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Research Assistant Professor, Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies Research Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology

Research Interests

My research interests involve investigation of proinflammatory neuroimmune and epigenetic mechanisms in animal models of developmental neurobiology and neurodegeneration, including (1) alcohol pharmacology, (2) adolescent neurodevelopment, (3) cholinergic system and neurocircuitry, and (4) Alzheimer’s disease. A major focus of the laboratory is elucidation of neuroimmune and epigenetic mechanisms underlying adolescent binge alcohol-induced disruption of basal forebrain cholinergic neurocircuitry in adulthood. A second focus of the laboratory is investigation of lasting adolescent binge drinking-induced neuroimmune priming as a novel etiological factor contributing to the onset and progression of basal forebrain neuropathology in Alzheimer’s disease. Our laboratory combines ex vivo and in vivo rodent models of alcohol abuse and Alzheimer’s disease with innovative molecular techniques.



Vetreno, R.P., Qin, L., Coleman, L.G., & Crews, F.T.  (2021). Increased Toll-like receptor-MyD88-NFkB-proinflammatory neuroimmune signaling in the orbitofrontal cortex of human alcohol use disorder. ACER, PMID: 34415075.

Liu, W., Rohlman, A.R., Vetreno, R.P., & Crews, F.T. (2021). Expression of oligodendrocyte and oligoprogenitor cell proteins in frontal cortical white and gray matter: Impact of adolescent development and ethanol exposure. Front Pharmacol, PMID: 34025418.

Qin, L., Zou, J., Barnett, A., Vetreno, R.P., Crews, F.T., & Coleman, L.G. (2021). TRAIL mediates neuronal death in AUD: A link between neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Int J Mol Sci, PMID: 33806288.

Crews, F.T., Fisher, R., Deason, C., & Vetreno, R.P. (2021). Loss of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons following adolescent binge ethanol exposure: Recovery with the cholinesterase inhibitor galantamine. Front Behav Neurosci, PMID: 33716687.


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  • Department of Pharmacology

  • Address

    3005 Thurston-Bowles Bldg

    104 Manning Drive

    CB# 7178

    Chapel Hill, NC 27599