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  2. Subhash C. Pandey

Subhash C. Pandey PhD

Subhash C. Pandey
  • Joseph A. Flaherty MD, Endowed Professor of Psychiatry
  • Director, Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics
  • Professor of Biochemistry in Psychiatry
  • Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Director, Neuroscience Alcoholism Research
  • Senior VA Career Research Scientist
  • Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Illinois Chicago
Contact Information
  • scpandey [at]
  • (312) 413-1310
  • School of Public Health / Psychiatric Institute (SPHPI)
    1601 W. Taylor St.
    SPHPI MC 912
    Chicago IL 60612
Website Assistant
  • Akshita Wadhwa
  • (312) 355-2614
  • (312) 996-7658
  • awadhw3 [at]

Dr. Subhash Pandey is a nationally and internationally well-known neuroscientist in the alcohol addiction field and has contributed significantly towards a better understanding of the neurobiology of alcoholism. Two striking features of alcohol addiction are the rapid onset of tolerance to the acute effects of alcohol and the development of ethanol withdrawal symptoms after cessation of protracted ethanol consumption. Predisposition to alcohol abuse may involve abnormalities in the signaling cascade pathways that ultimately lead to abnormal gene transcription patterns in the specific neural circuitry of the brain. The long-term goal of Dr. Pandey’s alcohol research program is to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms (cAMP responsive element binding protein (CREB) gene transcription factor and CREB-related genes; epigenetics) involved in anxiety, alcohol dependence and/or alcohol drinking behaviors so as to eventually provide a basis for designing drugs to treat alcohol abuse and anxiety disorders. Changes in CREB function may also lead to changes in synaptic structures, such as dendritic spines in the brain, during ethanol exposure and its withdrawal. Dr. Pandey’s lab has also involved in investigating the epigenetic mechanisms (chromatin remodeling due to histone modifications and DNA methylation) of anxiety and alcohol addiction. An additional area of Dr. Pandey’s interest is to identify the molecular and epigenetic mechanisms of adolescent alcohol exposure-induced psychopathology in adulthood. Some of his work has been highlighted by National Institutes of Health:

Study defines brain and behavioral effects of teen binge drinking
NIH-funded rodent study finds molecular link between adolescent alcohol use and adult anxiety
Scientists Link Chromatin Modifications with Alcohol Withdrawal Anxiety

  • psychiatry

    Molecular and cellular neurobiology of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

  • Epigenetic mechanisms of alcoholism and anxiety

  • Neuronal signaling in alcoholism

  • Role of CREB and related genes in alcoholism and anxiety

  • Genetic basis of alcoholism

  • Role of adolescent ethanol exposure on epigenetic and behavioral changes at adulthood

  • Role of CB1 receptors in alcohol drinking behaviors

  • Pandey SC, Sakharkar AJ, Tang L, Zhang H (2015) Potential role of adolescent alcohol exposure-induced amygdaloid histone modifications in anxiety and alcohol intake during adulthood. Neurobiology of Disease, March 23 (Epub ahead of print) PMID:25814047

    Sakharkar AJ, Tang L, Zhang H, Chen Y, Grayson DR, Pandey SC (2014). Effects of acute ethanol exposure on anxiety measures and epigenetic modifiers in the extended amygdala of adolescent rats. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 17: 2057-2067 PMID: 24968059

    Sakharkar AJ, Zhang H, Tang L, Baxstrom K, Shi G, Moonat S, Pandey SC (2014) Effects of histone deacetylase inhibitors on amygdaloid histone acetylation and neuropeptide Y expression: A role in anxiety-like and alcohol-drinking behaviors. Int. J Neuropsychopharmacol 17:1207-1220 PMID: 24528596

    You C, Zhang H, Sakharkar AJ, Teppen TL, Pandey SC (2014) Reversal of deficits in dendritic spines, BDNF, and Arc expression in the amygdala during alcohol dependence by HDAC inhibitor treatment. Int. J Neuropsychopharmacol 17:313-322 PMID: 24103311

    Moonat S, Sakharkar AJ, Zhang H, Tang L, Pandey SC (2013) Aberrant HDAC2-mediated histone modifications and synaptic plasticity in the amygdala predisposes to anxiety and alcoholism. Biol Psychiatry 73: 763-773 PMID: 23485013

    Arora DS, Nimitvilai S, Teppen TL, McElvain MA, Sakharkar AJ,You C, Pandey SC, Brodie MS (2013) Hyposensitivity to gamma-aminobutyric acid in the ventral tegmental area during alcohol withdrawal: reversal by histone deacetylase inhibitors. Neuropsychopharmacol 38: 1674-1684 PMID: 23474591

    Sakharkar AJ, Zhang H, Tang L, Shi G, Pandey SC (2012) Histone deacetylases(HDAC)- induced histone modifications in the amygdala: a role in rapid tolerance to the anxiolytic effects of ethanol. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 36:61-71 PMID: 21790673

    Moonat S, Sakharkar AJ, Zhang H, Pandey SC (2011) The role of amygdaloid brain-derived neurotrophic factor, activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein and dendritic spines in anxiety and alcoholism. Addiction Biology 16:238-250 PMID: 21182574

    Pandey SC, Ugale R, Zhang H, Tang L, Prakash A (2008) Brain chromatin remodeling: a novel mechanism of alcoholism. J Neurosci 28: 3729-3737.

    Pandey SC, Zhang H, Roy A, Xu T (2005) Deficits in amygdaloid cAMP-responsive element-binding protein signaling play a role in genetic predisposition to anxiety and alcoholism. J Clin Investigation 115:2762-2773.

