Skip to main content

Congratulations to Dr. Jessica Hoffman, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Clyde Hodge’s lab, for receiving a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the NIAAA. The prestigious K99/R00 award provides 2 years of support for Dr. Hoffman’s continued postdoctoral research at UNC (K99 phase) followed by 3 years of independent funding after she transitions to a tenure-track faculty position (R00 phase).

Dr. Hoffman’s preclinical project, entitled “A novel mechanism of dependence-induced escalated alcohol self-administration,” will investigate the novel mechanistic role of the auxiliary protein transmembrane AMPAR regulatory protein gamma 8 (TARP γ-8) in alcohol dependence. During the K99 phase, Dr. Hoffman will extend her training to include use of a novel multi-spectral four-channel fiber photometry platform with Dr. Ian Shih and evaluate a role of TARP γ-8 in dependence-induced escalation of operant alcohol self-administration. During the R00 phase, Dr. Hoffman will integrate these methods to analyze the role of TARP γ-8 in neural circuits that regulate escalated alcohol use during dependence. This work will move the field forward in understanding molecular mechanisms of alcohol dependence and has high translational value for developing novel treatments for individuals suffering from alcohol use disorder.