Cassandra Gipson-Reichardt, PhD
- Associate Professor
- Nutritional Sciences Graduate Faculty
- Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences Primary Faculty
Biography and Education
I am an addiction neuroscientist focusing on preclinical models of consumption of substances of dependence. The focus of my lab is to identify novel neurobiological and behavioral mechanisms to guide the treatment of addiction, including glutamatergic, dopaminergic, neuroimmune, and ovarian hormone mechanisms underlying addiction to various drugs of abuse during young adulthood and during the female reproductive transition of menopause. We also study the impacts of contraceptive hormones to nicotine use and neurobiology, as this is a highly understudied but critically important area of research that specifically impacts women's health.
The focus of the lab is to identify novel neurobiological and behavioral mechanisms to guide the treatment of addiction, including glutamatergic, dopaminergic, neuroimmune, and ovarian hormone mechanisms underlying addiction to various drugs of abuse during young adulthood and during the female reproductive transition of menopause. Projects focus on nicotine, heroin, and oxycodone/cocaine co-use, utilizing both in vivo and in vitro methodologies to study rapid alterations in synaptic plasticity (measured as changes in dendritic spines or AMPA/NMDA current ratios using whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology) during or immediately following behavior (specifically, during self-administration and reinstatement of drug seeking in a preclinical rodent model of relapse). To date, our work has revealed novel neurobiological mechanisms of addiction, and has the potential to contribute to the development of novel therapeutic options aimed at reversing drug-induced alterations and thus improve drug use cessation outcomes. This work has resulted in translational collaborations to examine clinical efficacy of pharmacotherapeutics in promoting drug use cessation.
Nicotine reduction does not alter essential value of nicotine or reduce cue-induced reinstatement of nicotine seeking. Powell GL, Beckmann JS, Marusich JA, Gipson CD. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 Jul 1;212:108020. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108020. Epub 2020 Apr 25. PMID: 32362438 Accumbens neuroimmune signaling and dysregulation of astrocytic glutamate transport underlie conditioned nicotine-seeking behavior. Namba MD, Kupchik YM, Spencer SM, Garcia-Keller C, Goenaga JG, Powell GL, Vicino IA, Hogue IB, Gipson CD. Addict Biol. 2020 Sep;25(5):e12797. doi: 10.1111/adb.12797. Epub 2019 Jul 22. PMID: 31330570 Direct administration of ifenprodil and citalopram into the nucleus accumbens inhibits cue-induced nicotine seeking and associated glutamatergic plasticity. Leyrer-Jackson JM, Piña JA, McCallum J, Foster Olive M, Gipson CD. Brain Struct Funct. 2020 Jun 26. doi: 10.1007/s00429-020-02103-9. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32591928