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 Departments & Organizations

Psychiatry: Center for Nicotine and Tobacco Use Research at Yale (CENTURY) | Connecticut Mental Health Center: Division of Substance Abuse | Division of Addictions | Division of Law and Psychiatry | Division of Women's Behavioral Health Research | Neuroscience Research Training Program (NRTP) | Psychology Section | Psychotherapy Development Center | Stress & Addiction Clinical Research Program | Yale Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory | Yale Translational Center to Develop Gender-Sensitive Treatment for Tobacco Dependence

Yale Cancer Center: Cancer Prevention and Control

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

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

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.

Clinical Trials

Conditions Study Title
Mental Health & Behavioral Research Mechanistic Evaluation of Guanfacine on Drinking Behavior
Alcohol Addiction, Mental Health & Behavioral Research Does Propanolol, a Beta Blocker, Attenuate Stress-Induced Drinking?
Addictive Behaviors, Mental Health & Behavioral Research, Obesity & Weight Control Behavioral and Pharmacologic Treatment of Binge Eating and Obesity: Acute Treatment
Alcohol Addiction, Mental Health & Behavioral Research Does Guanfacine Attenuate Stress-Induced Drinking?

Selected Publications

See list of PubMed publications

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