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Elyssa Margolis, PhD

Title(s)Associate Professor, Neurology
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Phone415-353-4793
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    Other Positions
    Title(s)UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, San Francisco Postdoctoral StudiesGraduate Division
    University of California, San FranciscoPh.D.2003 Graduate Division (Bioengineering)

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    We study the Neurobiology of Addiction, and specifically the neural circuits and G Protein Coupled Receptor function involved in drug reinforcement and seeking. We use a wide range of preclinical tools including whole cell electrophysiology, conventional anatomical techniques, behavioral and neural pharmacology, and in vivo and ex vivo optogenetics. For more information visit http://elyssabmargolis.com/

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Understanding endogenous opioid drive of alcohol consumption
    NIH/NIAAA R01AA026609Sep 10, 2018 - Jun 30, 2023
    Role: Principal Investigator
    The role of the VTA-lateral habenula circuit in opioid mediated behaviors
    NIH/NIDA R01DA042025Sep 1, 2017 - Jun 30, 2022
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Heterogeneity of Ventral Tegmental Area Neurons and Opioid Reward
    NIH/NIDA R01DA030529Jan 1, 2011 - Nov 30, 2015
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Waung MW, Margolis EB, Charbit AR, Fields HL. A Midbrain Circuit that Mediates Headache Aversiveness in Rats. Cell Rep. 2019 Sep 10; 28(11):2739-2747.e4. PMID: 31509737.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Margolis EB, Karkhanis AN. Dopaminergic cellular and circuit contributions to kappa opioid receptor mediated aversion. Neurochem Int. 2019 Oct; 129:104504. PMID: 31301327.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Breton JM, Charbit AR, Snyder BJ, Fong PTK, Dias EV, Himmels P, Lock H, Margolis EB. Relative contributions and mapping of ventral tegmental area dopamine and GABA neurons by projection target in the rat. J Comp Neurol. 2019 Apr 01; 527(5):916-941. PMID: 30393861.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Saunders BT, Richard JM, Margolis EB, Janak PH. Dopamine neurons create Pavlovian conditioned stimuli with circuit-defined motivational properties. Nat Neurosci. 2018 08; 21(8):1072-1083. PMID: 30038277.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Margolis EB, Fujita W, Devi LA, Fields HL. Two delta opioid receptor subtypes are functional in single ventral tegmental area neurons, and can interact with the mu opioid receptor. Neuropharmacology. 2017 Sep 01; 123:420-432. PMID: 28645621.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Morales M, Margolis EB. Ventral tegmental area: cellular heterogeneity, connectivity and behaviour. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2017 02; 18(2):73-85. PMID: 28053327.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Avegno EM, Salling MC, Borgkvist A, Mrejeru A, Whitebirch AC, Margolis EB, Sulzer D, Harrison NL. Voluntary adolescent drinking enhances excitation by low levels of alcohol in a subset of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area. Neuropharmacology. 2016 11; 110(Pt A):386-395. PMID: 27475082.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Margolis EB, Fields HL. Mu Opioid Receptor Actions in the Lateral Habenula. PLoS One. 2016; 11(7):e0159097. PMID: 27427945.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Gomes I, Bobeck EN, Margolis EB, Gupta A, Sierra S, Fakira AK, Fujita W, Müller TD, Müller A, Tschöp MH, Kleinau G, Fricker LD, Devi LA. Identification of GPR83 as the receptor for the neuroendocrine peptide PEN. Sci Signal. 2016 04 26; 9(425):ra43. PMID: 27117253.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Fields HL, Margolis EB. Understanding opioid reward. Trends Neurosci. 2015 Apr; 38(4):217-25. PMID: 25637939.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Margolis EB, Hjelmstad GO, Fujita W, Fields HL. Direct bidirectional µ-opioid control of midbrain dopamine neurons. J Neurosci. 2014 Oct 29; 34(44):14707-16. PMID: 25355223.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Berthet A, Margolis EB, Zhang J, Hsieh I, Zhang J, Hnasko TS, Ahmad J, Edwards RH, Sesaki H, Huang EJ, Nakamura K. Loss of mitochondrial fission depletes axonal mitochondria in midbrain dopamine neurons. J Neurosci. 2014 Oct 22; 34(43):14304-17. PMID: 25339743.