Our Mission

In the Behavioral Genetics of Addiction (BGA) Laboratory, we investigate how genomic variation influences the progression to maladaptive substance use behaviors. We are identifying differences in our DNA that influence our relationship with alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and other illicit substances through sophisticated genomic techniques. To understand the progression from use to dependence, we additionally examine related traits and behaviors that may predate the onset of substance use/addiction or co-occur with substance use/addiction, such as major depression, conduct problems, and novelty seeking. Our research spans across species and development (i.e., prenatal through adulthood), as well as strives to include both clinical and community-based samples. Furthermore, we aim to address disparities in mental health among populations typically underrepresented in research.