Elucidating the Neural and Behavioral Mechanisms of Alcohol Addiction

The Hodge Lab at UNC Chapel Hill is located in the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Our primary focus is on understanding how the positive reinforcing effects of drugs drive repetitive drug-seeking behavior and promote the transition from use to abuse. Multidisciplinary preclinical studies in our lab take a “discovery-to-mechanistic” approach that seeks to elucidate the molecular targets of alcohol in the brain that, in turn, drive the positive reinforcing effects of the drug.

Understanding the molecular mechanisms of drug-induced plasticity in brain and behavioral functions is important for development of new pharmacotherapeutic strategies for treating problems associated with alcoholism, such as chronic use and relapse.