Ansel Hillmer, PhD

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic; Substance Withdrawal Syndrome; Alcohol-Related Disorders; Neuroimaging

Research Organizations

Bioimaging Sciences: Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Cosgrove Lab

Research Summary

I am interested in implementing neurochemically specific brain imaging techniques, such as positron emission tomography (PET), to investigate the underlying neuroadaptations involved in substance dependence and withdrawal, particularly alcohol and nicotine. Areas of previous and current research include:

-Characterization of PET imaging radiotracers targeting alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors

-Development of experimental paradigms to interrogate acetylcholine neurotransmission in vivo with PET imaging

-Using PET imaging the study the neurochemistry of chronic alcohol use in nonhuman primate models

-Imaging neuroinflammation in clinical alcohol dependence

-Methods development of analysis tools integrating PET imaging data with fMRI connectivity data.

-Studying alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in PTSD

Selected Publications

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