Current research projects include:
Research project 1: Epigenetic mechanisms of positive affective state of alcoholism, PI: Dr. Mark Brodie, dept. of biophysics/physiology UIC.
This component will examine novel epigenetic mechanisms (HDAC-induced chromatin remodeling) that may be involved in changes in the putative DA neurons’ response to γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) after chronic ethanol exposure and its withdrawal.
Research project 2: Epigenetic mechanisms of negative affective state of alcoholism, PI: Dr. Subhash Pandey dept. of psychiatry UIC.
Alcohol dependence involves alterations in the allostatic state driven by negative emotional adaptations within the amygdaloid circuitry. This research component will investigate the role of specific isoforms of HDAC- and DNMT mediated epigenetic mechanisms in regulating the gene expression in the negative affective states of ethanol dependence.
Research project 3: Epigenetic mechanisms of glia and neuron interactions in alcoholism, PI: Dr. Amy Lasek, dept. of Psychiatry UIC.
This research component will evaluate epigenetic modifications, such as histone acetylation, methylation, and DNA methylation, due to ethanol exposure in astrocytes that may be involved in ethanol-induced hippocampal neural plasticity and depression-like symptoms during withdrawal after chronic ethanol exposure.
Research project 4: DNA-mthylation/demethylation networks in brain of alcoholic subjects, PI: Dr. Alessandro Guidotti, dept. of psychiatry UIC.
The objectives of this research project are to investigate the expression and promoter binding of components of the DNA-methylation and DNA-demethylation networks in cortico-limbic structures [prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippocampus, and amygdala] of post-mortem brains of alcoholics (compared with age/sex matched control subjects).
Pilot projects program: PI: Dr. Subhash Pandey, dept. of psychiatry UIC.
Pilot Project 1: Mitochondrial epigenome and alcohol withdrawal-induced pain, PI: Dr. Amynah Pradhan, dept. of Psychiatry UIC.
The proposed studies will establish the effect of chronic ethanol on the mitochondrial epigenome, and determine if these interactions produce ethanol withdrawal-induced pain.
Pilot Project 2: Microglial epigenome and alcohol exposure, PI: Dr. Douglas Feinstein, dept. of Anesthesiology, UIC.
Alcohol induced epigenetic modifications in microglia and its role in the regulation of innate immune gene expression will be investigated in this pilot project.
Several future pilot projects are planned to be included.