Graduate Studies Faculty

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John Belknap, PhD

Professor, Behavioral Neuroscience
Research Career Scientist, Research Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Admin Unit: SOM-Behavioral Neuroscience Department
Behavioral Neuroscience
Research Interests:
Genetics, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Statistics, Microarray Analysis, QTL Analysis Mouse Models, Behavioral » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Dr. Belknap has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Belknap has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.

Major Areas

Pharmacogenetics; opioid analgesia; drug tolerance and dependence

Summary of Current Research

The Belknap lab is devoted to genetic studies of sensitivity to many effects of drugs subject to abuse using a wide range of genetic mouse models from knockouts to selected lines. The principal drugs for study are cocaine, methamphetamine, morphine and alcohol and the traits are those often associated with these drugs in humans, such as alcohol and morphine withdrawal, morphine analgesia, methamphetamine stereotypy, cocaine seizures and several other behaviors. One goal of this work is to detect and map to specific chromosomal regions the genes (polygenes) influencing these traits. These chromosomal regions are referred to as quantitative trait loci, or QTLs. Another goal is to determine the multiple drugs influenced by these QTLs, and how they interact with other genes (gene-gene interactions) throughout the genome. Since the organization of genes on chromosomes is highly similar between mouse and humans, mapped QTLs in the mouse often maps them in the human genome as well.


  • B.A. (1966) University of Colorado

  • M.A. (1969) University of Colorado

  • Ph.D. (1971) University of Colorado

Previous Positions

  • Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin