NeuroPharmacoGenetics Laboratory

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Our laboratory is interested in the genetic basis of complex brain disorders, including genetic predisposition for alcoholism, drug abuse, and other compulsive behaviors, as well as molecular and biochemical mechanisms underlying such neuro-sensory processes as stress, bone physiology, neuropathic pain, and analgesia.

Research Aim(s): 
  • Genetic predisposition to alcoholism, drug abuse, and other compulsive behaviors in human
  • Genetic factors influencing alcohol drinking in rodent models
  • Behavioral patterns of alcohol preference and social environment in rodent models
  • Molecular mechanisms of neuro-sensory processes, including pain, stress, and analgesia
  • Biochemical and molecular mechanisms of bone physiology
Active Research Projects: 
  • Mouse models of alcohol drinking and social environment impact
  • Human genetic variations that impact alcohol drinking, drug abuse, and other compulsive behaviors
  • Brain-expressed genes associated with alcohol preference and relapse
  • Mouse model of human genetic variation for behavioral studies
  • Genome-wide association study of alcohol preference in mice
  • Electrophysiological analysis of spinal cord neuro-sensory systems in neuropathic pain
  • In vivo gene activity suppression for pain relief
  • Novel polymeric prodrugs for sustained analgesia to treat chronic pain and surgical pain
  • Neuronal cell model for identifying potential drugs to treat neuropathic pain
  • Genes involved in temperament in young children, including sensitivity to reward-based learning, anger, and sadness
  • Computational simulation of genetic analysis for longitudinal alcoholism studies
  • Osteocalcin gene-deficient mouse model for biochemical and molecular mechanisms of bone physiology, stress response, and hormonal regulation
Core Faculty: Patricia Buckendahl, PhD
Larissa Pohorecky, PhD
Arthur Tomie, PhD
Lei Yu, PhD
Affiliated Faculty: Xuelin He, MD, PhD
Celal Ulger, PhD
Graduate Students: Damaris Medina
Staff: Liza Duch