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Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders

Experts in the Department of Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine are exploring the underlying neurobiological, developmental and molecular bases of addictions. From identifying behavioral risk variables and affected brain regions to the systems governing impulsive addiction choices and the impact of cues on those choices, the department is at the forefront of addiction research.

Indiana Alcohol Research Center

For more than 30 years, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has funded the Indiana Alcohol Research at IU School of Medicine. This center continues to provide exceptional research in the biomedical and psychosocial aspects that contribute to alcohol-use disorders

Alcohol Research

Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders - Medication Screen

Medication Screen

IU School of Medicine researchers characterize a low-cost, high-throughput ethanol preference test in the nematode C. elegans. The Department of Psychiatry uses a novel approach that has shown to reduce ethanol drinking and/or seeking in vertebrate models in the C. elegans ethanol preference test, and characterize the selectivity of the response. This project provides a new and powerful high-output screening tool to help identify new pharmacotherapies to treat alcohol use disorders.

Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders - Neonatal Abstinence

Neonatal Abstinence

Subject-matter experts investigate the long-term effects of neonatal abstinence using a combination of animal modeling and human investigation.



In collaboration with Department of Neurology’s David Kareken, PhD , alcohol and substance use disorder experts in the Department of Psychiatry work to determine the relationship between genetic predisposition to high alcohol drinking, development of aversion-resistant alcohol drinking and the contribution of prefrontal cortical glutamate systems.

Psychiatry Faculty Labs Focusing on Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders

  • Zachary W Adams PhD
    The Adams Lab is improving access to high-quality clinical services for children, teens and families impacted by mental health problems and substance use.
  • Brady K Atwood PhD
    The Atwood Lab team is interested in how drugs of abuse, diet, stress and pain influence the behaviors of humans. The focus of the lab’s work is on the molecular mechanisms and brain circuits that are specifically impacted by these substances and experiences.
  • Brandon Oberlin PhD
    The Oberlin Lab identifies behavioral risk variables, brain regions, and systems governing impulsive addiction choices and the impact of cues on those choices.

Faculty Experts in Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders

Brady K. Atwood, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology

Eric A. Engleman, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Sheketha R. Hauser, PhD

Assistant Research Professor of Psychiatry

Simon N. Katner, PhD

Visiting Research Associate in Psychiatry

Brandon Oberlin, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Research News