Welcome to the Gipson Lab
We are housed in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences in the College of Medicine at UK. The focus of the lab is to identify novel neurobiological and behavioral mechanisms to guide the treatment of addiction, including glutamatergic, dopaminergic, neuroimmune, and ovarian hormone mechanisms underlying addiction to various drugs of abuse during young adulthood and during the female reproductive transition of menopause. Projects focus on nicotine, heroin, and oxycodone/cocaine co-use, utilizing both in vivo and in vitro methodologies to study rapid alterations in synaptic plasticity (measured as changes in dendritic spines or AMPA/NMDA current ratios using whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology) during or immediately following behavior (specifically, during self-administration and reinstatement of drug seeking). We also study microglia-neuron interactions during nicotine consumption and seeking. To date, our work has revealed novel neurobiological mechanisms of drug use, and has the potential to contribute to the development of novel therapeutic options aimed at reversing drug-induced alterations and thus improve drug use cessation outcomes. This work has resulted in translational collaborations to examine clinical efficacy of pharmacotherapeutics in promoting drug use cessation.
We are currently funded by 3 grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH):
- R01 DA046526 (Gipson-Reichardt, PI; 09/30/2019-08/31/2024). Neuroinflammatory and glutamatergic mechanisms of nicotine seeking.
- R21 DA055879 (Gipson-Reichardt, PI; 09/27/2022-08/30/2024). Contributions of Progestins Independently and Interactively with Contraceptive Estrogen to Nicotine Use
- R33 DA049130 (Gipson-Reichardt, MPI; Stoops, MPI; 09/20/2020-08/31/2025). Glutamatergic mechanisms in opioid and cocaine co-use.
We are also funded by a Faculty Pilot award from the Substance Use Priority Research Area (SUPRA):
“Evaluating the neurobiological mechanisms of suvorexant in reducing fentanyl withdrawal and relapse”
We were awarded a new R21 grant from NIDA, titled ” Contributions of Progestins Independently and Interactively with Contraceptive Estrogen to Nicotine Use”. A collaboration with Drs. Heather Bimonte-Nelson (ASU) and Josh Beckmann (UK)!
We have 3 (!!!) oral presentations at College on Problems of Drug Dependence in Minneapolis, MN this year! Please come see us if you can!
- Dr. Erin Maher:
- Dr. Shailesh Khatri:
- Emma Bondy:
Tyrone Kendrick has joined the Gipson Lab to complete his Ph.D. in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program at UK. Welcome Tyrone!