|Faculty selected as IPREP mentors|
Stephen L. Boehm, Ph.D. – Faculty Liaison
Director, Undergraduate Neuroscience Program
Professor Boehm's laboratory seeks to understand how developmental and genetic factors influence binge alcohol drinking, as well as sensitivity to delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component in marijuana. He employs state-of-the-art techniques, including brain site-specific manipulation of protein function/expression in mice, to determine which neurotransmitter systems and brain structures are important modulators of alcohol and THC-related behavior. This work will elucidate the behavioral/brain mechanisms associated with sensitivity to alcohol and THC in humans and provide further insight into how those mechanisms influence (and are influenced by) repeated drug exposure across development.
Cristine Czachowski, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Psychology
Area Head, Addiction Neuroscience Graduate Program
Director, NIAAA T32 Training Grant
Professor Czachowski uses a rat model to better understand the processes by which humans regulate alcohol consumption. Her model closely approximates human alcohol-drinking: from the onset of a drinking episode, which starts with obtaining alcohol, to the termination of that particular drinking binge. She is using this model to assess both drug treatments and basic neuroanatomically active agents to characterize the pharmacology and neural circuitry of alcohol reinforcement. Most recently, she has begun to investigate genetic and behavioral risk factors, such as impulsivity, and their role in excessive alcohol seeking and drinking.
Beth Neal-Beliveau, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Director of Undergraduate Studies for Psychology, Psychology
Professor Neal-Beliveau's laboratory focuses on the development of invertebrate models to study addiction, including models of preference and compulsive drug seeking. Using the nematode C. elegans, her lab utilizes behavioral and molecular methods to study the underlying processes mediating addiction and to screen for potential pharmacotherapies. Recent research has focused on the acute and chronic effects of methamphetamine and alcohol exposure, but the lab also studies other drugs of abuse such as opioids and cannabinoids. Additional work focuses on how early developmental exposure to drugs alters subsequent preference and drug seeking.
Charles Goodlett, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Professor Goodlett's research focuses on the damaging effects of alcohol on the developing brain, using quantitative neuroanatomy, immunocytochemistry, and behavioral methods in an animal model of human fetal exposure. His lab has identified underlying deficits in cellular neuroplasticity in the cerebellar-brain stem circuit that mediate eyeblink conditioning, and has shown that acrobatic motor training in adulthood can stimulate brain synaptic morphological plasticity and ameliorate some of the behavioral deficits resulting from the brain damage induced by early alcohol exposure. In recent years he has also collaborated with Dr. Randall Roper (Biology) to develop molecular interventions to improve cognitive and behavioral phenotypes in a mouse model of Down Syndrome.
Nicholas Grahame, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Director of Graduate Studies for Psychology, Psychology
Professor Grahame's laboratory focuses on the behavioral genetics of alcohol seeking behavior through research on behavioral markers that characterize differences in the likelihood that animal models will seek the pharmacologic effects of alcohol. He also assess neural circuits underlying how genes and environment interact in producing alcohol-related behaviors. Using these animal models, Professor Grahame's ultimate goal is to identify treatments for alcoholism based on the latest understanding of the behavioral and genetic mechanisms that lie at the heart of the disease.