Nicotine Receptors in the Brain: Implications for Addiction and Depression

Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 2:00 pm EDT
Meet the Scientist - October 2018

Nicotine is the primary addictive component of tobacco. We now know a great deal about the targets for nicotine in the brain and the circuits involved in its behavioral effects. There is also a longstanding association between tobacco smoking, anxiety and depressive disorders. In this presentation, I will discuss studies in mice and humans that have identified the targets and brain areas that are important for the addictive effects of nicotine and how this relates to brain circuits that are impaired in individuals with anxiety and depression.

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Presented by 
Marina R. Picciotto, Ph.D.
Marina R. Picciotto, Ph.D.
Yale University School of Medicine

Charles BG Murphy Professor in Psychiatry and Deputy Chair for Basic Science

Professor of Neurobiology and Pharmacology and in the Child Study Center

Scientific Council Member (Joined 2015)

2016 Distinguished Investigator Grant

2004 Independent Investigator Grant

1996 Young Investigator Grant

Marina Picciotto is Charles B.G. Murphy Professor and Deputy Chair for Basic Science in Psychiatry at Yale University. She is also Professor of Neurobiology, Pharmacology and in the Child Study Center. Her research focuses on defining molecular mechanisms underlying behaviors related to psychiatric illness, with a focus on the function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain. Her laboratory uses molecular genetic strategies to identify the role of individual molecules in behaviors related to depression, addiction, cognitive function and food intake. Dr. Picciotto received her B.S. from Stanford and her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University where she worked with Dr. Paul Greengard. She conducted postdoctoral work with Professor Jean-Pierre Changeux at the Pasteur Institute before joining the faculty at Yale University. Dr. Picciotto is Treasurer of the Society for Neuroscience, interim Editor in Chief of the Journal of Neuroscience, and serves as handling editor or on the editorial board of several journals. She is a fellow of AAAS and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Moderated by 
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

President and CEO

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., serves as the President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the largest private funder of mental health research grants. Dr. Borenstein developed the Emmy Award-nominated public television program “Healthy Minds,” and serves as host of the series. The program, which is broadcast nationwide, focuses on topics in psychiatry in order to educate the public, reduce stigma and offer a message of hope. Dr. Borenstein also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association and as an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.