Studying addiction at its many levels

Image is close-up of pipettes. Link to page about research at the Methamphetamine Abuse Research Center

Methamphetamine use affects the human organism at many levels: brain, body, thoughts, genes… Our research allows deeper understanding of why and how methamphetamine addiction develops. Therefore treating and preventing addiction is possible.

MARC Dept Staff 2020

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Looking at how genes impact MA use

Genes that influence methamphetamine (MA) use have been difficult to identify, but animal research conducted by members of our Center have made a novel discovery of a gene with a major effect on MA intake. This gene codes for a receptor, called the trace amine-associated receptor 1 or TAAR1, that normally curbs MA intake, but when it is non-functional, unfettered MA consumption occurs: Humans possess several forms of this gene, some of which could lead to greater craving for MA use and risk for relapse. Our Center will perform in-depth studies in rodent models and humans of the importance of this gene and receptor on several behavioral, physiological and brain responses to MA, with the goal of identifying new mechanisms for treatment.

Meet the team

PI Loftis in lab

Meet the MARC team and see an introduction to what we do.
Meet our scientists
View our videos from past MARC projects

Participate in research

Participate in research

We are seeking individuals to contribute as research subjects. 
View our studies