Additional Contact Information:
Department of Biomedical Sciences
James H. Quillen College of Medicine
PO Box 70582
Johnson City, TN 37614
Office: Room 1-31 Bldg. 1
Laboratory: Room 2-08 Bldg. 119
Phone: (423) 439-5586
FAX: (423) 439-2017
2001- B.S. - University of Wisconsin-Madison (Psychology)
2009- M.S.- University of Wisconsin-Madison (Psychology)
2012-Ph.D.- University of Wisconsin-Madison (Psychology [Biology of Brain and Behavior])
2012-2014- Post doctoral Training- The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA2014-2019- Post doctoral Training- The National Institute on Drug Abuse, Intramural Research Program, Baltimore, MD
2. Neuropeptide contributions to compulsive drug/alcohol intake
3. Sleep dysfunction comorbidity in substance/alcohol use disorders
Research interests in our laboratory center around the neurobiology and neurocircuitry underyling addiction and related comorbidities. Our studies primarily focus on the role of negative reinforcement in the motivation to excessively seek and take drugs of abuse (including psychostimulants and opioids) and/or alcohol. We largely use an extended access to drug/alcohol self-administration paradigm as an animal model of drug and alcohol addiction that mimics the transition from recreational use to excessive, compulsive use associated with dependence in humans. In conjunction with other multidisciplinary techniques, this dependence model allows us to examine the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie compulsive behavior patterns of addiction and sleep alterations associated with dependence and withdrawal. Our addiction research focuses on the contributions of stress system sensitization, reward deficits, and sleep dysfunction to various states of dependence, including withdrawal and relapse. Current neurotransmitter/peptides of interest include hypocretin/orexin, dynorphin, and norepinephrine. Our ultimate goal is to identify potential neurobiological targets for the pharmacological treatment of substance use disorders that can be used in combination with behavioral therapies in the clinical setting.
Graduate Student (Ph.D. x'24)
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Graduate Student (M.S. x'22)
Recruiting graduate and post doctoral trainees.
Schmeichel BE, Matzeu A, Koebel P, Vendruscolo LF, Sidhu H, Sharhryari R, Kieffer BL, Koob GF, Martin-Fardon R, Contet C (2018). Knockdown of hypocretin attenuates extended access cocaine self-administration in rats. Neuropyschopharmacology 43: 2373-2382.
Vendruscolo JCM, Tunstall BJ, Carmack SA, Schmeichel BE, Lowery-Gionta E, Cole M, George O, Vandewater S, Taffe M, Koob GF, Vendruscolo LF (2018). Compulsive-like sufentanil vapor self-administration in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology 43(4):801-809.
Schmeichel BE, Herman MA, Roberto M, and Koob GF (2017). Hypocretin Neurotransmission within the Central Amygdala Mediates Escalated Cocaine Self-Administration and Stress-induced Reinstatement in Rats. Biological Psychiatry 81(7): 606-615.
Schmeichel BE, Barbier E, Misra KK, Contet C, Schlosburg JE, Grigoriadis D, Williams JP, Karlsson C, Pitcairn C, Heilig M, Koob GF, Vendruscolo LF (2015). Hypocretin receptor 2 antagonism dose-dependently reduces escalated heroin self-administration in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology 40: 1123-1129.
Schmeichel BE and Berridge CW (2014). Amphetamine acts within the lateral hypothalamic area to elicit affectively neutral arousal and reinstate drug seeking. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 17: 63-75.
Schmeichel BE and Berridge CW (2013). Neurocircuitry underlying the preferential sensitivity of prefrontal catecholamines to low-dose psychostimulants. Neuropsychopharmacology 38: 1078-1084.
Schmeichel BE and Berridge CW (2013). Wake-promoting actions of noradrenergic α1- and β-receptors within the lateral hypothalamic area. European Journal of Neuroscience 37: 891-900.