George Breese

George Breese


Department of Psychiatry

Ph.D., Pharmacology
University of Tennesse, Memphis, TN

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Department of Psychiatry

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Research Interests

  • Defining the neurobiological basis of central adaptation chronic administration ethanol and psychotropic drugs.
  • Modeling of symptoms of central disorders

Research Synopsis

The primary focus of our laboratory is to understand adaptive change in brain that accompanies lesioning of specific neural systems, stress, prolonged alcohol exposure and extended psychotropic drug treatment. One area of focus is defining the underlying basis of the accumulating adaptation that accompanies repeated exposures and withdrawals—an adaptation responsible for sensitization of withdrawal-induced anxiety-like behavior and voluntary intake of alcohol. A second area of interest is the role stress plays in maintaining alcohol abuse by sensitization of anxiety-like behavior after previous exposure to chronic alcohol. These initial two areas of research provide a means to understanding the process of alcohol abuse. Behavioral, pharmacological, dialysis, drug microinjection, biochemical, gene knockout, and electrophysiological techniques are utilized for this research. A third area of interest is the basis of persistent change in transcription factors that accompanies repeated administration of a D1 -dopamine receptor agonist to rats with dopamine-containing neurons destroyed during development. This treatment models the dopamine deficiency observed in Lesch-Nyhan disease. In this model, the laboratory is also interested in defining the basis of the NMDA hypofunction observed, which emulates the NMDA hypofunction characteristic of schizophrenia. These latter areas of research involve biochemical and neuroanatomical assessments coupled to microarray results. The final research area involves an effort to understand the cellular action of ethanol to alter the function of some but not all neurons in brain. For this phase, brain slices and isolated neurons are utilized to provide electrophysiological analysis.


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Contact Information

Office Location:
3007 Thurston-Bowles Bldg.

Mailing Address:
Bowles Center For Alcohol Studies
CB # 7178
UNC-CH School of Medicine
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7178

Office Phone: 919-966-3081
Lab Phone: 919-966-0505
Fax: 919-966-5679



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