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Jennifer Labus, Ph.D.

Work Email Address:

Mailing Address:
10945 Le Conte Avenue
Peter V. Ueberroth Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Fax Number:
(310) 825-1919
Work Phone Number:
(310) 478-3711

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Department / Division Affiliations
Member, Brain Research Institute
Assistant Adjunct Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

Research Interest:

Dynamics of neural networks underlying functional pain disorders and stress neurobiology

Dr. Labus???s research focuses on mapping the neural networks underlying stress neurobiology with specific emphasis on models of visceral and functional pain and brain-body interactions. Specifically, she is examining altered central and autonomic nervous system processes in functional pain disorders, stress neurobiology, and the statistical methodology applied to interpret the complex data yielded by psychophysiological assessments such as fMRI, PET, acoustic startle response, and heart-rate variability. Dr. Labus recently received a K08 award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to delineate the neural networks involved in visceral pain and GI function using network analysis. Her research has shown activation of inhibitory cortico-limbic circuitry is associated with more effective descending pain inhibition. In collaboration with the Center for Neurobiology of Stress (formerly named the Center of Neurovisceral Sciences and Women???s Health), her research investigates sex-specific differences in the effective connectivity of emotional-arousal circuitry. Her work also involves imaging genetics and she is currently examining group differences in the neural networks associated with variants of the function polymorphism in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) and the effects of acute lowering of 5-HT levels on engagement of a central arousal network involved in central pain amplification.


