About Us

Gary B. Kaplan, M.D.

Dr. Kaplan is the Director of Mental Health of the VA Boston Healthcare System and Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University and is the Laboratory Director. Dr. Kaplan’s research focuses on neuroplasticity in posttraumatic stress (PTSD), brain injury and drug addiction. Dr. Kaplan received his medical training at Drexel University School of Medicine. His residency training in Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine was followed by a postdoctoral research fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology at Tufts. Dr. Kaplan has been engaged in federally funded preclinical and clinical research in the area of the neurobiology of addiction and PTSD for over 25 years. Such translational research defines the neural mechanisms and structural plasticity related to PTSD, brain injury and addiction and defines novel therapeutic targets of interest. Dr. Kaplan has also achieved national recognition for teaching and research in psychiatry and has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles and an important textbook in psychiatric neuroscience with American Psychiatric Press Inc.

Gary Kaplan’s Bio

Stephen Heinrichs

Dr. Stephen Heinrichs is a Research Associate at the VA Boston Healthcare System. He has a longstanding and productive record in publication of peer-reviewed research in behavioral neuroscience. He assists the laboratory director in designing, refining, and implementing models of human neurological and mental disorders. Specific contributions to the laboratory include planning and implementation of multi-week experimental protocols involving data collection using models of addiction, fear, and learning/ memory, development of laboratory research reports and conference presentations, and assisting the laboratory director in grant writing, progress reporting, and submission of regulatory documentation.


Danielle Arena

Danielle Arena is a research assistant in Dr. Kaplan’s lab. She recently graduated from the University of New Hampshire, Durham with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science, concentrating in Pre-Veterinary Medicine with strong interests in Neuroscience. She has conducted research in the lab of Dr. Robert Drugan at the University of New Hampshire. Her research has been focused on animal models of controllability stress in relation to drug reactivity, learning and memory, and psychoneuroendocrinology/ psychoneuroimmunology. The majority of her research has been focused on immunohistochemistry for measuring serotonergic activity in the locus coeruleus and the dorsal raphe nuclei of rats exposed to intermittent swim stress.


Olivia Nguyen

Olivia Nguyen is a Boston University student in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is pursuing neuroscience research with Dr. Kaplan’s lab in order to better understand of the pathophysiology and possible treatments of psychiatric disorders. In her laboratory experience at the Northwestern University School of Medicine she gained a familiarity with techniques such as immunohistochemistry, microscopy, tissue sectioning, genotyping, and the use of retroviral labeling.