Ph.D. Candidate, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Texas A&M University

My research interest is to study neural circuit mechanisms of addictive behavior. As a Ph.D. candidate in the laboratory of Dr. Jun Wang, I investigate the role of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor-expressing (D1R and D2R) medium spiny neurons (MSNs) within the corticostriatal circuit in alcohol addiction. My research is focused on afferent input-specific and cell type-specific mechanisms underlying excessive alcohol consumption in a mouse model of alcohol addiction. To perform the research, I have been trained to use and am currently able to utilize board techniques, including state-of-the-art optogenetics and chemicogentics (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drug, DREADDs), to in vivo manipulate the activity of specific populations of neurons in the corticostriatal circuit of Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) transgenic mice. With this research, I hope to understand of how a specific neuronal population is involved in addiction-related behaviors, such as pathological excessive alcohol intake. My ultimate career goal is to find new therapeutic approaches to treat alcohol addiction.

Experience

  • –present
    Phd candidate, Texas A&M University Health Science Center , Texas A&M University