Melissa Herman, Ph.D.
Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies
Department of Pharmacology
- Neurocircuitry governing network function and its role in motivated behavior
- Changes in neurophysiological signaling in circuit dysregulation associated with dependence on alcohol and vaporized nicotine
- Region-specific impacts of psychedelic compounds on network activity and stimulus responding
My research interests involve the activity neuronal networks and how these networks change in response to different contexts to produce adaptive or maladaptive behavioral outcomes. A primary interest is how exposure to alcohol or vaporized nicotine dysregulates the activity of different brain circuits and how functional network changes contribute to clinical conditions such as alcohol use disorder, nicotine addiction, or stress. We are also investigating the impact of psychedelic compounds on brain region-specific activity and stimulus responding. My work has focused on a number of brain regions and circuits including the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), the central and basolateral amygdala, the ventral tegmental area and the prefrontal cortex. Each of these areas have local or long-range circuitry that controls network processing and that are potentially dysregulated by acute and or chronic exposure to alcohol or nicotine.
Quadir S, Arleth GM, Jahad JV, Echeveste Sanchez M, Effinger DP, Herman MA “Sex Differences in Affective States and Association with Voluntary Ethanol Intake in Sprague Dawley Rats” Psychopharmacology. In press
Crofton EJ, Zhu M, Curtis KN, Nolan GW, O’Buckley TK, Morrow AL, Herman MA. Medial prefrontal cortex-basolateral amygdala circuit dysfunction in chronic alcohol-exposed male rats. Neuropharmacology. 2021 Dec 6;108912. PMID: 34883134
Zhu M, Echeveste Sanchez M, Douglass E, Hanback T, Guhr Lee TN, Esther CR Jr, Cole M, Roberts AJ, Herman MA. Electronic nicotine vapor exposure produces differential changes in central amygdala neuronal activity, thermoregulation and locomotor behavior in male mice. eNeuro. 2021 Aug 11;8(4):ENEURO.0189-21.2021. PMID: 34321216
Agoglia AE, Zhu M, Douglass E, Hanback T, Tella J, Ying R, Hodge CW and Herman MA. Sex-specific plasticity in CRF regulation of inhibitory control in central amygdala CRF1 neurons after chronic voluntary alcohol drinking. Addiction Biology. 2021 Jun 2:e13067. Online ahead of print. PMID: 34075665
Hughes BA, O’Buckley TK, Boero G, Herman MA, Morrow AL. Sex- and subtype-specific adaptations in excitatory signaling onto deep-layer prelimbic cortical pyramidal neurons after chronic alcohol exposure. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021 May 25. doi: 10.1038/s41386-021-01034-1. Online ahead of print. PMID: 34035471
Agoglia AE, Tella J, Herman MA. Sex differences in corticotropin releasing factor peptide regulation of inhibitory control and excitability in central amygdala corticotropin releasing factor receptor 1-neurons. Neuropharmacology. 2020 Dec 1;180:108296. PMID:
Agoglia AE, Crofton EJ, Herman MA. Biological intersection of sex, age, and environment in the corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) system and alcohol. Neuropharmacology. 2020 Jun 15;170:108045. PMID: 32217364
Agoglia AE, Zhu M, Ying R, Sidhu H, Natividad LA, Wolfe SA, Buczynski MW, Contet C, Parsons LH, Roberto M, Herman MA. Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Receptor-1 Neurons in the Lateral Amygdala Display Selective Sensitivity to Acute and Chronic Ethanol Exposure. eNeuro. 2020 Mar 5;7(2):ENEURO.0420-19.2020. PMID: 32041742
Agoglia A., Herman MA. The Center of the Emotional Universe: alcohol, stress, and CRF1 amygdala circuitry. Alcohol. 2018. Nov;72:61-73. PMID: 30220589.