First Annual Waggner Center Advance - March 22, 2013
My primary discipline is neuroscience and my major interest is molecular pharmacology, particularly as it relates to addiction. My laboratory uses gene targeting and RNA interference in rodents to study signaling proteins predicted to be important for responses to drugs of abuse. The goal is to understand the role of these proteins in behavior and determine if they are targets for development of new therapeutic agents to treat addiction. My major contributions include determining that protein kinase C epsilon, protein kinase C delta, N-type voltage-dependent calcium channels, and the type 1 equilibrative nucleoside transporter regulate ethanol intoxication and self-administration in mice. My research on protein kinase C epsilon in particular has led to ongoing efforts to develop inhibitors of this enzyme as potential treatments for pain, anxiety, and alcohol and nicotine addiction.