Richard L. Bell

Richard L. Bell, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry


My research is focused on understanding alcohol use and dependence in order to develop pharmacotherapies to treat these disorders.  As the Director of the “Animal Production Core (APC)”, within the Indiana Alcohol Research Center (IARC), and a U24 “Rodents with Genetic Differences in Alcohol Preference“ I oversee the selective breeding of the alcohol-preferring P and nonpreferring NP as well as the replicate high alcohol drinking vs low alcohol drinking HAD1/LAD1 and HAD2/LAD2 rat lines.  These mechanisms, through the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, provide these selectively bred rats to investigators locally and around the world.  The P/NP as well as HAD1/LAD1 and HAD2/LAD2 rats are excellent genetic animal models for studying factors influencing the development of alcoholism, such as changes in (1) reward neurocircuitry; (2) the relationship of temperament-like behavior to alcohol preference; (3) binge drinking during peri-adolescence and its long-term consequences; (4) ‘relapse’ or ‘out-of-control’ drinking (alcohol deprivation effect); (5) functional (CNS) alcohol tolerance, and alcohol dependence; as well as (6) co-abuse of alcohol and other substances of abuse.  I also am active in educating preclinical researchers and clinical practitioners on alcoholism, its underlying neurobiology, as well as the promises and pitfalls of developing pharmacotherapies to treat this disorder.

Key Publications

Books and Special Issues

Animal Models for Medications Screening to Treat Addiction. International Review of Neurobiology. (2016). R.L. Bell & S. Rahman (Eds.). Oxford, United Kingdom: Academic Press/Elsevier.

Bell, R.L., Hauser, S., Rodd, Z.A., Liang, T., Sari, Y., McClintick, J., Rahman, S., Engleman, E.A. (2016). A genetic animal model of alcoholism for screening medications to treat addiction. International Review of Neurobiology, 126, 179-261. [PMCID:]

Research Topic (2014; Special Issue): Molecular Targets for the Treatment of Alcohol and Drug Dependence. Frontiers in Neuroscience/Neuropharmacology. Y. Sari & R.L. Bell (Eds.). Lausanne, Switzerland: Frontiers Publishing Group.

Rahman, S., Engleman, E.A., Bell, R.L. (2014). Nicotinic receptor modulation to treat alcohol and drug dependence. Frontiers in Neuroscience/Neuropharmacology, 8, 426. [PMCID: PMC4295535]

Zhou, F.C., Bell, R.L. (2012). Editorial: Pharmacotherapies for the treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence. Recent Patents on CNS Drug Discovery, 7, 91-92. F.C. Zhou & R.L. Bell (Eds.). Oak Park, IL, USA: Bentham Science Publishers. Special Issue on "Pharmacotherapies for the Treatment of Alcohol Abuse and Dependence" in Recent Patents on CNS Drug Discovery

Bell, R.L., Franklin K.M., Hauser, S.R., Zhou, F.C. (2012). Introduction to the Special Issue “Pharmacotherapies for the Treatment of Alcohol Abuse and Dependence” and a Summary of Patents Targeting other Neurotransmitter Systems. Recent Patents on CNS Drug Discovery, 7(9), 93-112. [PMCID:]


(317) 278-8407 

NB 300C, Neuroscience Research Bldg.
Indianapolis, IN