DRUG USE DISORDERS -- MICEDrug use disorders (DUDs) are chronically relapsing disorders characterized in part by the emergence of a negative emotional state (e.g., dysphoria, anxiety) reflective of a motivational withdrawal syndrome when access to the drug is prevented. The importance of genetic influences on DUDs is well known; yet identifying the underlying genetic mechanisms has proven difficult. Translational mouse models can provide a powerful strategy for understanding the genetic and biological underpinnings of DUDs; and are complementary to human studies.
In this project, we will use cutting-edge statistical techniques, next-generation sequencing technology, and systems genetics approaches to identify alterations in gene networks that are associated with amphetamine withdrawal severity in a highly recombinant mouse mapping population. Ultimately, a better understanding of the biological pathways that are dysregulated during drug withdrawal can eventually lead to the development of novel, targeted treatments for drug use disorders.