Laboratory of Addiction Genetics

Substance abuse disorders are heritable psychiatric conditions whose genetic basis remains largely unknown. Mammalian model organisms offer a powerful, complementary tool for accelerating the discovery of novel genetic factors and neurobiological mechanisms in humans. The Laboratory of Addiction Genetics integrates classical forward genetics in mice with contemporary genome editing and transcriptomics to understanding the mechanisms that confer susceptibility versus resistance toward the addictions. We are committed to the development and refinement of behavioral models across multiple abused substances that most directly gauge the contribution of natural genetic variation to behavior and bridging these discoveries with –omics and molecular genetics to validate candidate genes, functional variants and neurobiological mechanisms. This multi-pronged approach leverages our ability to make discoveries that could translate to new pharmacotherapeutic avenues for treatment and prevention.

birdseye view of lab