Lab Members




David Self, Ph.D. -- +1.214.648.1237 --
Professor -- faculty web page
Wesley Gilliland Professorship in Biomedical Research
Director - Psychiatry Neuroscience Division

Daniel Guzman, Ph.D.
-- +1.214.648.5164 --
Assistant Instructor

Position in the lab: Postdoctoral Fellow
Educational Background: Ph.D., Psychology, UC Santa Barbara
Current Projects: The role of VTA NMDA receptors in drug addictive behaviors
Research Interests: Understanding reward related circuitry and behavior
What I do when I am in the lab: Curse because my western blot isn't working
What I do when I am outside of the lab: Pray my western blot will work

nicole buzinEthan Anderson, Ph.D.-- +1.214.648.1892 --
Postdoctoral Researcher

Position in the lab: Postdoctoral Researcher
Educational Background: Ph.D., Neuroscience University of Florida
Current Projects: How does cocaine self-administration alter dendritic spines and cell signaling pathways in the brain?
Research Interests: Addiction, pain, behavioral models
What I do when I am in the lab: Try to fit in too many things in one day.
What I do when I am outside of the lab: Spend time with my family, watch movies, and waste time on the internet


Anne Maria Wissman, Ph.D.
-- +1.214.648.5164 --
Research Scientist

Position in the lab: Spaz-in-training
Educational Background:
Ph.D., Neurobiology and Behavior, University of Washington
Current Projects:
Structural plasticity in the NAc in response to cocaine self-administration
Research Interests:
Sex differences and hormone effects on adult brain plasticity
What I do when I am in the lab:
Try not to get lost in the North Campus building maze
What I do when I am outside of the lab:
Try not to get lost in Dallas



Amy Loriaux, Ph.D.Amy Loriaux, Ph.D.-- +1.214.648.1892 --
Postdoctoral Researcher

Educational Background: Ph.D., Psychology from University of Illinois at Chicago
- Mentor Dr. Mitch Roitman
Current Projects: I use an optogenetic approach in rats trained to self-administer cocaine to target two output pathways from the nucleus accumbens shell: the ventral pallidum and the ventral tegmental area. I use terminal stimulation of these outputs in order to characterize their respective roles in cocaine-related disruptions in motivation and mood. I also have been using immunohistochemical and Western blot techniques to measure changes in expression of proteins associated with plasticity at inhibitory synapses, such as GABA-A delta and gamma sub-units as well as the scaffolding-protein gephyrin, due to cocaine and/or optogenetic stimulation of these output pathways.
Research Interests: I am interested in how chronic drug use produces changes in the brainĀ¹s affective circuits which drive further drug consumption and relapse. I am also interested in drug-related changes in inhibitory circuits in the ventral striatum, of which currently little is known. Ultimately I would like to investigate how various pharmacological and behavioral therapies for drug addiction could be developed in order to reverse or counter the neurological changes associated with addiction in order to better prevent relapse.
What I do when I am in the lab: Surgeries, running rats in behavioral tests (cocaine self-administration, forced swim tests, sucrose preference tests, locomotor tests, extinction tests, reinstatement tests). Obtaining and analyzing brain tissue. Repeat.
What I do when I am outside of the lab: Jui-jitsu, kickboxing, fitness classes. Hanging out with husband. Writing up experiments.