Peng Alex Zhong
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
B.S., Jilin University CHINA
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Qing-song Liu
Phone: (414) 955-4682
Addiction is believed to be a disease of learning and memory. Drug addiction shares the similar alterations with learning in intracellular signaling cascades, neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity that is thought to underlie learning and memory. It is therefore attractive to hypothesize that addictive drugs induce drug-associated memories and ultimately cause drug addiction by altering long-term synaptic plasticity in the relevant reward circuit. My research interest is whether and how in vivo or in vitro cocaine exposure alters the induction of Long-term potentiation (LTP) or depression (LTD), fundamental forms of synaptic plasticity, in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and other brain areas of reward circuit that are critically involved in drug addiction.