Investigating Neurobiology and New Treatments for Addiction, Depression and Anxiety

Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Investigating Neurobiology and New Treatments for Addiction, Depression and Anxiety

Dr. Addy and his research team study the brain processes that contribute to addiction, depression, and anxiety. In this talk, Dr. Addy will discuss his research on calcium processes within the brain’s reward system, that may serve as effective therapeutic targets. He will also describe how current FDA approved medications, that impact these brain calcium processes, could be repurposed as novel, effective treatments for addiction, mood disorders, and co-occurring addiction, depression and/ or anxiety.

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Presented by 
Nii Addy, Ph.D.
Nii Addy, Ph.D.
Yale School of Medicine

Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Scientific Council Member (Joined 2020)


Dr. Addy’s research focuses on the neurobiology of motivational control, reward behavior, and reinforcement learning. He seeks to identify how these brain processes are altered in substance use disorders, depression and anxiety. Dr. Addy’s work incorporates various methods including the use of preclinical rodent models, electrochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, and electrophysiology. His lab has identified neurotransmitter mechanisms, namely dopamine and acetylcholine interactions, in specific brain pathways that regulate drug-relapse behavior and responses to stress and anxiety. His lab also examines neurotransmitter receptors and calcium channels that may serve as therapeutic targets to treat substance use and mood disorders. As part of the Yale Tobacco Center for Regulatory Science (TCORS), Dr. Addy’s team examines the effects of tobacco product flavors on nicotine reward and aversion, and on nicotine use behavior. In addition to basic science research, Dr. Addy has built unique partnerships between scientists, clinicians, faith leaders, entertainers, professional athletes, and community groups to address issues at the intersection of neuroscience, mental health, faith, culture and social justice.

Moderated by
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., serves as the President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the largest private funder of mental health research grants. Dr. Borenstein developed the Emmy-nominated public television program “Healthy Minds,” and serves as host and executive producer of the series. The program, broadcast nationwide, is available online, and focuses on topics in psychiatry in order to educate the public, reduce stigma and offer a message of hope. Dr. Borenstein served as Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association from 2012 - 2023.

Dr. Borenstein is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and serves as the Chair of the Section of Psychiatry at the Academy. He also has served as the President of the New York State Psychiatric Association. Dr. Borenstein earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard and his medical degree at New York University.