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Sherry McKee, PhD

Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Yale Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory; Clinical Director, Forensic Drug Diversion Clinic; Director, Yale Program for Sex Differences in Alcohol Use Disorder, Psychiatry

Research Summary

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 targets key brain structures, neurochemical systems, HPA-axis activity, neuroimmune function, metabolism, and sex steroid hormones, to identify and develop medications that will be effective for women and men with addictive disorders. Across this work, we incorporate the NIH "sex as a biological variable" (SABV) policy, and have published several reviews and position papers on this topic.

My lab also focuses on behavioral treatment development, and we have federally funded grants focused on developing just-in-time interventions using wearable biosensors which passively detect substance use in real-time. We have completed Phase 2 testing for smoking cessation, and have developed an integrated sensor system for alcohol use disorders.

As a newer focus to my research, I develop and implement 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, implementing an integrated system of addiction care for offender re-entry.


Research Interests

Criminal Psychology; Tobacco Use Disorder; Substance-Related Disorders; Alcohol-Related Disorders; Psychiatry and Psychology

Selected Publications

Clinical Trials

ConditionsStudy Title
Diseases of the Nervous SystemImaging dopamine mediated effects of stress on inhibitory control
Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchMechanistic Evaluation of Guanfacine on Drinking Behavior
Alcohol Addiction; Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchDoes Propanolol, a Beta Blocker, Attenuate Stress-Induced Drinking?
Addictive Behaviors; Mental Health & Behavioral Research; Obesity & Weight ControlBehavioral and Pharmacologic Treatment of Binge Eating and Obesity: Acute Treatment