Woody Hopf, PhD
|School||UCSF School of Medicine|
|Address||675 Nelson Rising Lane|
San Francisco CA 94158
|University of California, Berkeley||PhD||Molecular Biology||1994|
|University of California, Berkeley/Athena ||Postdoctoral Fellow||Neuroscience||1996|
|Stanford University||Postdoctoral Fellow||Neuroscience||1998|
Woody Hopf He is a widely recognized leader in the use of innovative methodologies, including the combination of optogenetics, in vitro electrophysiology and novel behavioral paradigms of pathological drinking, to uncover the molecular and circuit mechanisms that drive the excessive alcohol intake that make alcoholism so destructive. His main research goal is to identify specific molecular changes within particular brain areas that anchor binge-like and compulsive alcohol drinking, which will allow development of novel and potent pharmacological and behavioral interventions in human alcoholics. He presently focuses on frontal cortical areas (including the Insula) and downstream targets (nucleus accumbens, central amygdala), and how alcohol-related adaptations and other neuromodulators (dopamine, orexin, CRF) in these regions interact to drive pathological drinking. His work has been published in high impact factor journals such as Neuron, Nature Neuroscience, Journal of Neuroscience and Biological Psychiatry, and he has made major contributions to our understanding of molecular adaptations and brain circuits that promote pathological alcohol and cocaine intake, which could facilitate development of novel therapeutic interventions for the treatment of addiction.
Rodent models for compulsive alcohol intake. Continued seeking and drinking of alcohol despite adverse legal, health, economic, and societal consequences is a central hallmark of human alcohol use disorders. This compulsive drive for alcohol, defined by resistance to adverse and deleterious consequences, represents a major challenge when attempting to treat alcoholism clinically. Thus, there has long been interest in developing pre-clinical rodent models for the compulsive drug use that characterizes drug addiction. Here, we review recent studies that have attempted to model compulsive aspects of alcohol and cocaine intake in rodents, and consider technical and conceptual issues that need to be addressed when trying to recapitulate compulsive aspects of human addiction.
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