Rebecca Fanelli



I graduated from Cornell University in 2007, where I received a BA in Biology with a concentration in Neurobiology and Behavior. For the next two years, I worked with Dr. Jose Florez as a clinical research coordinator conducting pharmacogenetics studies at Massachusetts General Hospital. I came to UNC in 2009 and joined the Robinson Lab where I study alcoholism, investigating the neural circuits that may contribute to habit formation.


My research examines the neurodynamics of addiction and whether the effects of ethanol can be ameliorated by potentially therapeutic drugs. Our lab models goal-directed and habitual behavior in rats, using in vivo recording techniques to analyze neuronal transmission during alcohol self-administration. Focusing on the striatum, a structure in the reward pathway suspected to be responsible for habit formation, I will investigate phasic firing patterns and changes in dopamine release using array electrophysiology and fast-scan cyclic voltammetry.



NIAAA F31 National Research Service Award, 2014
Volterra Conference on Alcoholism and Stress Travel Award, 2014
Research Society on Alcoholism Student Gordis Award Finalist, 2014, 2012
Research Society on Alcoholism Student Merit Award, 2014,2012
Paul C. Hardin Dissertation Fellowship, 2013-2014
Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies Training Grant, 2011-2012
HHMI Graduate Training Program in Translational Medicine,2010-2012
Neurobiology Curriculum Training Grant, 2010-2011