Neuropharmacology of Addiction

The preclinical research is focused on understanding the neuronal underpinnings that drive maladaptive behaviors that occur during drug abstinence. We study the enduring effects of psychostimulants, particularly MDMA (Ecstasy), using behavioral tests and models, traditional molecular techniques such as immunoblotting, and advanced MR neuroimaging modalities including proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and manganese-enhanced MRI. A second line of research interest includes the use of a rodent model of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to study comorbid drug abuse and PTSD.