Criminal Psychology; Tobacco Use Disorder; Substance-Related Disorders; Alcohol-Related Disorders; Psychiatry and Psychology
Psychiatry: Addictions, Division of | Center for Nicotine and Tobacco Use Research at Yale (CENTURY) | Connecticut Mental Health Center: Division of Substance Abuse | Law and Psychiatry, Division of | Neuroscience Research Training Program (NRTP) | Psychology Section | Psychotherapy Development Center | Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) to Develop Gender-Sensitive Treatment for Tobacco Dependence | Stress & Addiction Clinical Research Program | Women's Behavioral Health Research, Division of | Yale Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory | Yale Translational Center to Develop Gender-Sensitive Treatment for Tobacco Dependence
WHRY Pilot Project Program Investigators
Tobacco and alcohol use are leading causes of preventable morbidity and mortality, with 656,000 deaths annually in the U.S. alone. My laboratory has focused on the development of clinical and translational research for these two addictive disorders, for the purpose of translating these findings into effective therapeutics for women and men. We have a translational and interdisciplinary team that probes the noradrenergic system’s effects on stress-reactivity and nicotine reinforcement - hypothesizing that different brain systems modulated by noradrenergic activity are activated by smoking in women and men, and that noradrenergic agents can preferentially target these gender-sensitive systems to improve smoking cessation outcomes (P50DA0335945 funded by the Office of Research on Women’s Health and NIDA). Secondly, our work is focused on developing and utilizing human laboratory paradigms to efficiently and cost-effectively screen Phase II medications for tobacco dependence. These paradigms are designed to model the first instance of smoking during a quit attempt (i.e., smoking lapse), to identify mechanisms underlying relapse, and to highlight important group differences (i.e., sex differences) in relapse. As a third focus, we translate knowledge of alcohol-tobacco interactions to alter alcohol drinking. This work examines how smoking status can be used as a clinical indicator for alcohol misuse, how tobacco policies reduce alcohol use, and how nicotinic acetylcholine medications can be used to treat alcohol use disorders.
As a newer focus to my research, I am developing and implementing effective treatments for addiction in criminal justice populations. I lead a federally funded partnership between Yale University, the of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the State of Connecticut Department of Correction, to develop and implement an integrated system of addiction care for offender re-entry.
Extensive Research Description
- Translational and interdisciplinary team that probes the noradrenergic system’s effects on stress-reactivity and nicotine reinforcement to develop gender-sensitive medication for tobacco dependence. Specific studies range from molecular biology through to policy investigations covering T1 to T4 translation.
- Development of human laboratory models to screen Phase II medications for tobacco and alcohol use
- Phase II clinical trial and human laboratory studies targeting stress-reactivity for medication development for alcohol use disorders and tobacco dependence
- Laboratory studies examining whether nAChR agents alter alcohol self-administration behavior
- Collaborative Care Model applied to addiction care for offender re-entry
Sex Differences in Varenicline Efficacy for Smoking Cessation: A Meta-Analysis
McKee SA, Smith PH, Kaufman M, Mazure CM, Weinberger AH. Sex Differences in Varenicline Efficacy for Smoking Cessation: A Meta-Analysis. Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 May;18(5):1002-11.
- Sex Differences in Smoking Cessation Pharmacotherapy Comparative Efficacy: A Network Meta-analysis Smith PH, Weinberger AH, Zhang J, Emme E, Mazure CM, McKee SA. Sex Differences in Smoking Cessation Pharmacotherapy Comparative Efficacy: A Network Meta-analysis. Nicotine Tob Res. 2017 Mar 1;19(3):273-281.
- Effects of varenicline on alcohol cue reactivity in heavy drinkers Roberts W, Harrison ELR, McKee SA. Effects of varenicline on alcohol cue reactivity in heavy drinkers. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2017 Jun 9. doi: 10.1007/s00213-017-4667-9.
A translational investigation targeting stress-reactivity and prefrontal cognitive control with guanfacine for smoking cessation.
McKee SA, Potenza MN, Kober H, Sofuoglu M, Arnsten AF, Picciotto MR, Weinberger AH, Ashare R, Sinha R. A translational investigation targeting stress-reactivity and prefrontal cognitive control with guanfacine for smoking cessation. J Psychopharmacol. 2015 Mar;29(3):300-11.
Using our knowledge of alcohol-tobacco interactions to reduce alcohol use
McKee, S.A & Weinberger, A.H. Using our knowledge of alcohol-tobacco interactions to reduce alcohol use. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. 2013, 9:649-674.
Crime and psychiatric disorders among youth in the US population: an analysis of the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement
Coker KL, Smith PH, Westphal A, Zonana HV, McKee SA. Crime and psychiatric disorders among youth in the US population: an analysis of the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2014 Aug;53(8):888-98.
Developing and validating a human laboratory model to screen medications for smoking cessation.
McKee, S.A., Weinberger, A.H., Shi, J., Tetrault, J., Coppola, S. Developing and validating a human laboratory model to screen medications for smoking cessation. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. 2012, 11: 1362-1371.
Varenicline reduces alcohol self-administration in heavy-drinking smokers.
McKee, S.A., Harrison, E.L.R., O’Malley, S.S., Krishnan-Sarin, S., Shi, J., Tetrault, J.M., Picciotto, M., Petrakis, I.L., Estevez, N., Balchunas, E. Varenicline reduces alcohol self-administration in heavy drinking smokers. Biological Psychiatry, 2009, 66: 185-90.