Ella Nikulina

Home Faculty Ella Nikulina
Department: 
College of Medicine
Endorsed to: 
Co-chair
Research Interests: 
Neural Systems

My research interest is the study of neural circuitry involved in long-term consequences of social stress; particular to examine brain opioid, neurotrophins and dopamine systems. Using the model of social defeat stress, we study the mechanisms by which repeated stress exposures influence the sensitization to drugs of abuse. Techniques used include studying immediate gene expression, local drug infusion into brain regions, and behavioral testing to identify a long-term plastic changes in neurocircuitry underlying the cross-sensitization to psychostimulants.