Behavioral Teratology Lab

Our lab investigates the effects of drugs of abuse on brain and behavioral development. Most of our research projects are examining how prenatal alcohol exposure causes the range of physical, neuropathological, and behavioral effects referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Specifically, we are investigating treatments that may reduce the severity of FASD, including pharmacological, nutritional, and environmental interventions. For example, we have found that supplementation with the nutrient choline can reduce the severity of FASD, even when administered postnatally and after alcohol exposure has ceased. We are also now investigating the potential teratogenic effects of THC and nicotine, and how combinations of THC with alcohol or nicotine may affect neural and behavioral development.

Students are integrated into all levels of research and gain experience with behavioral testing and histological evaluation.