Phone: (919) 843-9478
B.S., Psychology, Indiana University
M.S., Biopsychology, University of Nebraska
Ph.D., Biopsychology, University of Nebraska
Postdoctoral Training, Behavioral Pharmacology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Besheer’s interests include studying the neurobiological mechanisms underlying alcoholism and addiction. All drugs of abuse share the common attribute that they produce interoceptive/subjective stimulus effects in humans (e.g., the feeling of “drunkenness” or lightheadedness that accompanies alcohol drinking). These interoceptive effects can contribute to drug taking behavior and promote relapse. At the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, Dr. Besheer’s preclinical work takes a multidisciplinary approach to examine the neurobiology underlying sensitivity to the interoceptive effects of alcohol and alcohol drinking in adolescents and adults. Further, her interests include examination of how stress can impact sensitivity to alcohol, with an emphasis on adaptations in glutamatergic systems. Together, studying mechanisms and identifying targets that modulate sensitivity to the interoceptive effects of alcohol has numerous implications for the development of therapeutic interventions in alcoholism and for identifying factors that influence pathological behavioral processes in addiction, such as drug taking and relapse.
1. Besheer J, Fisher KR, Lindsay TG, Cannady R. (in press) Transient increase in alcohol self-administration following a period of chronic exposure to corticosterone. Neuropharmacology.
2. Besheer J, Fisher KR, Durant B (2012) Assessment of the interoceptive effects of alcohol in rats using short-term training procedures. Alcohol, 46:747-55.
3. Cannady R, Fisher KR, Durant B, Besheer J, Hodge CW (2013) Enhanced AMPA receptor activity increases operant alcohol self-administration and cue-induced reinstatement. Addiction Biology 18:54-65.
4. Besheer J, Fisher, KR, Grondin JJM, Cannady R, Hodge CW (2012) The effects of repeated corticosterone exposure on the interoceptive effects of alcohol in rats. Psychopharmacology, 220: 809-22.
5. Cannady, R., Grondin JJM, Fisher KR, Hodge CW, Besheer J (2011) Activation of Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors modulates the discriminative stimulus effects of alcohol via actions within the amygdala. Neuropsychopharmacology. 36: 2328-38.