Cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript in alcohol seeking

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Number of Honour Places Available
Medicine and Radiology
Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor Andrew Lawrence Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Leigh Walker

Project Details

Alcohol use disorders represent a significant social and economic burden to Australian society. The enduring tendency to relapse is one of the fundamental features of alcohol use disorders and stress is a major precipitant of relapse behaviour. Although it is widely reported that stress triggers relapse, the relationship between stress and addiction is complex, and current therapeutics fail to adequately address this problem. We have recently implicated a role for the neuropeptide, cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART) within the central amygdala in stress-induced alcohol seeking.

Therefore the aim of this study is to first examine in rats how pharmacological manipulation of CART within the central amygdala impacts upon alcohol use / relapse. Then using genetically-modified mice that allow us to selectively manipulate this neuronal population, examine the CART outputs from the central nucleus of the amygdala and specifically manipulate these outputs using DREADDs (designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs) during stress-induced binge drinking.

Techniques used in this project include DREADDs, PCR, operant self-administration, rodent surgery, mouse and rat handling, confocal microscopy and immunohistochemistry.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health

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