THE WEINER LAB
Welcome to the Weiner Lab. Our research employs behavioral and neurobiological approaches to unravel the neural circuitry underlying vulnerability and resilience to alcohol use disorder. We are particularly interested in identifying brain mechanisms responsible for the frequent comorbidity between alcohol addiction and anxiety/stressor disorders, like PTSD, and in developing better treatments for these dual diagnoses. We are a highly collaborative team with funded projects involving Drs. Sara Jones, Kim Raab-Graham, Brian McCool, and Evgeny Budygin, as well as interactions with many other laboratories at Wake Forest School of Medicine that are employing animal and human subjects to study the neurobiology of addiction vulnerability. We, and our collaborators, use well-validated rodent models of vulnerability to alcohol use disorder and alcohol dependence and a wide range of behavioral assays of emotional behaviors and alcohol self-administration. Neurobiological methods include ex vivo electrophysiology and fast scan cyclic voltammetry, biochemical analyses of neuronal protein expression, in vivo and ex vivooptogenetics and chemogenetics. Current projects are primarily focused on the basolateral amygdala and downstream projection areas like the ventral hippocampus, nucleus accumbens, and central amygdala.