The Drug Abuse Research Lab (DARL)

DARL is committed to engaging undergraduates in meaningful research experiences. Over the past 10 years, more than two dozen students have presented the results of their research to national and international audiences at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting. Many of these students have received awards and grants from Psi Chi, the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience and the Council on Undergraduate Research. As a consequence, more than 80% of DARL alumni have completed graduate or post-doctoral work in psychology, neuroscience, or in health-related fields, including at the University of Chicago, Rush University, The Medical University of South Carolina, the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical, and many others.

Currently, DARL seeks to understand the behavioral and physiological correlates of PTSD-like symptomatology in a model of adolescent PTSD. Highly comorbid with substance use and abuse, PTSD is also similar to addiction in that there appears to be biological and behavioral profiles that confer vulnerability and risk vs resilience.

The lab currently includes 6 active members, and we look forward to presenting the results of our work at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. in November.


  • Caitlin Cosme (’12) successfully defended her doctoral dissertation and will be starting her post-doctoral fellowship at Northwestern in October.
  • Amber Garrison (’17) has started her doctoral studies in Neuroscience at Michigan State University
  • Emily Walsh (’17) has started her doctoral studies in Neuroscience at the University of Iowa.

Selected Readings from DARL and Alumni.

  • Gutman, A.L., Nett, K.E., Cosme, C.V., Worth, W.R., Gupta, S.C., Wemmie, J.A. and LaLumiere (2017). Extinction of cocaine-seeking requires a window of infralimbic pyramidal neuron activity after unreinforced lever presses. Journal of Neuroscience 37(25): 6075.
  • Wayman, W.N., Chen, L., Hu, X-T., Napier, T.C. (2016). HIV-1 transgenic rat prefrontal cortex hyper-excitability is enhanced by cocaine self-administration. Neuropsychopharmacology 41(8): 1965.
  • Montgomery, D.M. and Koeltzow, T.E. (2010). A review of the day-night task: The stroop paradigm and intereference control in young children. Developmental Review 30(3): 308.
  • Griggs, R., Weir, C., Wayman, W. and Koeltzow, T.E. (2010). Intermittent methylphenidate during adolescent development produces locomotor hyperactivity and an enhanced response to cocaine compared to continuous treatment in rats. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2010.04.026.
  • Koeltzow, T.E., Xu, W., Cooper, D.C., Hu, X-T., Tonegawa, S., Wolf, M. and White, F.J. (1998). Alterations in dopamine release but not autoreceptor function in dopamine D3 receptor mutant mice. Journal of Neuroscience18(6):2231.