Research

The Yale-SCOR is organized around research projects and cores. To learn more, explore the tabs below.

Project 1: Acetylcholine-Norepinephrine Interactions and Their Implications for the Effects of Nicotine in Reinforcement and Stress Reactivity

The primary aims of Project 1 are to identify the brain areas regulated by noradrenergic agents and nicotinic drugs under conditions related to stress-reactivity, and to determine whether stimulation of the noradrenergic system can decrease stress reactivity and dopamine dependent behaviors in a hypercholinergic model of increased stress reactivity in male and female mice. This project will also determine whether the effects of noradrenergic agents on anxiety and nicotine reinforcement depend on expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, the primary target of nicotine in the brain.

Marina Picciotto, PhDMarina Picciotto, PhD

Principal Investigator:
Marina Picciotto, Ph.D.
Charles B.G. Murphy Professor of Psychiatry
Professor of Pharmacology and of Neurobiology
Yale University School of Medicine

Yann Mineur, MSc, PhDYann Mineur, MSc, PhD

Co-Investigator:
Yann S. Mineur, Ph.D.
Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry
Yale University School of Medicine

Project 2: Sex Differences in Dopamine Release in Tobacco Smokers

The primary aims of Project 2 are to use PET brain imagining to determine 1) if there are sex differences in dopamine release in healthy tobacco smokers, 2) whether noradrenergic agents differentially attenuate dopamine release between male and female tobacco smokers, and, 3) the relationship between changes in dopamine release and reward, negative affect and inhibitory control.

Kelly Cosgrove, PhDKelly Cosgrove, PhD

Principal Investigator:
Kelly P. Cosgrove, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and of Diagnostic Radiology
Yale University School of Medicine

Project 3: Effect of an Alpha-2a Adrenergic Agonist on Stress-Induced Smoking and Smoking Reinforcement: An Examination of Mechanisms and Clinical Outcomes by Gender

The primary aim of Project 3 is to conduct a Phase II double-blind, placebo-controlled study to examine gender differences in the effect of noradrenergic agents to 1) counteract stress-induced effects on smoking behavior and smoking-related reinforcement in the laboratory and 2) improve clinical outcomes during a subsequent brief smoking cessation treatment. In addition, Project 3 will examine potential gender differences in mechanisms underlying stress precipitated smoking lapse and smoking-related reinforcement (e.g., craving, mood, cardiovascular reactivity, HPA axis reactivity, catecholamines, cognitive function).

Sherry McKee, PhDSherry McKee, PhD

Principal Investigator:
Sherry A. McKee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Yale University School of Medicine

Mehmet Sofuoglu, MD, PhDMehmet Sofuoglu, MD, PhD

Co-Investigator:
Mehmet Sofuoglu, M.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Yale University School of Medicine
Acting Chair of the VA-MIRECC
VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven campus

Andrea Weinberger, PhDAndrea Weinberger, PhD

Co-Investigator:
Andrea H. Weinberger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Yale University School of Medicine

Core A: Scientific and Administrative Core

The Yale-SCOR Scientific and Administrative Core provides overall interdisciplinary scientific planning and coordination, fiscal and administrative oversight, and personnel management for the Yale-SCOR’s projects. The Scientific and Administrative Core manages a centralized core battery of assessments to maximize the scientific gain from projects, coordinates research collaborations within our Yale-SCOR and across SCORs, and provides pilot funding to advance women’s health with regard to tobacco use.

Sherry McKee, PhDSherry McKee, PhD

Sherry A. McKee, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Yale University School of Medicine

Carolyn Mazure, PhDCarolyn Mazure, PhD

Carolyn M. Mazure, Ph.D. (Scientific Director)
Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology
Director, Women’s Health Research at Yale
Yale University School of Medicine

Andrea Weinberger, PhDAndrea Weinberger, PhD

Andrea H. Weinberger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Yale University School of Medicine

Core B: Service Core

The Yale-SCOR Service Core provides research resources to Yale-SCOR projects including human subjects involvement, centralized recruitment, data management, and statistical support. Core B also provides coordinated, central expertise on the design and implementation of all projects, including pilot projects as well as quality control of data and innovative analytic strategies. Importantly, the Service Core provides mentorship to trainees and early stage investigators, translates and disseminates findings generated by the SCOR-related projects, and provides a national resource for the study of women’s health and tobacco use.

Carolyn Mazure, PhDCarolyn Mazure, PhD

Carolyn M. Mazure, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology
Director, Women’s Health Research at Yale
Yale University School of Medicine

Sherry McKee, PhDSherry McKee, PhD

Sherry A. McKee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Yale University School of Medicine

Jason Fletcher, PhDJason Fletcher, PhD

Jason M. Fletcher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Public Health (Health Policy)
Yale School of Public Health

Andrea Weinberger, PhDAndrea Weinberger, PhD

Andrea H. Weinberger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Yale University School of Medicine