Hubbard Catherine S, Labus Jennifer S, Bueller Joshua, Stains Jean, Suyenobu Brandall, Dukes George E, Kelleher Dennis L, Tillisch Kirsten, Naliboff Bruce D, Mayer Emeran A Corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1 antagonist alters regional activation and effective connectivity in an emotional-arousal circuit during expectation of abdominal pain. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2011; 31(35): 12491-500.
Hubbard Catherine S, Ornitz Edward, Gaspar John X, Smith Suzanne, Amin Jenny, Labus Jennifer S, Kilpatrick Lisa A, Rhudy Jamie L, Mayer Emeran A, Naliboff Bruce D Modulation of nociceptive and acoustic startle responses to an unpredictable threat in men and women. Pain. 2011; 152(7): 1632-40.
Kilpatrick Lisa A, Labus Jennifer S, Coveleskie Kristen, Hammer Christian, Rappold Gudrun, Tillisch Kirsten, Bueller Joshua A, Suyenobu Brandall, Jarcho Johana M, McRoberts Jim A, Niesler Beate, Mayer Emeran A The HTR3A polymorphism c. -42C>T is associated with amygdala responsiveness in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology. 2011; 140(7): 1943-51.
Anderson Ariana, Labus Jennifer S, Vianna Eduardo P, Mayer Emeran A, Cohen Mark S Common component classification: what can we learn from machine learning?. NeuroImage. 2011; 56(2): 517-24.
Tillisch Kirsten, Labus Jennifer S Advances in imaging the brain-gut axis: functional gastrointestinal disorders. Gastroenterology. 2011; 140(2): 407-411.e1.
Tillisch Kirsten, Mayer Emeran A, Labus Jennifer S Quantitative meta-analysis identifies brain regions activated during rectal distension in irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology. 2011; 140(1): 91-100.
Seminowicz David A, Labus Jennifer S, Bueller Joshua A, Tillisch Kirsten, Naliboff Bruce D, Bushnell M Catherine, Mayer Emeran A Regional gray matter density changes in brains of patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology. 2010; 139(1): 48-57.e2.
Labus Jennifer S, Naliboff Bruce D, Berman Steve M, Suyenobu Brandall, Vianna Eduardo P, Tillisch Kirsten, Mayer Emeran A Brain networks underlying perceptual habituation to repeated aversive visceral stimuli in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. NeuroImage. 2009; 47(3): 952-60.
Wang Zhuo, Guo Yumei, Bradesi Sylvie, Labus Jennifer S, Maarek Jean-Michel I, Lee Kevin, Winchester Wendy J, Mayer Emeran A, Holschneider Daniel P Sex differences in functional brain activation during noxious visceral stimulation in rats. Pain. 2009; 145(1-2): 120-8.
Naliboff Bruce D, Waters Allison M, Labus Jennifer S, Kilpatrick Lisa, Craske Michelle G, Chang Lin, Negoro Hideki, Ibrahimovic Hana, Mayer Emeran A, Ornitz Edward Increased acoustic startle responses in IBS patients during abdominal and nonabdominal threat. Psychosomatic medicine. 2008; 70(8): 920-7.
Berman Steven M, Naliboff Bruce D, Suyenobu Brandall, Labus Jennifer S, Stains Jean, Ohning Gordon, Kilpatrick Lisa, Bueller Joshua A, Ruby Kim, Jarcho Johanna, Mayer Emeran A Reduced brainstem inhibition during anticipated pelvic visceral pain correlates with enhanced brain response to the visceral stimulus in women with irritable bowel syndrome. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2008; 28(2): 349-59.
Labus Jennifer S In search of mechanisms of change in treatment outcome research: mediators and moderators of psychological and pharmacological treatments for irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology. 2007; 133(2): 702-5.
Labus Jennifer S, Mayer Emeran A, Chang Lin, Bolus Roger, Naliboff Bruce D The central role of gastrointestinal-specific anxiety in irritable bowel syndrome: further validation of the visceral sensitivity index. Psychosomatic medicine. 2007; 69(1): 89-98.
Chang Lin, Mayer Emeran A, Labus Jennifer S, Schmulson Max, Lee Oh Young, Olivas Teresa I, Stains Jean, Naliboff Bruce D Effect of sex on perception of rectosigmoid stimuli in irritable bowel syndrome. American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology. 2006; 291(2): R277-84.
Naliboff Bruce D, Berman Steve, Suyenobu Brandall, Labus Jennifer S, Chang Lin, Stains Jean, Mandelkern Mark A, Mayer Emeran A Longitudinal change in perceptual and brain activation response to visceral stimuli in irritable bowel syndrome patients. Gastroenterology. 2006; 131(2): 352-65.
Berman Steven M, Naliboff Bruce D, Suyenobu Brandall, Labus Jennifer S, Stains Jean, Bueller Joshua A, Ruby Kim, Mayer Emeran A Sex differences in regional brain response to aversive pelvic visceral stimuli. American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology. 2006; 291(2): R268-76.
Mystkowski Jayson L, Craske Michelle G, Echiverri Aileen M, Labus Jennifer S Mental reinstatement of context and return of fear in spider-fearful participants. Behavior therapy. 2006; 37(1): 49-60.
Schieffer Beatrix M, Pham Quyhn, Labus Jennifer, Baria Ariel, Van Vort Walter, Davis Philip, Davis Frederick, Naliboff Bruce D Pain medication beliefs and medication misuse in chronic pain. The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society. 2005; 6(9): 620-9.
Mayer Emeran A, Berman Steven, Suyenobu Brandall, Labus Jennifer, Mandelkern Mark A, Naliboff Bruce D, Chang Lin Differences in brain responses to visceral pain between patients with irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. Pain. 2005; 115(3): 398-409.
Tillisch Kirsten, Labus Jennifer S, Naliboff Bruce D, Bolus Roger, Shetzline Michael, Mayer Emeran A, Chang Lin Characterization of the alternating bowel habit subtype in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. The American journal of gastroenterology. 2005; 100(4): 896-904.
Holroyd Kenneth A, Labus Jennifer S, O'Donnell Francis J, Cordingley Gary E Treating chronic tension-type headache not responding to amitriptyline hydrochloride with paroxetine hydrochloride: a pilot evaluation. Headache. 2003; 43(9): 999-1004.
Labus Jennifer S, Keefe Francis J, Jensen Mark P Self-reports of pain intensity and direct observations of pain behavior: when are they correlated?. Pain. 2003; 102(1-2): 109-24.