Congratulations to Dr. Lauren Dobbs on her RO1 award from the National Institute of Drug Abuse!
This award will provide over $2.4 million to support her research "Regulation of striatal microcircuits by endogenous opioids as a novel mechanism underlying cocaine seeking"
Recent epidemiological reports indicate that cocaine use increased by 45% from 2013 to 2018. Cocaine-induced increase in striatal dopamine levels is linked to its rewarding effects. However, the striatal neural circuits driving cocaine abuse are not clearly defined. This project will investigate the role that endogenous opioids regulate intra-striatal GABA transmission, and how cocaine impinges upon this mechanism to affect circuit activity. Moreover, this research will provide novel insights on the mechanisms of cocaine abuse by establishing a link between opioid-mediated regulation of intra-striatal GABA transmission and cocaine seeking and taking.