Melissa Herman, Ph.D.
Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies
Department of Pharmacology
Inhibitory microcircuitry governing network function and it’s role in motivated behaviors
The role of changes in tonic inhibitory signaling in the physiological dysregulation associated with dependence on alcohol and drugs of abuse
Inhibitory networks governing the flow of information from the periphery and how it impacts central processing
My research interests involve the structure of inhibitory neuronal networks and how these networks change to produce adverse behavioral outcomes. My main interest is how the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) regulates neuronal networks via both synaptic and extrasynaptic forms of inhibition and how alterations in inhibitory networks contribute to clinical conditions such as alcohol use disorder, nicotine, addiction, or stress. My work has focused primarily on three brain regions: the nucleus tractus solitaries (NTS), central and basolateral amygdala, and ventral tegmental area. In each of these areas I have identified local inhibitory networks that control overall excitability and that are dysregulated by exposure to acute and or chronic exposure to alcohol or nicotine.
The Center of the Emotional Universe: alcohol, stress, and CRF1 amygdala circuitry. Agoglia A., Herman MA., 2018. Alcohol. In press.
Chronic E-cigarette Exposure Alters the Human Bronchial Epithelial Proteome. Ghosh A, Coakley RC, Mascenik T, Rowell TR, Davis ES, Rogers K, Webster MJ, Dang H, Herring LE, Sassano MF, Livraghi-Butrico A, Van Buren SK, Graves LM, Herman MA, Randell SH, Alexis NE, Tarran R. . Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018 Feb 26 PMID: 29481290
Central Network Dynamics Regulating Visceral and Humoral Functions. Valentino RJ, Guyenet P, Hou XH, Herman M. J Neurosci. 2017 Nov 8;37(45):10848-10854 PMID: 29118214
Novel Molecule Exhibiting Selective Affinity for GABAA Receptor Subtypes. Borghese CM, Herman M, Snell LD, Lawrence KJ, Lee HY, Backos DS, Vanderlinden LA, Harris RA, Roberto M, Hoffman PL, Tabakoff B. Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 24;7(1):6230. PMID: 28740086
Constitutive Increases in Amygdalar Corticotropin-Releasing Factor and Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase Drive an Anxious Phenotype. Natividad LA, Buczynski MW, Herman MA, Kirson D, Oleata CS, Irimia C, Polis I, Ciccocioppo R, Roberto M, Parsons LH. PMID: 28209423