A. Leslie Morrow, Ph.D.Associate Director
Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies

Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology

UNC Neuroscience Center, Curriculum in Neurobiology, and Curriculum in Toxicology

Office | 3027 Thurston-Bowles Bldg, CB#7178
Email | morrow@med.unc.edu
Lab Website | Molecular Neuropharmacology

Research Interests

Mechanisms of Addiction Pathogenesis: The major goal of this project is to determine GABAergic cortolimbic circuit mechanisms of alcohol addiction. This project will examine the overall hypothesis that chronic ethanol exposure alters local mPFC and amygdalar microcircuits as well as the mPFC projection to central amygdala in conjunction with GABA-A receptor adaptations that can be prevented by histone acetylation.

Gene Delivery of Neuroactive Steroids to Modulate Ethanol Reinforcement/Consumption: The goal of this project is to evaluate the hypotheses that elevated steroidogenesis in the ventral tegmental area will reduce operant ethanol self-administration and the escalation of voluntary drinking following deprivation in male and female rats.

Recent Publications

Click here for a full list of publications from PubMed


Cellular GABAergic Neuroactive Steroid (3α,5α)-3-Hydroxy-Pregnan-20-One (3α,5α-THP) Immunostaining Levels Are Increased in the Ventral Tegmental Area of Human Alcohol Use Disorder Patients: A Postmortem Study. Hasirci AS, Maldonado-Devincci AM, Beattie MC, O’Buckley TK, Morrow AL. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2017 Feb;41(2):299-311. doi: 10.1111/acer.13300. PMID: 28068457

Initial genetic dissection of serum neuroactive steroids following chronic intermittent ethanol across BXD mouse strains. Porcu P, O’Buckley TK, Lopez MF, Becker HC, Miles MF, Williams RW, Morrow AL. Alcohol. 2017 Feb;58:107-125. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2016.07.011. PMID: 27884493


Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Exposure Alters Stress Effects on (3α,5α)-3-hydroxy-pregnan-20-one (3α,5α-THP) Immunolabeling of Amygdala Neurons in C57BL/6J Mice. Maldonado-Devincci AM, Kampov-Polevoi A, McKinley RE, Morrow DH, O’Buckley TK, Morrow AL. Front Cell Neurosci. 2016 Mar 4;10:40. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2016.00040. PMID: 26973459

Ethanol Regulation of Synaptic GABAA α4 Receptors Is Prevented by Protein Kinase A Activation. Carlson SL, Bohnsack JP, Morrow AL. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2016 Apr;357(1):10-6. doi: 10.1124/jpet.115.230417. PMID: 26857960

Blunted neuroactive steroid and HPA axis responses to stress are associated with reduced sleep quality and negative affect in pregnancy: a pilot study. Crowley SK, O’Buckley TK, Schiller CE, Stuebe A, Morrow AL, Girdler SS. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2016 Apr;233(7):1299-310. doi: 10.1007/s00213-016-4217-x. PMID:26856852