Dr. Mantsch joined the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) as the Chair of Pharmacology & Toxicology in January of 2021. Prior to his arrival at MCW, Dr. Mantsch served as the Chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Marquette University, where he was a faculty member since 2001. Dr. Mantsch graduated from Allegheny College in 1993 with a BS in psychology and received his PhD in Pharmacology & Toxicology, with a specialization in neuropharmacology, from Louisiana State University Medical Center (now LSU Health) in Shreveport. He completed his post-doctoral training under Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek in the Laboratory on the Biological of Addictive Disease at the Rockefeller University. Dr. Mantsch’s research program is focused on the neurobiology of stress, motivated behavior and addiction and has been continuously funded by the NIH since 2003. Dr. Mantsch has 20 years of pharmacology teaching experience and an extensive record of mentoring graduate students, undergraduate students, and post-doctoral trainees. He is involved in community health initiatives focused on mental health, health disparities, and substance use disorders through his translational research efforts, including his work with Promentis Pharmaceuticals, a company he co-founded which is now developing medications for neuropsychiatric diseases. Dr. Mantsch is the endowed Florence J. Williams Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at MCW.
- Addiction/Substance Use Disorders
- Systems Neuroscience
- Preclinical Models
- Motivated Behavior
Stress and addiction are among the most pressing threats to health and wellness in modern society. Solutions to these challenges lie within the complexity of the brain. Recent advances in neuroscience have provided us with new tools, approaches and perspectives that should support meaningful progress in defining how the brain works. My laboratory seeks to leverage these advances to better understand and guide more effective interventions for stress-related disorders and addiction. There are several active lines of research in the lab, including those listed below:
Stress-induced relapse to drug seeking
The effective management of substance use disorders relies heavily on interventions aimed at relapse prevention. While there are many factors that determine relapse risk, stress is particularly problematic, as it is unavoidable, uncontrollable, and pervasive in the lives of those struggling with substance use disorders. Episodic stress can trigger craving in people and drug seeking in preclinical models. With the goal of guiding developing treatments aimed at minimizing the influence in substance use disorders, our work continues to define the neural pathways and mechanisms responsible for stress-induced cocaine seeking. The lab is also examining the mechanisms through which stress-triggered drug seeking is recruited/augmented with repeated excessive drug use and the underlying adaptations in neurocircuitry that mediates stress-related responses and motivation.
Influence of sex and stress hormones on drug-seeking behavior
Stress and sex hormones exert brain-wide effects to influence behavior at the network level. We have demonstrated that corticosterone administration, at a dose that reproduces stress levels in blood, and 17-beta estradiol, at dose that reproduces proestrus levels, promote cocaine seeking via rapid non-genomic mechanisms of action. Ongoing work in the laboratory is focused on understanding the brain regions and mechanisms that underlie the effects of these hormones on drug seeking. The implications of this work extend beyond substance use disorder and have the potential to advance our understanding of how stress and biological sex influence a range of healthy and pathological behaviors.
Impaired motivation in stress-related disorders
Chronic stress-induced dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex contributes to many stress-related disorders and is manifest, in part, as impaired motivation. We are currently exploring the mechanisms through which chronic stress produces functional and structural deficits in neural projections originating the prefrontal cortex that mediate motivated behavior with the goal of guiding the development of therapeutic interventions aimed at treating stress-related neuropsychiatric conditions, including depression.
The overdose crisis in Milwaukee County
We are in the midst of a drug epidemic, and overdose deaths are on the rise. Milwaukee has been hit particularly hard by this epidemic. Effective solutions require the identification of community-level factors that influence overdose risk and strong partnerships that support community-level responses. In collaboration with population health and data scientists and local partners we are working to understand the determinants of overdose risk (and other mental health-related challenges) with the objective of guiding policy and interventions that can promote community wellness.
(McReynolds JR, Wolf CP, Starck DM, Mathy JC, Schaps R, Krause LA, Hillard CJ, Mantsch JR.) Neuropsychopharmacology. 2023 Jul;48(8):1121-1132 PMID: 37188846 PMCID: PMC10267161 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85159362811 05/16/2023
(Forati A, Ghose R, Mohebbi F, Mantsch JR.) Drug Alcohol Depend. 2023 Apr 01;245:109827 PMID: 36868092 03/04/2023
(Mantsch JR.) Addict Neurosci. 2022 Dec;4 PMID: 36531188 PMCID: PMC9757758 12/20/2022
(Ghose R, Forati AM, Mantsch JR.) J Urban Health. 2022 Apr;99(2):316-327 PMID: 35181834 PMCID: PMC8856931 02/20/2022
(Forati AM, Ghose R, Mantsch JR.) J Urban Health. 2021 Aug;98(4):551-562 PMID: 34231120 PMCID: PMC8260014 07/08/2021
(Doncheck EM, Anderson EM, Konrath CD, Liddiard GT, DeBaker MC, Urbanik LA, Hearing MC, Mantsch JR.) J Neurosci. 2021 Jun 16;41(24):5303-5314 PMID: 33879537 PMCID: PMC8211550 04/22/2021
(Caccamise A, Van Newenhizen E, Mantsch JR.) J Neurochem. 2021 Jun;157(5):1697-1713 PMID: 33660857 PMCID: PMC8941950 03/05/2021
(Spring MG, Caccamise A, Panther EA, Windsor BM, Soni KR, McReynolds JR, Wheeler DS, Mantsch JR, Wheeler RA.) J Neurosci. 2021 Mar 17;41(11):2428-2436 PMID: 33622777 PMCID: PMC7984602 02/25/2021
(Doncheck EM, Liddiard GT, Konrath CD, Liu X, Yu L, Urbanik LA, Herbst MR, DeBaker MC, Raddatz N, Van Newenhizen EC, Mathy J, Gilmartin MR, Liu QS, Hillard CJ, Mantsch JR.) Neuropsychopharmacology. 2020 Nov;45(12):1974-1985 PMID: 32303052 PMCID: PMC7547655 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85084141235 04/18/2020
(Vranjkovic O, Van Newenhizen EC, Nordness ME, Blacktop JM, Urbanik LA, Mathy JC, McReynolds JR, Miller AM, Doncheck EM, Kloehn TM, Stinnett GS, Gerndt CH, Ketchesin KD, Baker DA, Seasholtz AF, Mantsch JR.) J Neurosci. 2018 Dec 12;38(50):10657-10671 PMID: 30355627 PMCID: PMC6290294 10/26/2018
(McReynolds JR, Christianson JP, Blacktop JM, Mantsch JR.) Neurobiol Stress. 2018 Nov;9:271-285 PMID: 30450391 PMCID: PMC6234265 11/20/2018
(Mantsch JR, Twining RC.) Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018 Jun;43(7):1469-1470 PMID: 29559727 PMCID: PMC5983536 03/22/2018