Josephine M. Johns, Ph.D.

Associate ProfessorJohns
Department of Psychiatry
Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies

Office | 424 Taylor Hall
Email |
Lab Website | Behav Pharm/Toxicology, Teratology & Neuroendocrinology
Current Biographical Sketch |pdf

Research Interests

In our laboratory, we study the effects of drugs of abuse, particularly psychostimulants, on maternal behavior and aggression and how prenatal exposure to drugs alters the behavioral and biological development of offspring in a rodent model. Our research techniques range from behavioral to molecular, which allows us in collaboration with other scientists, to examine these issues from many different perspectives. We also collaborate on human research projects focusing on the endocrine determinants of social/maternal behavior, particularly following drug use. The interaction between oxytocin and drugs of abuse as it relates to these effects plays a prominent role in our work. Our recent projects have also included studies using an alcohol/nicotine combined gestational treatment model to examine effects on maternal behavior, offspring alcohol preference and oxytocin system changes.

Recent Publications

Click here for a full list of publications from PubMed

    1. Cox-Lippard ET, Jarrett TM, McMurray MS, Zeskind PS, Garber KA, Zoghby CR, Glaze K, Tate WJ, Johns JM. (2015) Early postpartum pup preference is altered by gestational cocaine treatment: associations with infant cues and oxytocin expression in the MPOA. Behavioural Brain Research, 278 176–185. PMID: 25300467
    2. McMurray MS, Oguz I, Rumple A, Paniagua B, Styner M, Johns JM. (2015) Effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on early postnatal rodent brain structure and diffusion properties. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 2015 Jan-Feb;47:80-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2014 Nov 22. PMID: 25459688
    3.  Grewen, KM, Gouttard S, Vachet, C, Burchinal, Gilmore J, Lin, W, Johns J M, Elam, M, Gerig G (2014) Prental Cocaine Effects on Brain Structure in  Early Infancy, NeuroImage 2014 Jul 3;101C:114-123. PMID: 24999039.
    4. Zeskind PS, McMurray MS, Cox-Lippard ET, Grewen KM, Garber KA, Johns JM. (2014) Translational Effects of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure on Human Infant Cries and Rodent Infant Ultrasonic Vocalizations. PLOS ONE doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110349. PMID: 25338015
    5. McMurray, MS, Zeskind, P.S., Meiners, S.M., Garber, K.A., Tien, H., Johns, J.M.(2013) Prenatal   Cocaine Alters Early Postnatal Thermogenesis and Ultrasonic Vocalization Production. Special Issue Psychology, Frontiers in Cognition 882, vol 4, 1-10 PMC3840503.