Department of Pharmacology Faculty
Jeffery D. Steketee, Ph.D.
Room 325 Crowe Research Building
- Allegheny College, Meadville, PA, B.S., 1982, Biology/Psychology
- University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX
Ph.D., 1989, Neuroscience
- Washington State University, Pullman, WA, Posdoctoral Fellow 1989-1991, Neuropharmacology
My research focuses on the neural circuits that underlie drug addiction using, predominantly, behavioral, pharmacological and neurochemical approaches. The principle drug of interest is cocaine. The primary behavioral model is behavioral sensitization, which is the enhanced locomotor response that occurs with repeated, intermittent drug exposure. Behavioral sensitization is a useful model for drug-induced neural plasticity that is though to underlie craving and relapse. Additional behavioral models include conditioned place preference and drug self-administration. The circuit under investigation is the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system. Specifically recent studies have examined on how cocaine exposure alters the regulation of neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex that project to the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area. In particular, the impact of cocaine on dopamine, glutamate and GABA modulation of cortical neurons is being examined at the neurotransmitter and receptor levels.
These studies involve the use of in vivo microdialysis to monitor neurotransmitter release and pharmacological agents to examine receptor function. In addition, to these procedures, other techniques employed in my lab include western blotting, radioenzymatic assays such as the measurement of protein kinase C activity and transporter assays. In addition, I encourage members of my research team to develop multidisciplinary projects that can include collaboration with other labs to expand the number of techniques available to them.