My lab designs, produces, and tests novel mutant mice (knock-in and knock-out mice) that delineate genetic and environmental causes of excessive alcohol consumption. Knock-in mice contain a specific gene that is modified or mutated in order to study the effect of the gene on the animals' behavior. In knock-out mice, a specific gene is disabled in order to evaluate its function as a result of its absence. In addition to behavioral studies, I analyze brain samples from these mice using microarray techniques to evaluate ethanol's effect on brain gene expression. My results suggest that the deletion of any genes from this ethanol-sensitive gene "library" may in turn modify the motivation for drinking ethanol. My ultimate goal is to genetically increase the voluntary consumption of alcohol by combining (stacking) several different mutations.