Phone: (919) 843-4823
B.S., Psychology and Computer Science, University of Alabama, Birmingham
M.S., Experimental Psychology, Auburn University
Ph.D., Behavioral Pharmacology, Auburn University
Alcoholism is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder that is characterized by recurring cycles of chronic drinking, abstinence and relapse. Emerging evidence suggests that alcohol and other drugs of abuse may produce maladaptive changes in a variety of neurotransmitter, cell signaling and gene transcription pathways that lead to enduring changes in brain structure and function. These neuroadaptations are thought to regulate behavioral pathologies that occur in alcoholism. The primary goals of Dr. Hodge’s research are to 1) elucidate neuroadaptations in molecular signaling pathways associated with chronic voluntary alcohol drinking and abstinence; and 2) investigate the functional movement of these molecular pathways in the behavioral effects of alcohol including self-administration, mood regulation (i.e. anxiety and depression), discrimination, and sensitization. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of drug-induced plasticity in brain and behavioral functions is of potential importance for development of new pharmacotherapies for problems associated with alcoholism, such as relapse.