Amy W. Lasek, PhD


University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of Psychiatry (M/C 912),
Psychiatric Institute Room 466,
1601 West Taylor Street,
Chicago, IL 60612,

Office Phone: 312-355-1593
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Hilderbrand, E.R. & Lasek, A.W. (2013) Sex differences in cocaine conditioned place preference in C57BL/6J mice. NeuroReport Oct 18. [Epub ahead of print].

Maiya,R., Kharazia, V., Lasek, A.W., Heberlein, U. (2012) Lmo4 in the Basolateral Complex of the Amygdala Modulates Fear Learning. PLoS ONE 7(4): e34559.

Lasek, A.W., Gesch, J., Giorgetti, F., Kharazia, V., & Heberlein, U. (2011) Alk Is a Transcriptional Target of LMO4 and ERa that Promotes Cocaine Sensitization and Reward. The Journal of Neuroscience 31:14134-14141.

Lasek, A.W., Lim, J., Kliethermes, C.L., Berger, K.H., Joslyn, G., Brush, G., Xue, L., Robertson, M., Moore, M.S., Vranizan, K., Morris, S.W., Schuckit, M.A., White, R.L, & Heberlein, U. (2011) An Evolutionary Conserved Role for Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase in Behavioral Responses to Ethanol. PLoS ONE, 6:e22636.

Lasek, A.W., Giorgetti, F., Berger, K.H., Taylor, S., & Heberlein, U. (2011) Lmo genes regulate behavioral responses to ethanol in Drosophila melanogaster and the mouse. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 35:1600-6. PMCID: PMC3166402.

Lasek, A.W., Kapfhamer, D., Kharazia, V., Gesch, J., Giorgetti, F., & Heberlein, U. (2010) Lmo4 in the nucleus accumbens regulates cocaine sensitivity. Genes, Brain and Behavior 9:817-24.

Lesscher, H.M., McMahon, T., Lasek, A.W., Chou, W.H., Connolly, J., Kharazia, V., & Messing, R.O. (2008) Amygdala protein kinase C epsilon regulates corticotropin-releasing factor and anxiety-like behavior. Genes, Brain and Behavior 7:323-33.

Lasek, A.W., Janak,P., He, L.,Whistler, J.W., & Heberlein, U. (2007) Downregulation of Mu Opioid Receptor by RNAi in the VTA Reduces Ethanol Consumption in Mice. Genes, Brain and Behavior 6:728-35.

Rothenfluh, A, Threlkeld, R.J., Bainton, R.J., Tsai, L.T., Lasek, A.W., & Heberlein, U. (2006) Distinct behavioral responses to ethanol are regulated by alternate RhoGAP18B isoforms. Cell 127:199-211.

Amy W. Lasek, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Member, Graduate Program in Neuroscience

Dr. Lasek is interested in the molecular and cell biological factors that contribute to alcohol use disorders and drug addiction. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a BA in Biology and Biochemistry and received her PhD in Molecular Biology from Cornell University. Prior to joining the Department of Psychiatry at UIC, Dr. Lasek was an Associate Investigator at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco, where she cultivated her interests in molecular neuroscience and addiction research.

Dr. Lasek’s research is focused on determining how perturbing signaling pathways and gene expression in the brain alters behaviors related to drug and alcohol addiction. The laboratory uses molecular genetic techniques in the mouse to answer these questions. Dr. Lasek is also particularly interested in elucidating the neurobiological basis for sex differences in drug abuse. The overall goal of her research is to find and define new signaling pathways in the brain to better understand drug reward and abuse.

Molecular neurobiology of alcohol and drug addiction, effects of estrogen on reward and addiction-related behaviors.

Society for Neuroscience
International Behavioral and Neural Genetics Society
Research Society on Alcoholism

NIH/NIAAA INIA-West Consortium, RNA Interference Core
NIH/NIAAA INIA-West Consortium, Regulation of Excessive Alcohol Consumption by the LMO-ALK Axis
NIH/NIDA, Mechanisms of Estrogen Action in Enhancing Behavioral Responses to Cocaine.
Lasek Lab