Department of Psychiatry
Associate Director, Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies
- Molecular Neuropharmacology
Our laboratory is engaged in studies of the molecular mechanisms of alcohol action, alcohol tolerance and dependence that involve the function, expression, regulation and molecular biology of GABA receptors in the CNS.
We are studying the regulation of GABA-A receptors to determine the precise mechanisms that account for CNS hyperexcitability during ethanol withdrawal. Our studies focus on gene expression, receptor trafficking, phosphorylation and receptor function.
Endogenous neuroactive GABAergic steroids contribute to many behavioral and electrophysiological effects of ethanol in rodents. We are investigating the mechanisms and physiological relevance of ethanol-induced increases in these steroids.
We are also investigating whether neuroactive steroids in brain link stress, anxiety and excessive alcohol intake, including studies that focus on neuroadaptive changes brought about by chronic alcohol exposure.