Neural circuits and substrates underlying polysubstance abuse.
Dr. Dobbs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin and has a courtesy faculty appointment in the Neurology Department at the Dell Medical School. She initially became inspired to study the neurobiology of addiction when working with drug-abusers as a post-baccalaureate clinical research assistant at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She went on to pursue graduate training in the behavioral pharmacology of drug reward and received a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Oregon Health & Science University. Her subsequent postdoctoral training at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism involved examining the neural circuits underlying drug related behaviors. Dr. Dobbs’ laboratory takes a systems level approach to identify the neural substrates, circuits and behavioral motivations driving the co-abuse of addictive drugs. Her research examines pairs of commonly co-abused drugs to determine how they interact at the behavioral, molecular, and synaptic levels to drive their synergistic intake when co-abused. Her work has received multiple awards including a 2014 Fellow Award for Research Excellence from the National Institutes of Health and the 2017 Benedict J. Latteri Memorial Award for Excellence in Scientific Publication from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.