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Waggoner Center Welcomes New Affiliated Faculty Drs. Natividad and Orsini

Aug. 12, 2020

The Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research welcomed two University of Texas at Austin scientists to its affiliated faculty last Fall: Luis A. Natividad, assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Caitlin Orsini, assistant professor in the College of Liberal Arts, Department of Psychology.

Natividad, who received his B.S. in Psychology from UT Austin, seeks to understand how protein signaling in the brain contributes to behavioral dysfunction in addiction.

Brain’s Immune Cells Are a Central Driver of Alcohol Use Disorder

July 21, 2020

Learn more about a new study from Scripps Research and The University of Texas at Austin, which was recently published in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

Waggoner Center Director Bob Messing Participates in Dell Med Health E-Talk on COVID-19 After-Effects

May 13, 2020

Waggoner Center Director Bob Messing, M.D. joined affiliate faculty member Charles Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., and Frances Champagne, Ph.D. on a virtual panel hosted by UT’s Dell Medical School.

Alcohol Shifts Gut Microbial Networks and Ameliorates a Murine Model of Neuroinflammation in a Sex-specific Pattern

Dec. 6, 2019

While alcohol is widely known for its proinflammatory effects, there is also evidence that it may improve outcomes in several autoimmune conditions. In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, our own Dr. Esther Melamed’s lab presents data that moderate alcohol consumption ameliorates disease symptoms, decreases central nervous system microglia, and enriches protective gut microbial networks in a sex-specific pattern.

Compelled to Drink: Why Some Cannot Stop

Nov. 22, 2019

Why are some people able to control their alcohol drinking, but others are compelled to drink despite health, personal, and/or social consequences? In Science, Drs. Kimberly Nixon and Regina Mangieri comment on how individual differences in aversive stimulus processing may explain compulsive alcohol drinking.

Waggoner Center Welcomes New Affiliated Faculty Members

July 8, 2019

Three researchers focused on the neurobiology of addiction at The University of Texas at Austin joined the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research as affiliated faculty members: Lauren Dobbs, assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience, and Regina Mangieri, research assistant professor, and Kimberly Nixon, associate professor and James T. Doluisio Centennial Fellow, in the Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Dobbs hopes to change public perception of alcoholism and related illnesses.

A Molecular Mechanism Involved in Alcohol Preference

July 3, 2018

In a recent paper in Science, Waggoner Center researchers Dayne Mayfield and Sean Farris, and investigators from Linköping University in Sweden, uncovered a molecular mechanism involved in the preference for alcohol over other rewards.   Utilizing a procedure that arguably models alcohol addiction in rats, they found that a subset of rats self-administered alcohol even when a sweet, high-value reward was available.  These rats also showed high motivation to obtain alcohol and drink it despite negative consequences, such as foot shocks or when it was adulterated with quinine. 

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