Neuropharmacology of addiction

Relapse and excessive drinking represent the most difficult clinical problems in treating patients with alcohol use disorders.

We seek to improving our understanding of the underlying brain circuits and neurotransmitters that regulate alcohol intake and relapse which offers the potential for more targeted therapeutic approaches to assist in relapse prevention.

We employ gold-standard techniques to assess drug-seeking behaviour in animal models including the operant responding paradigm and use specialised equipment for behavioural phenotyping for assessing anxiety and depression, learning and cognition, and other drug-induced changes.

Current projects

  • Characterisation of the role of the neuropeptide galanin and the galanin receptor-3 in drug addiction
  • Methamphetamine psychosis: what happens in the brain? (in collaboration with Professor Maarten van den Buuse from the School of Psychology and Public Health)

Team members

Group leader: Dr Elvan Djouma

PhD students: Shannyn Genders and Samuel Hogarth