B., Meyer, J.S. Effects of a short-course MDMA binge on dopamine transporter density and on levels of dopamine and its metabolites in rats.  European Journal of Pharmacology, 2013, 701(1-3): 176-180.

9. Biezonski, D., Meyer, J.S.  The nature of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-induced serotonergic dysfunction: evidence for and against the neurodegeneration hypothesis.  Current Neuropharmacology, 2011, 9(1): 84-90.

10. Biezonski, D., Meyer, J.S. Effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on serotonin transporter and vesicular monoamine transporter 2 protein and gene expression in rats: implications for MDMA neurotoxicity.  Journal of Neurochemistry, 2010, 112(4): 951-962.

11. Biezonski, D., Courtemanche, A., Hong, N., Piper, B., & Meyer, J.S. Repeated adolescent MDMA (“Ecstasy”) exposure in rats increases the behavioral and neuroendocrine responses to a 5-HT2A/2C agonist. Brain Research, 2009, 1252: 87-93.