- Neuroscience Institute
Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Neuroscience Institute
BS, 1972, Connecticut College
Ph.D., 1978, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Postdoctoral Studies, 1978-82, AV Davis Ctr for Neurobiology, The Salk Institute
Dr. McGinty’s preclinical research aims to understand the underlying mechanisms of, and produce treatments for, debilitating substance use disorders. IN NIH NIDA-funded projects, Dr. McGinty’s lab has demonstrated that ERK dephosphorylation (or “shutoff”) occurs in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) within 2 hours after repeated cocaine self-administration (SA) in rats. Her lab also found that a single infusion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) into the PFC normalizes glutamate transmission in the nucleus accumbens and suppresses cocaine seeking. Currently Dr. McGinty’s lab seeks to characterize the molecular mechanisms underlying the cocaine SA-induced ERK shutoff and BDNF’s suppressive effects on cocaine-seeking to develop clinically relevant targets for medication development. The lab is also involved in a collaboration funded by the Dept of the Army that aims to investigate oxytocin’s effects on methamphetamine-seeking in rats that have experienced repeated predator odor exposure as a pre-clinical model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.