InstructorDepartment of Psychiatry and Human Behavior(601) 984-5898Email
My long term research interests involve the investigation of the mechanisms underlying the relationship between sleep and drug abuse. Individuals with substance use disorders show a high prevalence of sleep problems, with drug abuse profoundly impairing sleep at all phases of addiction. Conversely, sleep disruption also may affect the course of drug addiction: Individuals with a history of sleep problems are at higher risk for the development of substance use disorders and are more likely to relapse during treatment. Furthermore, many drugs with abuse potential are taken and/or prescribed in the context of sleep-wake disorders (e.g. stimulants, benzodiazepines), and most drugs of abuse acutely alter sleep architecture and/or induce other sleep disorders (e.g. opioid-induced sleep disordered breathing). Taken together, these observations suggest a bidirectional relationship between the abuse-related effects of drugs and drug-induced sleep impairment that may be critical for developing effective treatments.
My research goals are to (1) understand the mechanisms underlying the acute and chronic effects of drugs of abuse on sleep-wake cycles, (2) understand the effects of sleep-wake manipulations on the abuse-related behavioral effects of drugs of abuse, and (3) investigate the interactions between drugs of abuse (polydrug use) regarding their abuse- and sleep-related effects. We study the pharmacological basis of drug abuse and sleep processes using in vivo techniques, including drug self-administration and electroencephalography (EEG)-based sleep recording. A key component of my research program is also a focus on translational drug discovery, with a long-standing goal of providing important information for discovery and development of safe and effective anti-addiction and sleep-aid medications.
NIH/NIDA K99 DA049886Role of orexin receptors in the abuse- and sleep-related effects of methamphetaminePI: Lais F. BerroGrant period: 8/1/2020-7/31/2022
Alkermes Pathways Research AwardOpioid and benzodiazepine co-abuse: quantitative pharmacology and pharmacotherapeuticsPI: Lais F. BerroGrant period: 01/01/2019-12/31/2021