The training program promotes and supports collaborative research in the following areas:
- Molecular biology – studies of the function of voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels in cellular expression systems (Mihic, Harris, Atkinson), development of new transgenic animal models (Harris,Mihic, Atkinson), and identification of ethanol responsive genes (Harris, Mihic, Atkinson).
- Genetics – genotyping of human and animal subjects (Fromme, Harris).
- Electrophysiology and microscopic imaging – whole cell and intracellular methods in single cells and in brain slices (Mihic, Harris, Morikawa).
- Neurochemistry – intracellular and extracellular signaling mechanisms with an emphasis on phosphorylation (Mayfield), release and transport of glutamate, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters (Gonzales, Harris, Mayfield), expression of synaptic proteins (Mayfield), and novel mechanisms of target identification and drug discovery for alcoholic neuropathology (Nixon).
- Behavior – analysis of the effects of ethanol on motor function, reinforcement, anxiety, and withdrawal (Dominguez, Harris, Gonzales).
- Psychosocial – psychological approaches to understanding human drinking patterns (Fromme) and the interaction of genotype and alcohol drinking in humans (Fromme, Harris)
Postdoctoral fellows typically choose a project at the onset of their training. Predoctoral trainees will rotate through the laboratories of selected faculty members prior to choosing an advisor for dissertation research. Predoctoral students are required to complete a series of core course requirements covering ethanol’s actions on the central nervous system, scientific ethics, experimental design, and statistical analysis. Our training program has a 20 year history of recruiting and training minority students and this will continue to be a focus. The training faculty have an excellent history of collaboration and sharing of laboratory space and equipment. The research laboratories are well equipped with state-of-the-art techniques and instrumentation for a range of neurochemical and behavioral testing.
For more information and details about application procedures, contact Dr. Kim Nixon, Training Grant Director.