William Giardino

Ph.D. Graduate (2013)

William J. Giardino, Ph.D.Undergraduate Education

B.S., Psychology, 2008, University of Washington

Training Dates at OHSU

2008 - 2013

Second Year Project Title

Mapping the neural substrates underlying dopamine D2 receptor-dependent sensitivity to methamphetamine (Mentor: Andrey E. Ryabinin)

Dissertation Title

The centrally projecting Edinger-Westphal nucleus: Midbrain neuropeptide control of excessive alcohol intake (Mentor: Andrey E. Ryabinin)

Awards or Grant Received

(2013-16) F32 AA022832 NIH/NIAAA: Optogenetic Studies of Hypocretin in Binge Drinking and Negative Hedonic Valence.

(2011-13) F31 AA021023 NIH/NIAAA: Edinger-Westphal Urocortin-1 Involvement in Binge Ethanol Intake and Reward

Current Position

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University

Email Address


Research Interests

Behavior, stress, addiction, neuropharmacology, neuroanatomy, genetics

My Portland Experience

Portland is the ideal city for a graduate student, offering affordability, transportability, enriching arts & culture, and let's just say... weather patterns that favor healthy study and work habits. Nowhere have I encountered people that match Portlanders in friendliness, enthusiasm for nature & sustainability, and a general sense of community encouragement. Portland is a truly unique and special place, and my experience at OHSU was inextricably linked to those attributes.  

My OHSU Experience

I can't say enough. The education I received at OHSU was unparalleled by any institution, and I believe the Department is the most rigorous behavioral neuroscience graduate training program that exists. As a student, I was consistently impressed with the quality of scientific mentorship, course instruction, and administrative support that I observed. In the Department, faculty are exceptionally committed to the academic progress and professional development of students. I'm endlessly grateful to the community at OHSU for providing an ideal setting for my PhD training.

Previous Positions

(2008-13) Graduate Student, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University

(2007-08) Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington

(2005-07) Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Washington

Postdoctoral Training

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University


Giardino WJ, Rodriguez ED, Smith ML, Cote DM, Li J, Cocking DL, Ford MM, McClung CM, Chen A, Ryabinin AE. Midbrain stress neuropeptide adaptations selectively drive long-term excessive alcohol intake. In preparation, December 2014.   

Giardino WJ, de Lecea L. Hypocretin neuromodulatory pathways integrating stress and reward. Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 2014 Jul 20;29C:103-108.   

Giardino WJ, Ryabinin AE. CRF1 receptor signaling regulates food and fluid intake in the drinking-in-the-dark model of binge alcohol consumption. Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res. EPub 2013 Feb 7.  PMC3657581.

Ryabinin AE, Tsoory MM, Kozicz T, Thiele T, Neufeld-Cohen A, Chen A, Lowery-Gionta E, Giardino WJ, Kaur S. Urocortins: CRF's siblings and their potential role in anxiety, depression, and alcohol drinking behavior. Alcohol. 2012 Jun;46(4):349-57. EPub 2012 Mar 21.   PMC3358480.

Giardino WJ, Cote DM, Li J, Ryabinin AE. Characterization of genetic differences within the centrally- projecting Edinger-Westphal nucleus of C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice by expression profiling. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. 2012;6(5). EPub 2012 Feb 14.   PMC3278674.

Giardino WJ, Ryabinin AE. Corticotropin-releasing factor: innocent until proven guilty. Nature Rev. Neurosci. 2012 Jan;13(1):70. EPub 2011 Dec 20.  PMC3365568.

Giardino WJ, Cocking DL, Kaur S, Cunningham CL, Ryabinin AE. Urocortin-1 within the Centrally Projecting Edinger-Westphal Nucleus is Critical for Ethanol Preference. PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e26997. EPub Oct 28.    PMC3203949.

Giardino WJ, Mark GP, Stenzel-Poore MP, Ryabinin AE. Dissociation of corticotropin-releasing factor receptor subtype involvement in sensitivity to locomotor effects of methamphetamine and cocaine. Psychopharmacology. 2012 Feb;219(4):1055-63. EPub 2011 Aug 11.   PMC3266955.

Giardino WJ, Pastor R, Anacker AMJ, Spangler E, Cote DM, Li J, Stenzel-Poore M, Phillips TJ, Ryabinin AE. Dissection of corticotropin-releasing factor system involvement in locomotor sensitivity to methamphetamine. Genes Brain and Behav. 2011 Feb;10(1):78-89. EPub 2010 Sep 30.   PMC3025045.

Land BB, Bruchas MR, Schattauer S, Giardino WJ, Aita M, Messinger D, Hnasko TS, Palmiter RD, Chavkin C. Activation of the kappa opioid receptor in the dorsal raphé nucleus mediates the aversive effects of stress and reinstates drug seeking. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2009 Nov 10;106(45):19168-73. EPub 2009 Oct 28.  PMC2776420.

Date last updated: December 17, 2014