    Pandey SC, Roy A, Zhang H (2004) Partial deletion of the CREB gene promotes alcohol-drinking behaviors. J Neuroscience 24:5022-5030.

    Pandey SC (2003) Anxiety and alcohol abuse disorders: a common role for CREB and its target, the neuropeptide Y gene. Trends Pharmacological Sciences 24:456-460.

    Pandey SC, Roy A, Zhang H (2003) The decreased phosphorylation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element binding (CREB) protein in the central amygdala acts as a molecular substrate for anxiety related to ethanol withdrawal in rats. Alcohol: Clin Exp Res 27:396-409.

Title Description Investigator(s) Category Status
Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics NIAAA/NIH      PI: S. Pandey Biostatistical Research Program On-going
Epigenetic mechanisms of negative affective state of alcoholism 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. Dr. Subhash Pandey' Lab On-going
The Effects of Chronic Alcohol Administration and Withdrawal on Epigenetic Marks in the Rat Brain As part of the NIAAA-funded Center for Alcohol, Dr. Grayson is the Director of the Epigenetic Core. The Core prepares RNA, DNA and Chromatin from multiple brain regions (frontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and ventral tegmental area) of rats chronically treated with ethanol, chronically treated rats subjected to a 24 hour withdrawal period and non-treated control rats. Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience On-going

*System-generated list from psychiatry research website.

Date Released Title Source
12/15/2023 Psychiatry Faculty Honored During Annual Ceremony! Congratulations Drs. Ashley Mulvihill, Sally Weinstein, Subhash Pandey, Jaleel Abdul-Adil and Liza Suarez
07/05/2023 2023 Distinguished Researcher Award - Dr. Subhash C. Pandey Research Society on Alcohol
02/26/2023 Does gene editing hold the key to improving mental health? The Guardian
09/12/2022 How many drinks is too many? UIC Today
09/12/2022 Study Shows Gene Editing May Hold Promise for Reversing Effects of Adolescent Binge Drinking NIAAA Science Blog
05/20/2022 Epigenome Editing Decreases Alcohol Seeking and Anxiety in Rats TheScientist
05/17/2022 Gene editing could reverse anxiety and alcohol-use disorder Big Think
05/04/2022 A ‘factory reset’ for the brain cures anxiety, drinking behavior UIC Today
11/22/2021 Dr. Eleonora Gatta - K99/R00 Awardee from the NIAAA: K99AA028817- Glucocorticoid receptor epigenetic programming in alcohol-induced neuropathology.
12/11/2020 Congratulations to our own, Dr. Subhash Pandey, who is now the Joseph A. Flaherty Professor of Psychiatry.
11/04/2020 University Scholar Subhash Pandey UIC Today
09/15/2020 UIC to study how adolescent binge drinking impacts adult behavior UIC Today
06/04/2020 Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics at UIC receives $8M from NIH UIC Today
11/18/2019 Adolescent drinking increases anxiety and alcohol abuse risk later in life Neuroscience News
11/18/2019 Mechanism connects early binge drinking to adult behaviors UIC Today
03/11/2019 NIH-funded rodent study finds molecular link between adolescent alcohol use and adult anxiety National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
03/11/2019 NIH-funded rodent study finds molecular link between adolescent alcohol use and adult anxiety National Institutes of Health
02/06/2019 Heavy drinking in teens causes lasting changes in emotional center of brain UIC Today
03/28/2018 CDC study shows 1 in 6 American adults binge drink The Daily Orange
02/19/2018 UIC Psychiatry - Community Outreach Event
02/15/2018 Alzheimer's Drug Repairs Brain Damage After Alcohol Binges In Rodents Duke Health
06/19/2017 Genes Are Not Fixed, Experience and Exposure Can Change Them Newswise
02/13/2017 Different booze, different buzz? It's a myth. Really. USA Today
07/21/2016 Should The Drinking Age Be Lowered? Experts Weigh In WalletHub
06/20/2016 Cancer-Treating Drugs May Help Reduce Alcoholism-Related Anxiety Newswise
05/17/2016 Epigenetics researcher honored by College of Medicine UIC Today
10/17/2015 Keynote speaker at the International Drug Abuse Research Society (IDARS) during SFN 2015 IDARS
09/30/2015 NIAAA Director, Dr. George Koob visits the Center of Alcohol Research in Epigenetics (September 2015)
05/05/2015 $7 Million Grant for a New Alcohol Research Center TV Asia
04/13/2015 Unique UIC center will study alcohol’s effect on genes UIC Today
04/05/2015 Study: Teenage binge drinking can have long-term effects Wtop
04/05/2015 Teen binge drinkers more likely to be anxious adults Courier Post
04/03/2015 Binge drinking teens can pay the price later in life Mirror
04/03/2015 Binge drinking as a teenager 'may damage the brain for life': Alcohol puts young people at risk of anxiety disorders and addiction Daily Mail
04/03/2015 Teen binge-drinking may disturb brain development Business Standard
04/03/2015 Binge Drinking As A Teenager Could Make You A More Anxious Adult Huffington Post
04/03/2015 Binge drinking teenagers ‘damaging brain development’ The Telegraph
04/02/2015 Adolescent drinking affects adult behavior through genetic changes UIC Today
04/02/2015 Study defines brain and behavioral effects of teen binge drinking NIH News
04/03/2014 What Binge Drinking During Adolescence Does to the Brain Time
04/02/2008 Scientists Link Chromatin Changes with Alcohol Withdrawal Anxiety NIH News