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Nii Addy (Psychiatry)

Nii Addy, PhD

Faculty Member

Center for Neurocognition and Behavior

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Neurobiology of cognitive and motivated behavior

Research in the Addy lab investigates the neurobiological basis of complex behavior, with a focus on motivated behaviors and the underlying cognitive and motivational processes that directly impact such behaviors. In particular, research in the Addy lab is highly appropriate to the Wu Tsai focus area of Neurocognition and Behavior. Dr. Addy and his team use in vivo voltammetry, in vivo chemogenetic, behavioral pharmacology, and electrophysiology approaches to examine the role brain circuit-specific, dopaminergic, cholinergic and L-type calcium channel mechanisms in preclinical rodent models of substance use and mood disorders. The research is primarily focused on neuroplastic mechanisms mediating changes in drug-taking behavior, drug-seeking behavior, drug relapse behavior, anhedonia, amotivation, social behaviors, and responses to anxiety and to acute and chronic stress that are associated with substance use and mood disorders. By identifying these mechanisms, research in the lab seeks to identify novel and effective therapeutic targets for these neuropsychiatric illnesses and may also provide new insight into the etiology of these neuropsychiatric disorders. Additionally, Dr. Addy's team studies the ability of tobacco product flavorants, found in e-cigarette e-liquids and other products, to alter nicotine reward, nicotine aversion, and nicotine taking behavior in adolescent and adult rats. This research is also revealing differential flavor effects on nicotine taking and nicotine seeking behavior in adolescents and adults, possibly due to neurodevelopmental differences at these different neurodevelopmental stages. Ongoing findings from these studies can provide critical information to inform FDA regulatory decisions on flavorant additives, and how such decisions may influence nicotine use and nicotine addiction in youth, young adults and adults. Given the relevance of neurocognition, behavior, neurodevelopment and neuroplasticity in Addy lab research, there are several opportunities for synergistic collaborations with other Wu Tsai members with overlapping and intersecting interests.

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Biography

Nii Addy received his BS in Biology from Duke University in 2000, his PhD in Neuroscience from Yale University in 2007, and completed a postdoctoral appointment in analytical chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He returned to Yale in 2010 and is currently the Albert E. Kent Associate Professor of Psychiatry and an Associate Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology. He is grateful for the many mentors, sponsors, and colleagues who have invested in him and facilitated his development as a biomedical researcher, mentor, diversity, equity, and inclusion leader, mental health advocate, and more.