Graduate Studies Faculty

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Matthew M. Ford, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Admin Unit: Oregon National Primate Research Center
Phone: 503-614-3716
Office: Cooley Building (ONPRC)
Mail Code: L-584
Behavioral Neuroscience
Research Interests:
Behavioral Pharmacology, Neuroendocrinology, Addiction, Drug Reinforcement and Motivation, Drug Discrimination, Drug Self-Administration, Animal Models on Alcohol, Nicotine or Methamphetamine Abuse » Click here for more about Dr. Ford's research » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Academic Term Available Fall 2016 Yes Summer 2017 Yes Fall 2017 Yes Winter 2017 Yes Spring 2017 Yes Winter 2018 Yes Spring 2018 Yes Summer 2018 Yes
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Ford might be available as a mentor for 2016-2017. Dr. Ford might be available as a mentor for 2017-2018.

Summary of Current Research

Our laboratory group employs animal models of alcohol, nicotine, and methamphetamine abuse to arrive at a better understanding of the physiological and neurobiological bases of addiction. Over the past several years, our laboratory has developed multiple models that address the behavioral processes underlying self-administration, reinforcement, reinstatement, and discrimination. These behavior-based models were initially implemented to examine the influence of endogenous neuroactive steroids, which exhibit positive modulatory activity at GABAA receptors, on the appetitive and consumptive processes associated with alcohol self-administration in mice. We have now expanded our research endeavors to include studies of both nicotine and methamphetamine as well as exploration of drug self-administration within a non-human primate model. Current projects in the laboratory seek to address: 1) alcohol-nicotine interactions and the neurobiological underpinnings of co-abuse, 2) influence of a non-synonymous polymorphism in the α5 nicotinic receptor subunit (rs16969968) on abuse-related behaviors, 3) alcohol-stress interactions and the role of environmental contingencies that results in 'conflict or cognitive' stress and associated 'binge' drinking, and 4) the feasibility of muscarinic and nicotinic receptor-based pharmacotherapy for methamphetamine abuse. By investigating roden and non-human primate models of drug consumption and discrimination (perception of subjective drug effects) it is hoped that brain mechanisms underlying the propensity to self-administer drugs uncontrollably can be identified and subsequently manipulated to provide more effective treatment options for abusers.

Recent Publications

Ford MM (2014) Applications of schedule-induced polydipsia in rodents for the study of an excessive ethanol intake phenotype. Alcohol 48:265-276.  PMID: 24680665

Ford MM, Davis NL, McCracken AD, Grant KA (2014) Contribution of NMDA glutamate and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor mechanisms in the discrimination of ethanol-nicotine mixtures. Behav Pharmacol 24:617-622PMID: 23928692

Ford MM, Steele AM, McCracken AD, Finn DA, Grant KA (2013) The relationship between adjunctive drinking, blood ethanol concentration, and plasma corticosterone across fixed-time intervals of food delivery in two inbred mouse strains. Psychoneuroendocrinology 38:2598-2610. PMID: 23827168.

Ford MM, McCracken AD, Davis NL, Ryabinin AE, Grant KA (2012) Discrimination of ethanol-nicotine drug mixtures in mice: dual interactive mechanisms of overshadowing and potentiation. Psychopharmacology 224:537-548. PMID: 22763667.

Shabani S, Dobbs LK, Ford MM, Mark GP, Finn DA, Phillips TJ (2012) A genetic animal model of differential sensitivity to methamphetamine reinforcement. Neuropharmacology 62(7):2169-2177. PMID: 22280875.

Education and Previous Positions

  • B.S., Biology (1992-1996) Bucknell Univ.
  • Ph.D., Pharmacology (1996-2002) Wake Forest Univ.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Behavioral Neuroscience, OHSU (2002-2007)
  • Research Assistant Professor, Behavioral Neuroscience, OHSU (2007-2012)