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Volman SF, Lammel S, Margolis EB, Kim Y, Richard JM, Roitman MF, Lobo MK. New insights into the specificity and plasticity of reward and aversion encoding in the mesolimbic system. J Neurosci. 2013 Nov 06; 33(45):17569-76. PMID: 24198347.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Mitchell JM, Margolis EB, Coker AR, Allen DC, Fields HL. Intra-VTA deltorphin, but not DPDPE, induces place preference in ethanol-drinking rats: distinct DOR-1 and DOR-2 mechanisms control ethanol consumption and reward. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2014 Jan; 38(1):195-203. PMID: 24033469.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Hjelmstad GO, Xia Y, Margolis EB, Fields HL. Opioid modulation of ventral pallidal afferents to ventral tegmental area neurons. J Neurosci. 2013 Apr 10; 33(15):6454-9. PMID: 23575843.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Margolis EB, Toy B, Himmels P, Morales M, Fields HL. Identification of rat ventral tegmental area GABAergic neurons. PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e42365. PMID: 22860119.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Mitchell JM, Margolis EB, Coker AR, Fields HL. Alcohol self-administration, anxiety, and cortisol levels predict changes in delta opioid receptor function in the ventral tegmental area. Behav Neurosci. 2012 Aug; 126(4):515-22. PMID: 22708955.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Margolis EB, Mitchell JM, Hjelmstad GO, Fields HL. A novel opioid receptor-mediated enhancement of GABAA receptor function induced by stress in ventral tegmental area neurons. J Physiol. 2011 Sep 01; 589(17):4229-42. PMID: 21690191.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Xia Y, Driscoll JR, Wilbrecht L, Margolis EB, Fields HL, Hjelmstad GO. Nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons target non-dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area. J Neurosci. 2011 May 25; 31(21):7811-6. PMID: 21613494.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Margolis EB, Coker AR, Driscoll JR, Lemaître AI, Fields HL. Reliability in the identification of midbrain dopamine neurons. PLoS One. 2010 Dec 09; 5(12):e15222. PMID: 21151605.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Xia YF, Margolis EB, Hjelmstad GO. Substance P inhibits GABAB receptor signalling in the ventral tegmental area. J Physiol. 2010 May 01; 588(Pt 9):1541-9. PMID: 20231139.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Dobi A, Margolis EB, Wang HL, Harvey BK, Morales M. Glutamatergic and nonglutamatergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area establish local synaptic contacts with dopaminergic and nondopaminergic neurons. J Neurosci. 2010 Jan 06; 30(1):218-29. PMID: 20053904.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Margolis EB, Fields HL, Hjelmstad GO, Mitchell JM. Delta-opioid receptor expression in the ventral tegmental area protects against elevated alcohol consumption. J Neurosci. 2008 Nov 26; 28(48):12672-81. PMID: 19036960.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Margolis EB, Mitchell JM, Ishikawa J, Hjelmstad GO, Fields HL. Midbrain dopamine neurons: projection target determines action potential duration and dopamine D(2) receptor inhibition. J Neurosci. 2008 Sep 03; 28(36):8908-13. PMID: 18768684.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Fields HL, Hjelmstad GO, Margolis EB, Nicola SM. Ventral tegmental area neurons in learned appetitive behavior and positive reinforcement. Annu Rev Neurosci. 2007; 30:289-316. PMID: 17376009.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Margolis EB, Lock H, Hjelmstad GO, Fields HL. The ventral tegmental area revisited: is there an electrophysiological marker for dopaminergic neurons? J Physiol. 2006 Dec 15; 577(Pt 3):907-24. PMID: 16959856.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Margolis EB, Lock H, Chefer VI, Shippenberg TS, Hjelmstad GO, Fields HL. Kappa opioids selectively control dopaminergic neurons projecting to the prefrontal cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Feb 21; 103(8):2938-42. PMID: 16477003.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Margolis EB, Hjelmstad GO, Bonci A, Fields HL. Both kappa and mu opioid agonists inhibit glutamatergic input to ventral tegmental area neurons. J Neurophysiol. 2005 Jun; 93(6):3086-93. PMID: 15615834.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Margolis EB, Hjelmstad GO, Bonci A, Fields HL. Kappa-opioid agonists directly inhibit midbrain dopaminergic neurons. J Neurosci. 2003 Nov 05; 23(31):9981-6. PMID: 14602811.
      View in: PubMed