Dr. Foster joined UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Center of Depression Research and Clinical Care in May 2022. Her work focuses on linking a person’s 30 trillion gut microbes and their propensity for mental illness.

In the past 20 years, Dr. Foster has developed an internationally recognized translational research program. Her multidisciplinary expertise includes behavioral neuroscience, molecular biology, immunology, neuroimaging, microbiome, and bioinformatics in both preclinical and clinical research domains. Dr. Foster’s research program has developed high quality analytical pipelines for biological data and has developed novel analytical tools for integrating data across modalities. Dr. Foster's involvement in the broader psychiatric community across Canada, the US, and Europe, provides a unique opportunity to study the complex neurobiological underpinnings of microbiota-brain and neuroimmune systems in psychiatric illness in clinical populations and to explore underlying biological mechanism in animal models.


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Immune characterization of suicidal behavior in female adolescents.
Chin Fatt CR, Farrar JD, Jha MK, Minhajuddin A, Mayes T, Foster JA, Trivedi MH, Brain Behav Immun Health 2022 Nov 25 100499
Modulating brain function with microbiota.
Foster JA, Science 2022 05 376 6596 936-937
Microbe-Immune Crosstalk: Evidence That T Cells Influence the Development of the Brain Metabolome.
Caspani G, Green M, Swann JR, Foster JA, Int J Mol Sci 2022 Mar 23 6
The Relationship Between the Gut Microbiome-Immune System-Brain Axis and Major Depressive Disorder.
Foster JA, Baker GB, Dursun SM, Front Neurol 2021 12 721126
Is Anxiety Associated with the Gut Microbiota?
Foster JA, Mod Trends Psychiatry 2021 32 68-73
Diet and depression: exploring the biological mechanisms of action.
Marx W, Lane M, Hockey M, Aslam H, Berk M, Walder K, Borsini A, Firth J, Pariante CM, Berding K, Cryan JF, Clarke G, Craig JM, Su KP, Mischoulon D, Gomez-Pinilla F, Foster JA, Cani PD, Thuret S, Staudacher HM, Sánchez-Villegas A, Arshad H, Akbaraly T, O'Neil A, Segasby T, Jacka FN, Mol Psychiatry 2021 01 26 1 134-150
GPR56/ADGRG1 is associated with response to antidepressant treatment.
Belzeaux R, Gorgievski V, Fiori LM, Lopez JP, Grenier J, Lin R, Nagy C, Ibrahim EC, Gascon E, Courtet P, Richard-Devantoy S, Berlim M, Chachamovich E, Théroux JF, Dumas S, Giros B, Rotzinger S, Soares CN, Foster JA, Mechawar N, Tall GG, Tzavara ET, Kennedy SH, Turecki G, Nat Commun 2020 04 11 1 1635
Stress & the gut-brain axis: Regulation by the microbiome.
Foster JA, Rinaman L, Cryan JF, Neurobiol Stress 2017 Dec 7 124-136
Gut-brain axis: how the microbiome influences anxiety and depression.
Foster JA, McVey Neufeld KA, Trends Neurosci 2013 May 36 5 305-12

Honors & Awards

  • Neurogastroeneterology and Motility Most Cited Prize
  • NARSAD, Young Investigator Award

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (2005)
  • Canadian Association of Neuroscience (1992)
  • Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2004)
  • European Behavioural Pharmacology Society (2016)
  • International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (2006)
  • International Society for Neuroimmunology (2000)
  • Society for Neuroscience (1989)