Our laboratory focuses on the neuropsychopharmacology of drug addiction and co-occurring psychiatric conditions, namely depression and anxiety. The goal of my research is to elucidate the mechanisms by which drugs, particularly psychostimulants such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), affect neurochemistry and behavior. Using animal models, we seek to identify and understand the plasticity of the human brain in response to acute and repeated drug exposure, as well as, stressors and cues that lead to anxiety, depression and relapse to drug seeking. We are currently pursuing two major research studies: 1) Determine the neurochemical underpinnings that are disrupted by psychostimulants and lead to anxiety, depression and maladaptive reward behaviors; 2) Understand the neurobiological basis that underlies comorbidity of PTSD and drug abuse.
Drug abuse and dependence, anxiety and depression.
Rodent models/tests for reward, anxiety, and depression related behaviors, western blotting, ELISA, HPLC, and proton-magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
Matthew Galloway, Manuel Tancer, Mark Greenwald, Scott Bowen, Jeffrey Stanley, David Thomas, Donald Kuhn, Alana Conti, Pamela VandeVord, Michael Church, Bill Fantegrossi (U Arkansas), Leonard Howell (Emory U), Israel Liberzon (U Michigan), Mark Simmons (NEOUCOMP) and Ellen Unterwald (Temple U).