Student working on a research project.

Neuropeptide Mechanisms Underlying Addiction

In my laboratory we study the behavioral and neurochemical mechanisms associated with changes in behavior (i.e., maternal behavior, drug seeking and addiction, anxiety, and pain). This research is conducted in animal models using rodents. Undergraduate research associates will learn basic laboratory procedures for the study of neurochemistry (e.g., chromatography, immunohistochemistry, PCR, and administration of drugs to the brain) and behavior (e.g., rodent handling procedures, operant and classical conditioning, pain assessment and measurement of defensive behavior indicative of anxiety). Students may have the opportunity to participate in many or all aspects of the research process, including, idea generation, data collection, data analysis, and communication of the findings. Projects in 2018 include studies on a) the effect of cocaine exposure on neuropeptide function in the striatum, b) the effect of periparturitional behavior on pain sensitivity, and c) the effect of microbiome manipulation on brain neurochemistry.

Research Project Information

Disciplines: Psychology, Neuroscience
Student Skill-Set Needed: Coursework in behavioral neuroscience or equivalent, interest in psychology , neuroscience, and research, laboratory experience (helpful, but not required), course work in research methods (helpful, but not required)
Compensation: Academic Credit, Volunteer
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer


For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:

Faculty Member: Alexis Thompson
Title: Researcher
Department: Research Institute On Addictions (RIA)
Office: 1021 Main Street
Phone: 716 887 2243